ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- Third baseman Rigoberto Terrazas and outfielder Wagner Lagrange were named to the 2017 Appalachian League All-Star team, the league announced Friday morning, as the duo became the first Mets representatives to claim the postseason honor since Kevin Kaczmarski and Patrick Mazeika did so in the 2015 season.
"It feels great to see two of our guys representing our organization as Appalachian League all-stars. Those two kids are really special," K-Mets skipper Luis Rivera said following the announcement. "Terrazas has been impressive in what he has done this year after beginning the year as a back-up. Lagrange is a kid that everyone knows can hit. He has great tools and has a great work ethic. Both of these guys are seeing their hard work being paid off."
The duo has been at the forefront of the Kingsport Mets lineup for the duration of the season while both have ranked in the top-five of numerous offensive categories throughout the season. Hitting in the top-third of the order for Manager Luis Rivera and Hitting Coach Ender Chavez, both Terrazas and Lagrange have set the tone for a club that has ranked in the top-three for highest batting average in the league all season long.
With only seven games remaining in the 2017 season, the Mets are on the outside looking in to a playoff spot in the Appalachian League West, as the club sits 5.5 games behind the Johnson City Cardinals for the second-slot in the division. Still, with the solid play both at the plate and defensively for both of Kingsport's all-stars, the Mets are playing meaningful games during the final stretch of the campaign.
Terrazas was selected as the Appalachian League's representative at third base after a season in which the 21-year-old mashed .348/.413/.486 at the plate through 54 games of the voting process. At the time of the selection, the San Luis Rio Colorado Sonora, Mexico native was tied for the lead in the league with 73 hits, was second in average with .348 clip and runs scored (48), was fourth with 102 total bases and a 4.13 on-base percentage with 210 at-bats.
The Kingsport Mets all-star was a one-time recipient of the Appalachian League Offensive Player of the Week award as Terrazas tallied a .500 batting average with a home run and six RBIs during week five of the season. On the year, the switch-hitter tallied 50 starts at third base, four at first base, and one start at the keystone while yielding only 10 errors on the year through 59 put-outs with 105 assists, defensively.
So far on the season through 54 games played, Terrazas has hit .348 at the plate with three home runs and 24 RBIs, with 16 doubles, two triples and 45 runs scored. The third baseman had a four-hit day at home against the Johnson City Cardinals on July 15 where the slugger totaled nine bases in the game with a double, two triples and two runs driven in.
Overall, Terrazas has tallied 19 multi-hit games with seven more three-hit days.
"After Opening Day, our third base position was open and Terrazas came in and really took advantage of the opportunity. He worked hard and it showed on the field to where he became an everyday player," Rivera said. "Because of him taking advantage of the opportunity he has really opened a lot of eyes."
Kingsport's second all-star for the 2017 campaign is Lagrange, who sat as the league's third-best hitter in terms of average with a .343 clip at the time of voting. The outfielder, who missed a string of games from July 24-August 7 with a hamstring injury, still posted overall high numbers on the year with three home runs and 38 RBIs at the time of his selection.
The 5-11, 190-pound corner outfielder was fifth in the Appalachian League with 40 RBIs as recently as August 25 and led the league in the category at two spots during the season, and is currently second in Kingsport behind fellow outfielder Anthony Dirocie. With 62 hits on the season, Lagrange ranks second in the category on Kingsport's club, behind Terrazas, and is currently third on the club with 85 total bases.
Also 21 years of age, Lagrange produced a four-hit day on three separate occasions this season, July 10 against Greeneville and July 20 at Bluefield, with the latter seeing the outfielder drive in five runs during the win. Two more three-hit contests on the year total 16 multi-hit days on the year through 43 games played for Lagrange at the time of the all-star voting.
Defensively, the right-handed slugger has surrendered only two errors while manning both left and right field for the K-Mets this season with 71 put-outs and seven outfield assists.
"Lagrange has been a guy that I have hit third, fourth and fifth in our lineup this season because he can drive in a lot of runs. Both him and Terrazas are key to our lineup-really the core to our lineup," Rivera said. "They both do well in tough situations throughout ballgames by not letting the pressure of a single at-bat get to them. They are good hitters with a lot of confidence."
Because of the efforts from both of Kingsport's 2017 Appalachian League All-Star selections, Kingsport has already produced the same amount of wins the club accumulated a season ago during 2016 and still have seven more games to add to the total. The Mets led the Appalachian League on multiple occasions this season with the highest batting average while the club still leads the 10-team league with the fewest strikeouts (443) through August 24.
Stay dialed to both Terrazas and Lagrange as the Kingsport Mets season winds to a close with a spot in the 2017 Appalachian League playoffs on the line.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.