The 2017 International League All-Star Team was officially announced on Thursday, and the IronPigs had a franchise-record five representatives selected: C Jorge Alfaro , RP Pedro Beato , OF Dylan Cozens , SP Tom Eshelman and 1B Rhys Hoskins. The 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game to be played on July 12 at Cheney
The 2017 International League All-Star Team was officially announced on Thursday, and the IronPigs had a franchise-record five representatives selected: C Jorge Alfaro , RP Pedro Beato , OF Dylan Cozens , SP Tom Eshelman and 1B Rhys Hoskins. The 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game to be played on July 12 at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash.
With five representatives, Lehigh Valley has more players selected to midsummer classic than any of the 14 affiliates that comprise the IL All-Star team and the 16 clubs that make up the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.
The 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game will be nationally televised on the MLB Network, beginning at 9 p.m. EST.
Hoskins, 24, entered the season ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the Phillies system according to Baseball America, and has proven to be one of the best hitters in the IL. The Sacramento, Calif., native leads the league in RBI (62) and slugging percentage (.601), while ranking tied for first in home runs (18), second in runs (56) and on-base percentage (.401), fifth hits (83) and sixth in batting average (.304). Hoskins has now been selected to three-consecutive midseason All-Star teams, as he was named to the 2015 South Atlantic League midseason team with Lakewood (A) and the 2016 Eastern League midseason All-Star with Reading (AA). Hoskins was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of the Sacramento State University.
Eshelman, 23, has emerged as the ace of the IronPigs staff since his promotion from Double-A Reading on May 8. He began his Triple-A career tossing 14.0 scoreless innings, the longest by an IronPigs starter to begin his Triple-A career. The right-hander ended his first month of Triple-A ball in style, tossing a nine-inning shutout on May 31 against the Indianapolis Indians. Eshelman was named International League Player of the Month for May, going 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in five starts, with two complete games. He currently leads the IL in ERA (2.15) and WHIP (0.94) while ranking tied for third in Minor League Baseball in wins (9). The Carlsbad, Calif., native has now earned back-to-back All-Star appearances, after being named a 2016 Florida State League midseason All-Star with Clearwater (A+). The Phillies acquired Eshelman in December of 2015 as part of the trade that sent Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz to the Houston Astros for Mark Appel, Vince Velasquez and Brett Oberholtzer. He was originally selected in the second round out of Cal State Fullerton.
Beato, 30, leads and all of Minor League Baseball with 22 saves -- which have been recorded over a team-high 32 appearances. The 22 saves ties him for third place with Luis García in Lehigh Valley's single-season ranks, behind just Scott Mathieson (26 in 2010) and Edward Mujica (23 in 2016). The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native has converted 92% (22-of-24) of his save opportunities this season -- including 16 consecutive from May 4 through June 16 -- and had a 14-2/3 scoreless innings streak from April 27 through May 26. This marks Beato's second career midseason All-Star nod, as he was named a 2011 Eastern League All-Star with Richmond (AA).
Cozens, 23, is tied with IronPigs teammate Rhys Hoskins for the most home runs (18) in the IL. Last season, the Scottsdale, Ariz., native set Reading's single-season home run record with 40, beating out Hoskins (38) for also the most round-trippers in Minor League Baseball in 2016. In home games this season, Cozens is batting .312-13-32 (44-141) and has hit safely in 22 of his last 33 games. Cozens was named IL Batter of the Week for May 8-14 after batting .393-4-8 (11-28; 2B,8 R, 1.290 OPS). This marks the second-consecutive All-Star nod for Cozens, as the left-handed slugger was named a 2016 Eastern League midseason All-Star with Reading (AA).
Alfaro, 24, entered the season as the No. 3 prospect in the Phillies organization by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, as well as rated the No. 41 overall prospect and third-best catching prospect in all of baseball. Alfaro's arm, and bat have done the talking thus far in the 2017 campaign, as the Sinceljo, Columbia, native has thrown out 32.4% (12-37) of potential base stealers and is batting .256 -- tops among IL catchers. This marks Alfaro's third time as an All-Star, having been named a 2016 Eastern League All-Star with Reading (AA) and a 2014 Carolina League midseason All-Star with Myrtle Beach (A+).
Following last year's 4-2 victory in the Triple-A All-Star Game, the IL owns an 12-7 advantage in the 19 years since the event changed to the current IL vs. PCL format. The winning League this season will once again earn the right to have its champion play as the "home team" at the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game which will take place Tuesday, September 19 ,in Moosic, Pa.
Single-game tickets, mini-plan packages and group tickets for all IronPigs home games are on sale now and can be purchased at the Coca-Cola Park Ticket Office, online at www.ironpigsbaseball.com/tickets or by calling (610) 841-PIGS (7447).
The 2017 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.