JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - On Friday morning, the Appalachian League announced that three Johnson City Cardinals - INF Luis Bandes , INF Irving Lopez and OF Chase Pinder - had been named to the circuit's postseason all-star team. The honors mark the third-straight season the Redbirds have had at least three players recognized on the squad.
In his second year in the Appalachian League, Bandes was voted to the all-star team as a designated hitter and a utility infielder. Through his first 44 games this season, the 21-year-old has accumulated an impressive .309 batting average (54-175) with 23 runs scored, 13 doubles, eight home runs and 43 RBI. Bandes was twice voted the league's player of the week for the time period of July 10-16 and July 31-August 6. He was the first Cardinal to win multiple weekly awards since INF Philip Cerreto in 2010.
Entering play on Friday, Bandes ranks second in the league in RBI (43), third in slugging percentage (.520) and ninth in batting average (.309). The right-handed swinger was signed by St. Louis as a non-drafted free agent out of Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela on July 2, 2012.
Lopez was honored by the circuit as the league's top second baseman. The 22-year-old has hit at an impressive .306 clip (48-157) with 35 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 26 RBI and five stolen bases over his first 44 contests of the season. On July 30 at Pulaski, Lopez set career-highs by banging two home runs and driving in five runs in a Johnson City victory.
So far this year, Lopez sits fifth in the Appy League in on-base percentage (.400). The Yuma, Ariz. resident was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Florida International University.
The third and final Johnson City stand out on the league's all-star team was Pinder who was chosen as an outfielder. In a team-leading 49 games, the 21-year-old has accumulated a strong .319 average (53-166) with 34 runs scored, nine doubles, a triple, three home runs, 21 RBI and five stolen bags. From July 13 to August 21, Pinder reached base in 32 consecutive games, marking the longest on-base streak by a Johnson City player since Minor League Baseball began tracking streaks prior to the 2009 campaign.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Poquoson, Va. native sits second in the Appy League in on-base percentage (.444), third in walks (31) and eighth in batting average (.319). Pinder was drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Clemson University.
Last season, Johnson City had four postseason all-star honorees in SS Allen Cordoba , 2B J.R. Davis , OF Matt Fiedler and C Andrew Knizner . In 2015, the Cardinals have three more players recognized in UT INF Eliezer Alvarez , OF Magneuris Sierra and SS Edmundo Sosa .
Season and single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at JCCardinals.com or by calling the Cardinals' Ticket Office at (423) 461-4866.
ABOUT THE JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
The Johnson City Cardinals are the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Members of the ten-team Appalachian League, Cardinals baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for 80 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.