Cease, Taveras lead Carolina All-Stars

Nats' Kieboom rounds out group of top-100 prospects honored

Dylan Cease ranks third in the Carolina League with a 30 percent strikeout rate. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | June 11, 2018 3:00 PM

There will be no shortage of top prospects at this year's Carolina League midsummer classic. 

Potomac shortstop Carter Kieboom, Winston-Salem right-hander Dylan Cease and Down East outfielder Leody Taveras, who are all members of MLB.com's top-100 ranking, were named to the circuit's All-Star showcase on Monday. The game will be held June 19 at the home of the Carolina Mudcats -- Five County Stadium in Zebulon, North Carolina -- and streamed live on MiLB.TV.

Taveras and Cease will represent the Southern Division side, while Kieboom will lead the Northern squad.

Taveras, the highest ranked of the trio at No. 29 overall, is hitting .241/.327/.339 with three homers and 10 steals in 58 games during his first trip to the Carolina League. The 19-year-old Rangers prospect is a major asset in center field, where he shows plus speed and an above-average arm that has helped him pick up seven assists this season. He'll be one of a league-best six Down East players headed to Zebulon next week with Edgar Arredondo, Andretty Cordero, Charles Leblanc, Anderson Tejeda and C.D. Pelham also on the Southern Division roster. Right-hander Jonathan Hernandez was named an All-Star but will not participate after moving up to Double-A Frisco.


2018 Carolina League All-Star rosters: Northern Division | Southern Division


Cease leads all Carolina League hurlers with 78 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings this season for the Dash. He's also posted a 2.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over his 12 starts. The No. 52 overall prospect has touched triple digits with his fastball, and his curve has also earned plus grades. He'll be joined by teammates and fellow White Sox prospects Bernardo Flores, Matt Foster, Luis Alexander Basabe and Joel Booker.

Kieboom, who headlines a group of six Potomac Nationals, ranks fifth in the league with an .878 OPS and sits third with 10 homers in 56 games. The No. 80 overall prospect is hitting .296/.386/.491 through 56 games. Tres Barrera, Jake Noll, Wil Crowe, Tyler Mapes and Sterling Sharp were the other P-Nats announced as Carolina League All-Stars on Monday.

No. 48 overall prospect Keston Hiura (Brewers) was awarded an All-Star spot after he hit .320/.382/.529 with seven homers in 50 games with Carolina, but like Hernandez, he's already been promoted to Double-A Biloxi and won't be able to play in the All-Star Game.

Some of the top performers from the first half of the Carolina League season were honored with All-Star spots as well. Frederick outfielder Ryan McKenna will likely play a prominent role on the Northern Division side -- he leads the circuit with a .367 average, .455 OBP, .979 OPS and 120 total bases through 58 games. Left-hander Cameron Roegner has a good chance to start in front of his local Mudcats fans -- he leads the Carolina League with a 1.64 ERA while posting a 1.07 WHIP and striking out 51 in 71 1/3 innings with Carolina.

The complete Northern Division and Southern Division rosters can be found at those links. Rosters will be updated there as additions are made due to promotion or injury. 

Video: Roegner gets his seventh K for Carolina

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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