Allard, Kopech headline Southern All-Stars

Cron, Walsh bring power bats to North squad; Soroka makes South

Birmingham's Michael Kopech (left) and Mississippi's Kolby Allard were among the top arms selected. (Barons, Ed Gardner/MiLB.com)

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | June 7, 2017 12:30 PM ET

Top Braves pitching prospects Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka join White Sox righty Michael Kopech among the top-ranked arms headed to Pensacola, Florida, later this month as the Southern League unveiled its 2017 All-Star rosters.

Kopech, Chicago's No. 3 prospect, is the biggest name on the North Division roster, which was released Tuesday. Both Allard -- the Braves' top arm -- and Soroka, Atlanta's No. 4 prospect and top-ranked right-hander, were added to the showcase when the South roster was revealed Wednesday.

The game is scheduled for June 20 at 6:35 p.m. ET at Pensacola's Blue Wahoos Stadium and will be steamed live on MiLB.TV.

The South's lineup is filled with top talent, including Brewers No. 9 prospect Mauricio Dubon at shortstop and Marlins No. 3 prospect Brian Anderson at third base. 

Mississippi dominates the South roster, though, with catcher Kade Scivicque, second baseman Travis Demeritte, outfielders Ronald Acuna and Joey Meneses and desginated hitter Luis Valenzuela all joining Allard and Soroka for the game. Acuna is Atlanta's top-ranked outfielder and Demeritte is the organization's No. 9 prospect and top second baseman.

Allard, just 19, is 4-3 with a 2.87 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings this season. The left-hander was one of the Braves' first-round picks in 2015.


2017 Southern League All-Star rosters: North Division | South Division


Soroka, also a 19-year-old selected in the first round two years ago, is 7-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 11 starts. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has struck out 60 and walked 15 in 62 2/3 innings.

All-Stars for the North include Jackson first baseman Kevin Cron and second baseman Colin Walsh; Tennessee third baseman Jason Vosler and outfielder Charcer Burks; Chattanooga shortstop Nick Gordon and outfielders LaMonte Wade and Edgar Corcino; and Montgomery outfielders Cade Gotta and Braxton Lee. The league selected two catchers, Montgomery's Justin O'Conner and Tennessee's Ian Rice.

Gotta leads the Southern League with a .340 average to go along with five homers and 25 RBIs in 37 games. The 2016 end-of-season Southern All-Star has also seen 44 at-bats at Triple-A Durham this year. He was a Florida State League All-Star last summer with Class A Advanced Charlotte and was later voted "best hustler" by Montgomery.

Lee ranks second in the league with a .320 average for the Biscuits. The 23-year-old Mississippi product has two homers and 15 RBIs in 52 games.

Cron tops the circuit with a dozen home runs, while Walsh ranks second with 11. Vosler is tied for the league lead in RBIs with 38.


Southern League All-Star Game tickets, info


The rosters were chosen by a vote of managers, radio broadcasters, reporters and general managers. Montgomery's Diego Castillo was selected for the North but will be unable to participate.

Members of the Arizona Diamondbacks' instructional team will coach the North Division All-Stars, while Pat Kelly and his Blue Wahoos staff will lead the South. Jackson's J.R. House would have been the North manager but the league said he will be "unavailable" for the game. Instead, D-backs Minor League field coordinator and Colombia's World Baseball Classic skipper Luis Urueta will fill the role.

The Southern League said it will announce starting pitchers and lineups on June 8-9.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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