Nine players from the Biloxi Shuckers have been named to the Southern League South Division All-Star Team, the Southern League announced on Wednesday. Infielders Jake Gatewood and Jake Hager, outfielders Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr, and pitchers Zack Brown, Nate Griep, Thomas Jankins, Jon Olczak and Nick Ramirez will
Nine players from the Biloxi Shuckers have been named to the Southern League South Division All-Star Team, the Southern League announced on Wednesday. Infielders Jake Gatewood and Jake Hager, outfielders Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr, and pitchers Zack Brown, Nate Griep, Thomas Jankins, Jon Olczak and Nick Ramirez will all represent the Shuckers in the Southern League All-Star Game at Regions Field in Birmingham on June 19. The nine All-Star selections are the most participants by any team in the Southern League.
First baseman Jake Gatewood gets his third Mid-Season All-Star nod after being named an All-Star with the Carolina Mudcats in 2017 and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2016. In 56 games with the Shuckers, Gatewood hit .239 with 11 doubles, ten home runs and 37 RBI. Taken 41st overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015, Gatewood is tied for second in the Southern League in home runs and tied for third in RBI. He was named Southern League Player of the Week on May 27 after bashing seven extra-base hits with nine RBI.
In his first season as a part of the Milwaukee Brewers system, shortstop Jake Hager earns his second Mid-Season All-Star honor after getting the nod with the Charlotte StoneCrabs in the Florida State League in 2013. Selected 32nd overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, Hager has appeared in 54 games with the Shuckers, hitting .288 with 16 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI. He is tied for the third in the Southern League in doubles and leads the league in assists by a shortstop.
With his named smattered across the Southern League leaderboard, centerfielder Corey Ray nets his second consecutive Mid-Season All-Star selection. A Mid-Season All-Star with the Carolina Mudcats in 2017, Ray is tied for first in the Southern League in extra-base hits (28), at bats (227), second in total bases (105), tied for second in stolen bases (12), tied for third in doubles (16) and fifth in walks (32). The fifth overall pick out of Louisville by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015, Ray is hitting .251 with 16 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 26 RBI in 57 games with the Shuckers.
Rounding out the position players on the All-Star Team for the Shuckers is outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. It is his first All-Star selection after hitting .249 in 57 games with 15 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 28 RBI. Taken in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by Milwaukee, Stokes is tied for the Southern League lead in games (57), second in extra-base hits (27), third in at bats (217) and fourth in total bases (101).
RHP Zack Brown will take part in his first professional All-Star game. The righty leads the Shuckers in strikeouts and innings pitched while amassing a 5-0 record. In games Brown has started, the Shuckers are 11-1 as a team. His 2.65 ERA is good for fourth in the Southern League, while his 73 strikeouts on the season are tied for third. The Kentucky Wildcat product made just four starts at the Advanced-A level in Carolina last season after appearing in 13 games for Class-A Wisconsin. His 2.65 ERA marks the best for Brown in a single season.
For the third straight season, RHP Nate Griep has been named an All-Star. The Southern League leader in saves has converted on 20 of his 21 opportunities this season. Griep was also named a Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star with Carolina in 2017 as well as a Postseason All-Star with Wisconsin in 2016. The 2015 8th round pick has pitched to a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings (6 earned runs) with 23 strikeouts.
In 19 appearances out of the bullpen this year, RHP Jon Olczak has stranded all 14 of the baserunners he has inherited. The North Carolina State product has struck out 27 batters over 25.2 innings while allowing just four walks. He leads the Southern League in holds (6) and walks per nine innings (0.70). This is Olczak's first All-Star selection.
After converting from a position player to a pitcher in 2017, LHP Nick Ramirez has been named a Mid-Season All Star for the second straight year with Biloxi. Ramirez is now a five-time Mid-Season All-Star, three as a position player and two as a pitcher. In 2018, the lefty has pitched to a 2.19 ERA with 27 strikeouts, holding opponents to a .191 average over 24.2 innings. His seven wins are tied with teammate and fellow All-Star Thomas Jankins for the league lead, while his four holds are tied for fourth in the Southern League.
A league-best seven wins earned RHP Thomas Jankins his first professional All-Star selection. Jankins churned out six quality starts through his first ten on the season. The 13th round pick out of Quinnipiac in 2016 used a near 2-to-1 ratio of ground balls to fly balls along with 47 strikeouts over 56.1 innings to aid the first-place Shuckers. Jankins started the season on Biloxi's roster after spending the 2017 season with Class-A Wisconsin. The righty skipped over the Advanced-A level on the way to his All-Star selection in 2018.
Single game tickets for the Biloxi Shuckers 2018 season are on sale now and can be purchased at the MGM Park box office or over the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Season tickets, flex plans and group outings are also available and can be reserved by calling 228-233-3465 or visiting www.biloxishuckers.com.
ABOUT THE BILOXI SHUCKERS:
The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. For more information please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.com.