Moosic, Pa. - The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/ New York Yankees) were well represented when the International League announced the 2016 year-end All-Stars on Tuesday. Highlighting six honorees, outfielder Ben Gamel was voted International League Most Valuable Player and Al Pedrique was named Manager of the Year. The RailRiders had four selected to the All-Star team: catcher Gary Sanchez, second baseman Donovan Solano and outfielders Aaron Judge and Gamel.
Gamel's MVP selection is the third in the history of the SWB franchise. Shane Victorino was the Red Barons' only MVP, winning in 2005 and Shelley Duncan was awarded the honor with the SWB Yankees in 2009. The Neptune Beach, Fla. native has the circuit's sixth-best batting average (.309) and sits third in the IL with 148 hits. He leads the league with 78 runs scored, owns 26 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 51 RBI and leads the team with 19 stolen bases. Gamel was the International League Rookie of the Year in 2015.
In his first season as skipper of the RailRiders, Pedrique has guided his club to the best record in Triple-A at 84-52 and numerous franchise records have either been matched or eclipsed. Pedrique is the fourth different SWB manager to earn the IL's Manager of the Year honor. Lee Elia (1992), Marc Bombard (2002), John Russell (2006) and Dave Miley (2007, 2012) were the prior recipients.
The All-Star selection for Sanchez was his second of the season. He was named the starting catcher for the International League in the Midsummer Classic in Charlotte. Sanchez hit .282 in 71 games with the RailRiders, launching 21 doubles and 10 home runs while driving in 51. He stole seven bases in eight attempts. Sanchez has since become the first rookie to ever win consecutive American League Player of the Week honors with the New York Yankees.
Judge led the RailRiders with 19 home runs and 65 RBI before his promotion to New York on August 13. The 6'7" slugger had a breakout June in which he hit .343 with nine homers and drove in 25 to earn IL Player of the Month honors. His final at-bat with SWB was a home run at Frontier Field on August 12 at Rochester.
Solano boasts a .311 batting average over 125 games that ranks fifth in the IL. He leads the circuit with 151 hits. The Colombian has hit nearly .400 through 27 games played in August, going 39-for-100. During this span, he authored a nine-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in 12. His 63 RBI are second only to Judge.
The RailRiders' magic number to clinch a second-straight IL North Division championship is four. The team returns home this Labor Day Weekend for the final four games of the regular season. SWB hosts the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) on Friday, September 2. The night features a replica Friday night jersey giveaway to the first 2,500 fans, brought to you by PNC Bank. Graig Nettles will appear to wrap up the 2016 Legends Series, presented by Maines Food and Party Warehouse & Mohegan Sun Pocono. There will be a postgame fireworks show as well, thanks to Jack Williams Tire and Auto and Yokohama Tire. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
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