RiverDogs’ Sanchez highlights SAL All-Stars

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Charleston’s Gary Sanchez was voted to start behind the plate. (Brian Bissell/FutureStarPhotos.com)

Marlins top pitching prospect Jose Fernandez and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez headline some of the elite talent heading to Charleston for this year’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Sally League president Eric Krupa announced the rosters for the 53rd annual All-Star Game on Tuesday, with the host RiverDogs boasting Sanchez, fellow catcher Francisco Arcia, outfielder Tyler Austin and right-handers Bryan Mitchell and Pedro Guerra.

Charleston will host the game on June 19 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, although the contest will also have plenty of Lexington flavor — the Southern Division squad will feature seven Legends, including starting pitcher Michael Foltynewicz, second baseman Delino DeShields Jr., third baseman Matt Duffy and designated hitter Zachary Johnson.

For the Northern Division, the Greensboro Grasshoppers had a league-high eight representatives, including Fernandez, catcher Austin Barnes, center fielder Brent Keys and designated hitter Matt Smith. Hickory will send five players, including shortstop Hanser Alberto and left fielder Christopher Grayson. Hagerstown and Kannapolis will each provide four players, with Kannapolis’ Rangel Ravelo starting at third base.

Charleston will dominate the Southern team’s dugout with manager Carlos Mendoza bringing his staff along. Greensboro’s David Berg will manage the Northern squad.

Sanchez, who received more votes than any other player on either squad, will be the starting catcher. Both All-Star teams will be represented by 26 players, selected by the votes of the team’s managers and coaching staffs, local media and front office executives. The last time the All-Star Game was held in Charleston was in 2004, when the Southern Division defeated the Northern Division, 4-2. The annual SAL All-Star Game dates to 1960, when the All-Stars defeated the Salisbury club, 6-2, in Newton, N.C.

“Once again, the amount of talent that will be showcased in this game will be incredible,” said Krupa. “The expectations of the fans are high, and I believe they will have a fun time during this exciting event. Executive vice president and general manager Dave Echols and his staff in Charleston have been working for more than a year to live up to the tradition and host one of the most anticipated events on our baseball calendar.”

More information on the game can be found on the website of the Charleston RiverDogs at www.riverdogs.com. Full rosters for the game can be found below:

Team

League

AVG

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

TB

BB

SO

SB

CS

OBP

SLG

OPS

CSC

SAL

.313

58

233

37

73

18

0

12

51

127

16

57

10

3

.361

.545

.906

Minors

.313

58

233

37

73

18

0

12

51

127

16

57

10

3

.361

.545

.906

Dominican catcher signed with the Yankees for $3 million as a 16-year-old international free agent in July 2009 … came to the United States in 2010 for the first time since he was 14 and played on an All-Star team … appeared with GCL Yankees and Staten Island in 2010 … ranked No. 32 among Top 50 Prospects by MLB.com entering 2011 season.

Gary Sanchez named Player of the week.

South Atlantic League
Gary Sanchez, Charleston
(.500/.550/1.000, 5 G, 9-for-18, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 5 K)
Sanchez earned Sally League honors for the second time in three weeks and fourth time in his career with four multi-hit games and three longballs in just five outings this week. MLB.com’s No. 44 prospect led all vote-getters for the circuit’s All-Star Game, which takes place on his home field Tuesday evening. Sanchez headed into the break by torching first-half Northern Division champs Greensboro for seven hits — two of them homers — in his last three games.

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