The Pacific Coast League has unveiled its 2014 All-Star team, comprised of players from each of the 16 PCL clubs. The PCL All-Stars will take on the International League in the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game, set for Wednesday, July 16th at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. The 27th annual matchup will be broadcast live on MLB Network, the American Forces Network, and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Fresno Grizzlies manager Bob Mariano will lead the PCL All-Star club, which features 30 of the top players from around the league. Thirteen players were elected to the team by the balloting of the club's field managers and general managers, members of the media, and online fan voting, while 17 were selected by the Pacific Coast League office.
The defending Triple-A National Champion Omaha Storm Chasers had three players elected including Francisco Pena, who leads all PCL catchers with 14 home runs, and starting outfielder Paulo Orlando, who becomes the first Brazilian-born player to play in a Triple-A All-Star Game. The third representative from Omaha is Spencer Patton, who joins the Iowa Cubs' Blake Parker as the two elected relief pitchers. Parker owns a PCL-best 18 saves, while Patton has closed out 14 games this season. The rest of the outfield includes Los Angeles Dodgers' No. 1 prospect Joc Pederson, representing the Albuquerque Isotopes, and PCL hits leader (106) Shane Peterson from the Sacramento River Cats.
The left side of the starting infield belongs to Tacoma's shortstop Chris Taylor and third baseman Gabriel Noriega. The two Rainiers rank in the top six for batting average in the PCL with Noriega sporting a .328 clip followed by Taylor at .322. Iowa's Arismendy Alcantara was elected the starting second baseman, while Mike Jacobs from the Reno Aces will man first base. Alcantara's 60 runs scored are the most in the PCL and Jacobs' 61 RBIs place him third in the league.
Jimmy Nelson, who has a PCL-high ten wins and 110 strikeouts with the Nashville Sounds, earns the nod as the starting pitcher in Durham, while New Orleans Zephyrs all-time strikeout leader Elih Villanueva (285) was elected as the second starting pitcher. Allan Dykstra will hold the designated hitter spot for the All-Star squad. In his first Triple-A season, Dykstra has belted 12 home runs and produced 56 RBIs for the Las Vegas 51s.
The selected reserve players include starting pitcher Nick Tropeano, shortstop Gregorio Petit, and catcher Max Stassi, all representing the Oklahoma City RedHawks, catcher Andrew Susac and reliever Heath Hembree from the Fresno Grizzlies, infielder Nick Franklin and relief pitcher Logan Kensing of Tacoma, and Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada who are both pitchers in Iowa's starting rotation. Also earning All-Star selections are relief pitchers Derek Eitel of Reno, and Donovan Hand of Nashville, infielders Ben Paulsen of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, and Jonathan Galvez who is the El Paso Chihuahuas' inaugural All-Star. Outfielders Brennan Boesch of the Salt Lake Bees, Jared Hoying of the Round Rock Express, and Stephen Piscotty from the Memphis Redbirds round out the PCL All-Star team.
At the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno, the International League outlasted the PCL to win 4-3. The IL holds a 9-7 record against the PCL in the sixteen years since the event changed to the current IL vs. PCL format. The winning League will once again earn the right to have its champion play as the "home team" at the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game.
Tickets for the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16, the Triple-A Home Run Derby on July 14, and all regular season Durham Bulls home games are available HERE at durhambulls.com, by phone at 919.956.BULL, or at the DBAP box office.
PLAYERS ELECTED TO PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM
PLAYERS SLECTED TO PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM