Nine Baby Bombers earn All-Star berths2013 first-round picks Judge, Jagielo among notable selections
Infielders Dante Bichette Jr., Eric Jagielo, and Zach Wilson, outfielder Jake Cave, and LHP Daniel Camarena will represent the Tampa Yankees in the FSL All-Star Game on June 14 in Bradenton, Fla., while first baseman Mike Ford, outfielder Aaron Judge, RHP Brady Lail and LHP Caleb Smith will be the four Charleston RiverDogs on the Southern Division team in June 17's SAL All-Star Game in Hickory, N.C.
Jagielo, the Yankees' top-overall pick in last year's draft, has excelled in his first full season in the system, htting .256 with a team-leading 10 home runs, 31 RBI, eight doubles, 23 runs scored and an .839 OPS -- good for eighth in the FSL -- through Monday.
Bichette Jr., a Florida native who was the top Yankees pick in the 2011 draft and has split time at third with Jagielo in Tampa this season, is having just as stellar a 2014 campaign, hitting .281 with seven homers, a team-leading (and tied for third in the FSL) 35 RBI, 14 doubles, 33 runs scored and an .830 OPS.
Camarena, Cave, and Wilson, who was selected as the designated hitter for the North Division squad, joined Bichette in that 2011 draft class, and have been at or near the top of several FSL categories this season. Cave was fourth in the FSL in hits (72) and 11th in the league with a .309 average through Monday, Wilson (.298-4-20 in 41 games) was eighth in the league with a .464 slugging percentage, and Camarena, who leads the T-Yanks with four wins and 58 1/3 innings pitched, is in the FSL Top 10 with a 2.31 ERA as well.
The quintet will play for the FSL North on June 14 under the tutelage of the Daytona Cubs' staff, which contains two notable names for Yankees fans: pitching coach Ron Villone, a New Jersey native who spent 2006 and 2007 in the Yanks' bullpen, and hitting coach Mariano Duncan, who raked to a .340 average as the starting second baseman on the 1996 World Series champion Yankees.
As for the SAL All-Stars, Ford and Judge were named starters for the Southern Division team, while Lail and Smith are among the 11 pitchers on the staff.
Judge, who like Jagielo was a first-round pick in 2013, is far and away the RiverDogs' top offensive threat so far this year. He leads the team in average (.321) and RBI (35), is tied with Ford for the team lead with eight homers, and also is tops in hits, doubles, walks, total bases and runs scored.
Ford, a 2013 free-agent signee, is third on the team in average (.301), RBI (27) and second behind Judge in every other offensive category. Ford also has some history in Hickory; on May 25, the Princeton alum hit four homers in a 17-10 RiverDogs win over the Crawdads, marking the first four-homer game in Charleston professional baseball history.
Lail, a 2012 draftee, is a league-high 7-2 with a 3.52 ERA this season, and he sits fourth in the league with 60 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Smith, a 2013 draftee, is 4-4 with a 2.41 ERA -- good for eighth in the SAL -- and has 56 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. That total includes a 13-strikeout performance at Delmarva earlier on April 24, which set the still-standing mark for the most single-game strikeouts in a Minor League game this year.