On Tuesday, June 6, the South Atlantic League announced All-Stars for both the Northern and Southern Divisions. Three representatives from the West Virginia Power were honored as members of the league's best: Ty Moore, Trae Arbet, and Cam Vieaux. Later, Power reliever Jordan Jess was added to the Northern division roster.
Moore and Arbet were named starters to the Northern team, following a 2016 roster that had four Power starters: infielders Daniel Arribas and Ke'Bryan Hayes, outfielder Tito Polo, and starting pitcher Mitch Keller.
In the thirteen years of the Power franchise, 45 representatives have been chosen, including many mid-season All-Stars who have gone on to excel in Major League Baseball:
2005 - Alcides Escobar
2006 - Lorenzo Cain
2008 - Jonathan Lucroy
2009 - Chase d'Arnaud
2011 - Jameson Taillon
2012 - Gregory Polanco
2013 - Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow
"It's a big honor. I'm very happy to be chosen for the All-Star game," starting left fielder Moore said. In 2015, Moore was an All-Star with the West Virginia Black Bears, representing the best of the New York-Penn League. Out of the three initial Power representatives, only Moore has been recognized as an All-Star through his entire baseball career.
Moore didn't make the Power roster out of Spring Training. He joined the club in the second week of April as Albert Baur went on the disabled list with a wrist injury. With a lot to prove, Moore came out sprinting with multi-hit games in seven of his first ten contests. The outfielder batted .377 in 18 April contests and cemented himself into the two-spot of the Power order, starting in left field nearly every night.
Arbet was named to the Northern Division roster after becoming West Virginia's every day second baseman. The 22 year-old played just two games in 2016 before suffering a shoulder injury and receiving surgery. The right-handed swinger led the team in home runs for the majority of the first half, smacking five longballs in April.
Vieaux, like Arbet, had never been named an All-Star throughout his entire baseball career. It wasn't a goal he had set this season by any means, but the reward reveals a deeper look into his hard work heading into 2017.
"I knew I was one of the older guys coming in. I just wanted to show that I'm one of the more mature pitchers and I wanted to dominate this league," Vieaux expressed. The left-hander proved to be the ace of the Power rotation in the first half of the season. He came out of the gate strong with a 1.61 ERA in the month of April. Vieaux had a stretch of four games from April 15 to May 2 with each outing lasting six innings of one-run-or-less baseball.
Jess was added to the roster late, as a replacement for Ranger Suarez of the Lakewod BlueClaws. The left-hander in West Virginia's bullpen found success in the first half of the season with a 2.19 ERA in 19 appearances out of the pen. The south paw is in just his second professional season.
"I think it is great when guys get honored for their individual achievements while still playing hard for their team," stated Power Manager Wyatt Toregas. "You try to play well for your team all year long and when you get recognized on a bigger stage, it's a good thing."
"Ty has had a really good season, Toregas continued, "He joined us a little late, but really turned our emotional level up and has earned it. Cam has pitched extremely well and was leading the league in ERA for a while. He has been our most consistent guy and I think it is safe to say that, at one point in the half, he was the best pitcher in the league. Trae is another guy that I'm really happy for. He had the injury last year and really didn't even get to play. For him to come back, hit some homers, improve his defense and earn this honor is huge. I'm proud of these guys. It is a lot of hard work paying off and they are separating themselves from the rest of the league."
All four representatives join the exclusive list of Power players to be named to the SAL All-Star team. West Virginia hosted the 2009 All-Star Game with Power outfielder Calvin Anderson driving in the winning run for the Northern Division. Prior to the game, Anderson had won the Home Run Derby with 13 big flies.
No matter the outcome, the Mid-Summer classic in the South Atlantic always features premiere talent, with many of the participants going on to the biggest stage of Major League Baseball later on in their careers. The names Moore, Arbet, Vieaux, and Jess are forever etched into the West Virginia Power history books.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.