Fort Wayne TinCaps closer Matt Stites and Manager Jose Valentin were honored today by Baseball America, which released its All-Star teams for each minor league classification. Stites was selected as the Low-A All-Star relief pitcher, and Valentin was named the Low-A Manager of the Year. The list is compiled from all rosters in both the Midwest League and South Atlantic League.
Stites, 22, is in his second professional season after being selected in the 17th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Missouri. He finished the regular season with 13 saves and a 0.74 ERA. During the TinCaps' current postseason run, he has converted three saves in as many opportunities.
"We looked beyond the saves total in selecting Stites as our low Class A reliever of the year," said Matt Eddy, Associate Editor at Baseball America. "His 60-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 0.58 WHIP speak volumes about his proficiency in close games."
Valentin, who enjoyed a 16-year Major League career, is in his first season as a manager. This year's TinCaps team saw Yeison Asencio win the first batting title in the 20-year history of the franchise, and reached the Midwest League championship series for the second time in franchise history.
"We honored Valentin as the low Class A manager of the year because he guided the TinCaps to the playoffs and ultimately the Midwest League finals with one of the youngest pitching staffs in the league. But, more importantly, from our perspective he did so with a team chock full of prospects, such as Austin Hedges, Jace Peterson and Joe Ross," Eddy added.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.