Rifaela, McKenzie earn top Carolina honors

Lynchburg's Mansolino voted league Manager of the Year

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | August 31, 2017 3:30 PM

Frederick outfielder Ademar Rifaela's big numbers totalled up to some nice hardware on Thursday.

The Orioles slugger was named Carolina League MVP and Lynchburg's Triston McKenzie was voted Pitcher of the Year as the Class A Advanced circuit revealed its end-of-season All-Stars and award-winners.

Rifaela, 22, is hitting .280 with 24 homers, 78 RBIs, 21 doubles and a .350 OBP in 121 games this season. The native of Curacao leads the league in homers and ranks second in RBIs.

McKenzie, who leads the circuit in wins, is 11-6 with a 3.57 ERA in 24 starts. The Indians right-hander has struck out 176 and walked 45 in 136 innings during a season that included an invite to the All-Star Futures Game and a pair of Pitcher of the Week awards. He was voted to the Carolina League's mid-season All-Star squad earlier this summer.

Lynchburg's duo of Tony Mansolino and Bobby Ruiz were selected as Manager and Trainer of the Year, respectively. The Hillcats, who had four players named to the All-Star squad, are in first place at 42-23 in the second half and have gone 82-52 overall this year.

2017 Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team
NAME POS TEAM MLB ORG
Taylor Gushue C Potomac WAS
Josh Ockimey 1B Salem BOS
Sam Haggerty 2B Lynchburg CLE
Ryan Mountcastle SS Frederick BAL
Lucas Erceg 3B Carolina MIL
Willi Castro UT INF Lynchburg CLE
Eloy Jimenez OF Winston-Salem CWS
Ademar Rifaela * OF Frederick BAL
Myles Straw OF Buies Creek HOU
Victor Robles UT OF Potomac WAS
Sicnarf Loopstok DH Lynchburg CLE
Triston McKenzie SP Lynchburg CLE
Nate Griep RP Carolina MIL
Tony Mansolino MGR Lynchburg CLE
Bobby Ruiz Trainer Lynchburg CLE
* Most Valuable Player
† Pitcher of the Year

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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