Four Keys Named Carolina League All Stars

Quartet to Play for Northern Division Team

By Frederick Keys | June 11, 2018 2:20 PM

FREDERICK, MD-The Frederick Keys are excited to announce that four members of the team have been named Carolina League Midseason All Stars. Ryan McKenna , Preston Palmeiro , Alex Wells and Cristian Alvarado will play for the Northern Division team in the Carolina League All Star Classic on Tuesday, June 19. This year's game pitting the CL North against the CL South will take place in Zebulon, NC at Five County Stadium.


One of the top players in the Carolina League, McKenna, 21, earns his first professional all-star selection. Entering Monday, the Keys outfielder is slashing .367/.455/.524 to go with a .979 OPS. Across 58 games, McKenna has six home runs, 33 RBIs, one triple, 16 doubles to go with 84 hits and 50 runs scored. He currently ranks second in Minor League Baseball in hits (trailing Salt Lake's David Fletcher who has 88) and is tied for sixth in batting average. McKenna's .367 average also paces all of Advanced-A baseball.


The 21-year-old also leads the circuit in on-base percentage, OPS, runs scored and total bases and ranks second in slugging and is tied for second in doubles. Last week, McKenna was named the Orioles Minor League Player of the Month for May for May after hitting .397/.470/.586 to go with a 1.056 OPS. The .397 mark ranked fourth-best in the MiLB in May. In his first Carolina League season, McKenna was drafted by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of St. Thomas Aquinas (NH) High School.


Palmeiro, 23 garners his first midseason all-star selection along with McKenna and Alvarado. In 58 games, the Keys second baseman is batting .288/.352/.478 to go with nine home runs, 36 RBIs, two triples, 12 doubles, 31 runs scored and 65 hits. He is currently tied for fourth in the CL in home runs and ranks fifth in hits and total bases (108). Palmeiro paces the Keys in home runs and RBIs.


In his first professional season at second base, the Keys infielder owns the third-longest hitting streak in the Carolina League this year. Running 16 games (May 7-24), Palmeiro hit .323 during this run to go with three home runs and 13 RBIs. He was drafted by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 2016 Draft out of NC State.


The second season Alvarado, 23, has played with the Keys, the right-hander is 5-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 11 starts. Working 65 innings, the Venezuela native has allowed 34 runs (30 earned) on 71 hits. He has walked 14 and struck out 48 while opponents are batting .276 against him.


Alvarado is currently tied for fourth in the Carolina League in innings pitched. Additionally, he paces Frederick in quality starts (six). Half of those came in May, where Alvarado went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA and held opponents to a .235 average. He was signed by the Orioles as a free agent in August 2011.


The third straight year Wells, 21, has been named an all-star, the Australian was also a midseason all-star with Low-A Delmarva (2017) and Short-Season Aberdeen (2016). In 11 starts with Frederick this year, the southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.99 ERA. Over 58.2 innings, Wells has allowed 28 runs (26 earned) on 67 hits to go with 17 walks and 41 strikeouts.


Named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, Wells walked only 10 batters in 140 innings last season and finished with the lowest WHIP (0.91) among full season minor league pitchers. Wells was signed by the Orioles as a free agent in August 2015.


The CL North team will be managed by the Lynchburg Hillcats coaching staff. The Carolina League All-Star Classic will take place on Tuesday, June 19 with first pitch slated for 7:30 p.m from Five County Stadium.     


On Monday night, the Keys return to Nymeo Field on Monday night begins a 10-game homestand, starting with five against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Left-hander Alex Wells (3-4, 3.99) starts for Frederick and will be opposed by Hillcats southpaw Sam Hentges (3-5, 3.95). First pitch is at 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on and the TuneIn app.


Homestand highlights include two shows of the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, Father's Day and a pair of fireworks shows. For tickets fans can call the Keys at 301-815-9939 or visit  

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

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