Top player, pitcher, manager hail from first-place Elizabethton
August 22, 2014
The rookie-level Appalachian League named its 2014 All-Star Team on Friday, with the first-place Elizabethton Twins claiming the circuit's Player, Pitcher and Manager of the Year awards.
Despite playing in just 35 Appy League games before his promotion to full-season Cedar Rapids, outfielder Max Murphy was named Player of the Year. A ninth-round pick by the Twins out of Bradley University in June, Murphy hit .378/.483/.723 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs for the E-Twins. Though his last Appy League game came on July 27, Murphy is still tied for the circuit's home run lead. The 21-year-old Minnesota native no longer qualifies for the batting crown -- fellow All-Star Carlton Tanabe of Pulaski is currently in the lead with a .326 mark.
Elizabethton teammate Felix Jorge, also the league's top right-hander, was named Pitcher of the Year. Jorge, a 20-year-old Dominican native, is 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA that ranks second in the league. He's fanned 50, walked 13 and allowed one home run in 56 1/3 innings over 10 starts.
Joining them is Elizabethton stalwart Ray Smith, who was named Manager of the Year for a seventh time. Smith is in his 21st season as E-Twins manager -- the first was in 1987 -- and his teams have won seven Appalachian League titles. The last time a Twins club under Smith's guidance posted a losing record was in 1988.
Twins first-round pick (fifth overall) Nick Gordon was also named to the All-Star squad as utility infielder. Pulaski led the way with four players chosen, including Tanabe, outfielders Arby Fields and Estarlyn Morales and reliever Trey Cochran-Gill. Greeneville, Burlington and Princeton were shut out, despite the P-Rays currently owning the best record in the league at 33-25.