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Five Yankees prospects named SAL All-Stars

06/05/2012 12:42 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Charleston RiverDogs will host the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 19, and the team found out on Monday that five ‘Dogs, as well as the entire coaching staff, will be suiting up for the South Division Team at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in two weeks.

The representatives from the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate include three position players and a pair of pitchers, with the group headlined by catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Tyler Austin.

Sanchez, who is unanimously listed as one of the Top 5 prospects in the organization, has had a phenomenal season, batting .304 with eight home runs, 40 RBI, 17 doubles, and nine stolen bases through Monday.

Austin, meanwhile, has been one of the top hitters in the South Atlantic League all season and is garnering serious consideration for the MVP Award. Through the weekend, he sported a line of .333-14-47 – good for fifth, first, and fourth in the SAL respectively – and led the league in slugging percentage (.671) and total bases (139). He was also second in the SAL in runs (58), doubles (18), and triples (5).

The third position player is, in an odd twist, also a catcher, but gets a well-deserved nod. Francisco Arcia, who is nominally the “backup” but has shared duties behind the plate with Sanchez on a roughly 60/40 basis this year, was hitting .385 (an average that would lead the league if he had the at-bats to qualify) with three home runs and 22 RBI through the weekend.

The two pitchers representing Charleston will be RHP Brian Mitchell, who has gone 4-3 with a 3.26 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 11 starts so far, and fellow righty Pedro Guerra, who is 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA and two saves out of the RiverDogs bullpen this season.

In addition to the five Yankees prospects, the South squad contains a handful of players with names New York fans may recognize. There are three members of the Mets’ affiliate, the Savannah Sand Gnats, on the team – SS T.J. Rivera, OF Travis Taijeron, and LHP T.J. Chism – as well as Lexington Legends (Astros affiliate) 2B Delino DeShields, Jr., whose father played 13 seasons in the Majors with five teams.

The South Division Team will be piloted by RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza, who has led the team to a 34-22 start (good for second place in the South) through Sunday, and his staff.

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