Woodbridge, VA---The Potomac Nationals are proud to announce that RHP Ryan Brinley, LF Alec Keller, CF Andrew Stevenson, and 3B Drew Ward have all been named to the 2016 Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star team. The quarter will represent the P-Nats in the 2016 California League vs. Carolina League All-Star Game at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore, CA on Tuesday, June 21st.
At 23-years-old, RHP Ryan Brinley is one of the younger pitchers on Potomac's roster. Despite that, the 27th round pick by Washington in the 2015 MLB Draft has been one of the best relief pitchers in the Carolina League in the first half.
Through Potomac's first 56 games of the season, Brinley has allowed just two runs and has a team best 0.81 ERA. He has the best ERA of any Carolina League pitcher who has thrown at least 20 innings in 2016. The righty also leads the Carolina League with nine saves.
A 17th round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, LF Alec Keller's All-Star campaign has been highlighted by one of the best single months of any player in the league. After a tough April in which he hit .234, Keller turned on the jets for May. In the second month of the season, Keller hit a team best .329 with a team high 22 RBIs.
Currently hitting .294 overall, the former Princeton University outfielder is among the top 10 in the Carolina League in batting average. Overall, Keller leads the P-Nats with 37 RBIs and has just 34 strikeouts in 50 games.
Drafted out of LSU in the 2nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft, CF Andrew Stevenson has been one of the best leadoff hitters in the Carolina League thus far. Stevenson currently sits third in the league in hitting (.312), is tied for the league lead in hits (69), is fifth in the league with 20 stolen bases, and is tied for third in the league with five triples.
In addition to his stellar bat in 2016, Stevenson has arguably been even better defensively. Drafted with an extremely high defensive ceiling out of LSU, Stevenson has made numerous incredible defensive plays this season and has committed just two errors in 52 games. Stevenson leads the Potomac outfield with four assists and has started 48 of Potomac's 56 games in centerfield.
The fourth member of The Red, White, & Blue to represent the Carolina League in the All-Star game is also the youngest. At just 21-years-old, 3B Drew Ward has made an enormous turnaround in his second straight season as the youngest player for the P-Nats. Ward, a 3rd round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, has been arguably the best overall hitter in the league thus far. The Potomac third baseman currently sits second in the league with a .313 batting average, second in the league with a .415 on-base percentage, and leads the league by 30 points with a .545 slugging percentage. Ward is also tied for third in home runs (9), and fifth in extra-base hits (23).
Like Stevenson, Ward has also been spectacular defensively and has arguably made a larger stride on that side of the diamond from 2015 to 2016 than he has with the bat. Ward has made just four errors this season in 37 starts at third base. This all after he made 29 errors in 95 games as a 20-year-old in 2015 with Potomac.
With four members of the Carolina League All-Star team, the P-Nats will send the second most players of any single team out to Lake Elsinore. The Lynchburg Hillcats lead the way with six All-Stars, while Potomac is the only other team with more than three All-Star players.
Wilmington manager Jamie Quirk will manage the Carolina League All-Stars. Myrtle Beach pitching coach Anderson Tavarez will assist Quirk, while Myrtle Beach trainer Toby Williams will complete the coaching trio. The 2016 California-Carolina League All-Star Game takes place on June 21st at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore, CA. For tickets or more information, visit stormbaseball.com.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Potomac Nationals 2016 season tickets, mini plans, and single game tickets are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2016 season and beyond are available. Corporate outing reservations for the 2016 season to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz may be placed now as the P-Nats offer discounted group ticket rates and all-inclusive picnics. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office at 703-590-2311 for more information!
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