KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - The manager of the Kannapolis Intimidators, Justin Jirschele, earned a spot on the 2018 South Atlantic All-Star Team alongside seven of his players.
Outfielder Luis Gonzalez, the 18th best prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization, highlights the seven man crew headed to the 2018 All-Star game. Gonzalez leads the team in home runs (8), total bases (104), slugging percentage (.553), OPS (.941) and stolen bases (7).
He has also batted .330 with 14 doubles and is currently riding a 16-game hit-streak. Joining Gonzalez in the outfield will be left fielder Craig Dedlow. Dedlow leads the team in doubles (18), triples (4), RBI (32), outfield assists (8) and most at-bats (204).
Intimidators middle infielders 2B Tate Blackman and SS Laz Rivera both earned a spot on the Northern division of the All-Star team. Rivera leads the team with a .354 avg, which is 24 points higher than anyone else in the SAL. Blackman is currently batting just one-point shy of the magical .300, connecting on six homers, bringing in 30 RBI and drawing 23 walks.
Right-handed pitcher Blake Battenfield, who was just named the White Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May, highlights the pitching staff heading to the All-Star game. Battenfield compiled a 4-0 record in five starts with just a 1.16 ERA, striking out 35 batters.
Relievers Tyler Johnson and Jake Elliot round out the list of Kannapolis players selected to the All-Star game, with Johnson leading the team in appearances (17) and saves (6). Meanwhile, Elliot currently holds the third lowest ERA on the team with a .184 ERA in 15 games, racking up two saves and a 39-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Jirschele, who is a second year manager, is looking for his second straight first half title with Kannapolis and will also join his seven all-stars at First National Bank Field.
The 2018 All-Star game will be played at First National Bank Field in Greensboro, NC on June 19 at 7:05 p.m.