PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (June 8, 2015) - The Charlotte Stone Crabs, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to announce that six players have been selected to represent the South Division All-Star Team on Saturday, June 20 at Tradition Field. With three pitchers and position players voted in, Charlotte finished second to Jupiter (eight selections) amongst South Division teams. Amongst the selections in 2015 is FSL wins and ERA leader Jacob Faria (10-1, 1.47 ERA), shortstop Willy Adames (Baseball America's #3 prospect in the Rays organization), and closer Brad Schreiber (league-leading 15 saves and 18 games finished).
Faria has exploded onto the scene following a Midwest League All-Star selection in Bowling Green last season. The 21-year old righthander is the only pitcher in all of baseball with 10 wins, while his earned run average has never been higher than 2.03. Currently second to Clearwater All-Star Brandon Leibrandt with 67.1 IP, Faria's also third in the Florida State League with 60 strikeouts, and fourth with an opponents batting average of just .195. He has a chance to break Jeremy Hall's single-season wins record of 14 games set back in the Stone Crabs first season in 2009. Faria, a 2011 10th round pick out of Gahr HS in Cerritos, California, has allowed two runs or less in eight of his first nine starts.
Since coming over from the Pirates organization in the Sean Rodriguez trade this past offseason, RHP Buddy Borden has already made quite an impression with the Rays. On May 13, the 23-year old righthander made history at Bright House Field in Clearwater when he threw the Stone Crabs second no-hitter in a 5-0 shutout in game one of a doubleheader. For his efforts, the Las Vegas native was named the FSL Pitcher of the Week on May 18. He's already tied for third in the league with six wins after finishing 7-9 in 26 starts last season with the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League.
With the best staff ERA in all of baseball, pitching coach Steve "Doc" Watson has received endless contributions from his starting rotation and bullpen. Perhaps nobody has been more important than Schreiber, who's converted each of his 15 saves while tying for the league lead with 21 appearances. Using a tough cutter and a sharp curveball, the pride of Menasha, Wisconsin has helped the Stone Crabs go 12-6 in one-run games. He's only allowed two runs in an appearance one time, and has become Mr. Reliable despite converting just one of five saves in Bowling Green last season. Schreiber was originally a 40th round pick in 2012 by the Minnesota Twins, coming out of Purdue University.
On the offensive side, Adames has batted third whenever he's been in the lineup despite being just 19 years old. With one of the most infectious personalities in the clubhouse and an extensive collection of cleats, Adames has made good in his first full season with the Rays organization. Considered by some to be the centerpiece of the trade deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers last season, Adames has flourished under manager Michael Johns. He's currently seventh in the Florida State League with a .299 batting average after increasing it from .264 in April to .354 in May. On May 18, the Santiago, Dominican Republic native was named the FSL Player of the Week.
Batting behind Adames all season, first baseman Jake Bauers has showed tremendous poise in his first year with the Rays organization at just 19 years old. Showing a sharp baseball acumen and in incredible eye at the plate, the lefty slugger leads the Stone Crabs with five home runs and 30 runs batted in. His impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 30:25 has lifted his on-base percentage to .372 (fifth in the FSL) and slugging percentage to .456 (third). From April 10-May 8, the kid from Huntington Beach, California reached base safely in 25 straight games, the second-longest streak in the league this season. He was part of the December 2014 trade that shipped Wil Myers to San Diego after the Padres selected him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft out of Marina High School.
Finally, a feel good story with the selection of Marty Gantt, back for his second tour with the Stone Crabs in 2015. Although he's never been a highly touted prospect, the South Carolinian is enjoying the best season of his professional career since the Rays took him in the seventh round in 2012 out of the College of Charleston. In 32 games this season, Gantt is batting a career-best .306 with 11 extra-base hits and an .OPS of .855. It is the first personal accolade of any kind for Gantt at the professional level, who won a 2012 New York-Penn League Championship under former Stone Crabs manager Jared Sandberg with the Hudson Valley Renegades.
The 54th annual Florida State League All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, June 20 at 7:00 PM at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, home of the St. Lucie Mets. Visit the Florida State League website at www.floridastateleague.com to learn more info on how to purchase tickets for the game. Mets radio announcer Adam MacDonald will handle all of the play-by-play for the midsummer showcase.