Jackson, Tenn. - The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced the roster for the North Division in the 2016 All-Star Game Tuesday, and seven Generals were selected as Mid-Season All-Stars. Outfielders Tyler O'Neill and Guillermo Heredia are joined by pitchers Brett Ash, Emilio Pagan, Dylan Unsworth, Ryan Yarbrough and Edwin Diaz. The Generals have more All-Stars than any other team in the division, and the seven selections are the most for the club since 2012.
The 2016 All-Star Game will take place June 21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi, home of the Mississippi Braves. All-Star rosters were voted on by Southern League field managers, general managers, radio broadcasters and print media. An entire roster, which is subject to change, is attached.
Right-handed pitcher Edwin Diaz will not be able to participate in the festivities, as was promoted to Seattle on Saturday. Diaz made his Major League debut Monday night, striking out one in a perfect inning while hitting 101 mph on the radar gun.
After moving to the bullpen in early May, Diaz dominated on the mound. In 10 outings, he did not surrender an earned run over 11.2 innings while striking out 16 and walking just two batters. Opponents hit .077 in 39 at-bats against him.
Outfielder Tyler O'Neill can add an All-Star nod to his already impressive list of honors in 2016, which include both a Southern League Player of the League and Player of the Month award. As of Tuesday, the slugger leads the league with 42 RBI, 68 hits and 118 total bases. He is tied for the league lead in extra-base hits, ranks second in average (.325), tied for third in home runs (10), third in slugging percentage (.565) and fourth in doubles (16).
Outfielder Guillermo Heredia has been more than impressive in his first season on American soil. The Cuban import has been prolific at reaching base, ranking fourth with a .399 on-base percentage. He has 28 walks compared to only 25 strikeouts in 47 games so far this season. Overall, he is hitting .291 with two home runs, two triples, seven doubles and 31 RBI.
The rest of Jackson's All-Stars are on the mound. Southpaw Ryan Yarbrough has been one of the Southern League's best starters in his first season at Double-A. He is tied for second with six victories and his 2.42 ERA ranks ninth among qualified pitchers in the circuit. The lefty has gone at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts. Yarbrough threw a seven-inning complete game shutout on May 30 and was named Pitcher of the Week at the end of May.
Jackson's other weekly award winner was named to the All-Star Team as well. Righty Dylan Unsworth took home Pitcher of the Week honors in early May after pitching a no-hitter into the seventh against the Jacksonville Suns. The South African is second in the Southern League with a 1.18 ERA and has walked only seven batters in 45.2 innings. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his eight starts this season, and he tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout May 15 against Mobile. Unsworth ranks among the league leaders in WHIP (1.05), walks per nine innings (1.38) and baserunners per nine innings (9.85).
Closer Emilio Pagan will pitch for the North Division as well. The right-handed reliever is third in the Southern League with eight saves in as many opportunities. In 15 outings, Pagan is 3-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 25.1 innings of work. His 12.43 strikeouts per nine innings are second among Southern League relievers this season.
Right-handed pitcher Brett Ash rounds out the seven-man crew of All-Stars for the Generals. Ash leads league with seven victories. The Topeka, Kansas native won seven-straight decisions before losing Monday night. He has walked just 12 batters in 62.1 innings of work.
The 2016 Southern League All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi. For information on the festivities or to purchase tickets, contact the Mississippi Braves at 1-888-BRAVES4 or go online to misssissippibraves.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.