Eight Miracle players to play in hometown All-Star Game

Gonsalves leads talented All-Star group for special weekend in Fort Myers

By Fort Myers Miracle | June 4, 2016 2:10 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 4, 2016) - The Fort Myers Miracle will have eight representatives at the 55th Florida State League All-Star Game held at the CenturyLink Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium on Saturday, June 18. Pitchers Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Jay, Felix Jorge, Raul Fernandez and Todd Van Steensel along with first baseman Trey Vavra, shortstop Nick Gordon and outfielder Edgar Corcino will represent the Miracle and Minnesota Twins for the FSL South Division as announced by League President Ken Carson. Pitcher Kohl Stewart was also selected, but will not play after being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga.

"I would like to congratulate our All-Stars for this season," said Miracle manager Jeff Smith. "These players have all worked very hard and this is a good reward."

For the first time since 2009, the best young talent in the Florida State League will be featured in the League's mid-summer classic at Hammond Stadium. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and the Interstate Batteries Home Run Derby begins at 5:15 p.m. The All-Star Game is set to start at 7:05 p.m. and will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display at the ballpark.
"It makes it extra special this year since we are hosting the game [at Hammond Stadium]," said Smith. "The fans of the Miracle and all baseball fans will get to see the stars of tomorrow at an unbelievable facility and enjoy a great event put on by our Miracle front office and staff."

Gonsalves, 21, has made nine starts and posted a 5-2 record with a 2.01 earned run average; fifth in the FSL. Gonsalves has accumulated 50 strikeouts in 53.2 innings with only 18 walks and 12 earned runs allowed. With a fifth-best WHIP in the league of 0.99, Gonsalves has held opponents to a .188 batting average against; second lowest among starters in the FSL. Stephen entered the 2016 season as the No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and rated as No. 9 by Baseball America in the Twins system.

Jay, 22, was Minnesota's first round draft choice and sixth overall in 2015 out of the University of Illinois. In his first professional season as a starting pitcher, Jay is 4-4 with a 2.44 earned run average. Over 52.1 innings, Jay has fanned 55 batters with only 14 walks. Tyler's strikeout ratio of 9.58 per nine innings is fifth in the FSL. Jay was rated by MLB Pipeline as the No. 4 prospect in the Twins organization and Baseball America had Tyler ranked as No. 5 entering 2016.
Jorge, 22, makes an All-Star team for a second season in a row after being named a Midwest League All-Star in 2015 while playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In nine starts for the Miracle, Jorge is 4-3 with a 1.83 earned run average which is third lowest in the FSL. Felix has 46 strikeouts and only nine walks in 59 innings and has tossed one complete game this season. Jorge was rated as the No. 26 prospect for the Twins by MLB Pipeline entering the year.

Van Steensel, 25, earns his second FSL All-Star Game selection in as many years. In 2016, Van Steensel has appeared in 18 games out of the Miracle bullpen with three saves in four opportunities. Todd has amassed 23 strikeouts in 26.1 innings and held opponents to a .255 batting average. The native of Blacktown, Australia allowed just one run in the month of April and recorded two saves.

Fernandez, 25, is in his first season in the Twins organization after spending 2015 with the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate, Birmingham. In 16 games out of the bullpen this year, Fernandez has a 1-1 mark with a 2.42 earned run average. Raul has collected 18 strikeouts and walked only eight in 26 innings.

Vavra, 24, Gordon, 20, and Corcino, 23, are the three position players to make the All-Star Game for the Miracle. A first baseman with experience in the outfield this season, Vavra is currently tied for the team lead in home runs with five and third on the team in RBI at 19. Trey has a .226 average over 50 games with seven doubles and four stolen bases.
Gordon got off to an excellent start as one of the youngest players in the FSL. In the month of April, Nick hit .333 and knocked in nine runs. Gordon has 14 extra-base hits, including two home runs, and has driven in 17 runs this season. Nick was ranked as the No. 4 Twins prospect by Baseball America and came in at No. 5 on MLB Pipeline's list.

Corcino is a switch-hitter that was originally a 2009 draft pick by the Detroit Tigers out of Puerto Rico. Edgar's last season with the Detroit organization was 2012 and he played Independent level baseball in the Frontier League before the Twins signed him as a free agent prior to the 2015 season. In his first year with the Miracle, Corcino has a .275 batting average after 46 games with 15 extra-base hits including four homers. Edgar is tied for the team lead in RBI with 20 and has posted a .346 on-base percentage. After a slow start to the season, Corcino hit .321 in 28 games in May with 19 runs batted in.

Stewart, 21, was promoted to Chattanooga on May 31 after making nine starts for the Miracle in 2016. Kohl went 3-2 with a 2.61 earned run average over 51.2 innings with 44 strikeouts and 19 walks. The FSL hit just .207 against Stewart, the fifth lowest batting average against in the league. In parts of two seasons with the Miracle, Stewart made 31 starts and posted a 3.03 earned run average with a 10-10 record.

The All-Star Game will feature a roster of 25 for each of the North and South Divisions of the Florida State League. This year's North roster includes the New York Yankees No. 1 prospect Jorge Mateo and No. 15 prospect Miguel Andujar, the reigning FSL Home Run Derby champion. The Detroit Tigers No. 4 prospect and FSL home run leader Christin Stewart was selected to represent Lakeland as well as No. 19 prospect catcher Kade Scivicque from the Flying Tigers.

For the South Division, Charlotte Stone Crabs ace and the Tampa Bay Rays No. 2 prospect Brent Honeywell will bring his infamous screwball to Hammond Stadium. Honeywell is joined by his battery mate and No. 24 prospect for Tampa, catcher Nick Ciuffo. The South will also feature a top-rated shortstop with the New York Mets No. 2 prospect Amed Rosario patrolling the infield representing St. Lucie. Rosario's teammate and the Mets' No. 7 prospect Wuilmer Becerra was selected and will roam the outfield.

The South will be coached by the defending FSL champion staff from the Stone Crabs led by manager Michael Johns. Daytona, the 2015 FSL North champions, will provide the coaching staff with manager Eli Marrero filling out the lineup card for the North Division All-Stars.

For tickets to the FSL All-Star Game on Saturday, June 18, call the Miracle offices at (239) 768-4210 or visit www.miraclebaseball.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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