WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Sept. 13, 2018) - Dash designated hitter Micker Adolfo , catcher Yermin Mercedes and outfielder Blake Rutherford earned Carolina League Year-End All-Star selections, the league office announced Thursday. Winston-Salem was the only club in the 10-team circuit to boast three hitters on the year-end list.
The CL's Player of the Month for April and the circuit's first Player of the Week honoree this season, Adolfo was one of the league's most dangerous hitters before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery. The 22-year-old began the first month of the year by posting a league-best five home runs. Meanwhile, his 21 RBIs were tied for the best, and he registered a .918 OPS.
Limited to the designated hitter's role due to an elbow injury sustained in Spring Training, Adolfo thrived as one of the middle hitters in the Dash's order. In 79 games, Adolfo recorded a batting line of .282/.369/.464 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs.
Mercedes, who was acquired by the White Sox as part of the Minor League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft last December, had the second-highest OPS among Carolina League qualifiers in the second half with a .886 mark. Overall, the 25-year-old led the team with 14 home runs.
A former Orioles and Nationals farmhand, Mercedes posted the sixth-best batting average in the circuit, stroking a .289 clip. The Dominican Republic native also registered a .478 slugging percentage, which was the fourth-best mark in the Carolina League. On defense, Mercedes posted the third-best caught-stealing percentage, nabbing 41.2 percent of would-be base stealers.
One of the Carolina League's most consistent hitters, Rutherford finished the season in the top four in three different major categories. A former first-round pick, Rutherford was tied for fourth in the Carolina League in batting average (.293) and he was second in hits (131) and RBIs (78). The California native also stroked nine triples, which was tied for the most in the league.
The 21-year-old played in 115 games this season, finishing behind teammate Gavin Sheets for the second-most on the team. Rutherford also registered three months with an average above .300, with his best mark coming in July when he recorded a .347 average in 27 games.
Led by Carolina League Manager of the Year Omar Vizquel and these three Year-End All-Stars, the Dash led the league in several offensive categories. Winston-Salem was tops in the circuit in batting average, runs, doubles, triples, runs batted in and slugging percentage.
By going 84-54 and winning both halves in the regular season this year, the Dash recorded their second-highest win total in the team's 10-year history.
The 2019 Carolina League season will begin on Thursday, April 4, and it will once again comprise of a 140-game slate. For offseason updates on the Dash, be sure to log on to wsdash.com or call (336) 714-2287.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.