The Pacific Coast League Thursday afternoon revealed its 2016 All-Star team for the 29th annual Sonic Automotive Triple-A All-Star Game, presented by Gildan, held at the Charlotte Knights' BB&T Ballpark Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. EST. The club is headlined by three Baseball America top-100 prospects - Colorado Springs' Orlando Arcia, Reno's Braden Shipley and El Paso's Hunter Renfroe. The 30-man roster features 18 players under 26-years-old, with 21 players having yet to make their major league debut.
Las Vegas 51s skipper Wally Backman will manage the PCL All-Star club, which is comprised of players from each of the 16 PCL clubs. 13 players were elected to the team by balloting of the club's field managers and general managers, members of the media, and online fan voting, while 17 were selected by the Pacific Coast League office.
The 51s have a PCL-best three elected players, with third baseman T.J. Rivera, designated hitter Travis Taijeron and pitcher Gabriel Ynoa. Rivera's .361 average through 61 games is the second-best in the PCL, while Taijeron's 30 doubles pace the league. Ynoa's nine wins and 100.1 innings lead the PCL. Minor League Baseball's top offense, the El Paso Chihuahuas, have two starters, outfielder Renfroe and second baseman Carlos Asuaje. Renfroe has a league-best 18 homers, 104 hits and 47 extra-base hits; his teammate Asuaje is second in the PCL in hits (95) and third in runs scored (57). Colorado Springs' shortstop Arcia and catcher Manny Pina get the starting nod at their respective positions. Arcia has a club-best 117 total bases, while Pina has compiled a .354 batting average in 44 games. Reno's Kyle Jensen, who tops the league in RBI (71), and Tacoma's Stefen Romero, who sports a PCL fifth-best .570 slugging percentage, round out the outfield. Iowa's Dan Vogelbach is the starter at first base. The Florida native has the league's fifth-best on-base percentage (.422), while his 15 homers is tied for third-most.
Fresno's Brady Rodgers will be the franchise's first-ever starting pitcher for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game. The Arizona State product's breakthrough season has been headlined by a 9.0-inning, four-hit shutout, where he threw 70 of his 86 pitches for strikes. He currently ranks first in the league in WHIP (1.03), second in ERA (2.83) and fourth in strikeouts (80). The two elected relief pitchers are Rodgers' teammate James Hoyt, who has a Triple-A-best 19 saves, and Blake Parker, who has converted all 14 of his save chances.
The selected players are highlighted by two Nashville Sounds, owners of a PCL-best 47-33 record - infielder Chad Pinder and relief pitcher Patrick Schuster. Round Rock and Reno will also send multiple selected players to Charlotte. Catcher Brett Nicholas and pitcher Michael Roth will represent the Express, while catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and pitcher Shipley will go for the Aces. Casey McElroy from El Paso, Rob Segedin from Oklahoma City and Kaleb Cowart from Salt Lake fill out the infield. Outfielders Jordan Patterson of Albuquerque, Destin Hood of New Orleans and Gorkys Hernandez of Sacramento will head to Charlotte as the representatives of their respective teams. The additional pitchers include: Colorado Springs' Damien Magnifico, Fresno's Mike Hauschild, Iowa's Armando Rivero, Memphis' Sam Tuivailala and Omaha's Brooks Pounders.
The International League has won three straight meetings and 10 of the last 12, including last season's 4-3 victory in Omaha. The IL holds a 11-7 record against the PCL in the 18 years since the event changed to the current IL vs. PCL format. The winner will again earn the right to have its champion play as the "home team" at the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game, taking place Tuesday, September 20, at Memphis' AutoZone Park.
The 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game will be broadcast live on the MLB Network, the American Forces Network, MiLB.TV, the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network and the MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM Channel 89.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.