CURVE, Pa. - Four players have been selected to represent the Altoona Curve at the 2016 All-Star Game, the team announced in conjunction with the Eastern League of Professional Baseball on Wednesday. The game will take place at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio on July 13.
Curve players Tyler Eppler, Edwin Espinal, Jared Lakind and Harold Ramirez will suit up for the Western Division's All-Star team.
Eppler has posted a 5-5 record with a 3.96 ERA through 15 starts this year. The Texas native leads the Curve pitching staff in innings pitched (88.2) and strikeouts (55). June has been the right-hander's best month so far this season, going 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts
Ranked the Pirates 28th-best prospect by MLB.com before the season began, Eppler appears on a All-Star roster for the first time in his professional career.
Espinal also will participate in an All-Star game for the first time in his professional career, and is currently pacing the Curve offense with a .317 batting average along with five home runs and 29 RBIs. Through 22 games in June, Espinal is hitting .372 with three homers and 14 RBIs.
Acquired by the Pirates as an international free agent in 2011, Espinal is in his first season at Double-A.
Lakind been a standout member of Altoona's impressive bullpen, logging a 3-0 record with a 1.83 ERA in 28 appearances for the Curve. The Texas-native southpaw set an Altoona franchise record for consecutive scoreless frames pitched in a single season at 25.1 innings from May 5-June 23.
Lakind, the Pirates' 23rd-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, will also be making his All-Star debut.
Ramirez receives the second All-Star selection in his career, having last been named a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2013. Through 69 games this season, the Colombian outfielder is hitting .294, eighth-best in the Eastern League, with two home runs and 34 RBIs, the second-most for Altoona. Ramirez also ranks second on the team in total bases (107). His 80 hits rank fourth in the circuit this year.
Having been ranked a top Pirates prospect by both Baseball America since 2013 and Baseball America as well as MLB.com since 2014, Ramirez entered 2016 as a top 10 prospect and the #12 corner outfield prospect by BA.
Eppler and Ramirez were each selected through fan voting.
Tickets for the 2016 All-Star Game can be purchased by calling the Akron RubberDucks at 330.253.5151 or visiting akronrubberducks.com. All-Star festivities begin on July 12 with a home run derby, autograph sessions, fireworks and more. The game will be broadcast on the TuneIn Radio app and on MiLB.TV.
The Curve and Baysox continue the homestand through Sunday night. Celebrate Independence Day weekend at PNG Field, with Fireworks shows being held on Saturday night and Sunday night. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box