Rawhide gear up for All-Star festivities
visalia – It has been 28 years since the Visalia Organization last hosted the California Single-A League’s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. Well that drought comes to an end on June 19 and 20 with Recreation Park hosting the festivities.
The Rawhide will be well represented during this year’s events with six players on the North Division All-Stars roster; short stop Sergio Alcantara, right handed pitcher Jose Almonte, left hand pitcher Kirby Bellow, third baseman/ first baseman Marty Herum, right handed pitcher Bud Jeter, and right handed pitcher Mason McCullough.
Alcantara currently has a batting average of .280 with 14 extra base hits, including three home runs. He has also driven in 19 RBIs.
Herum is currently second on the team in batting average with a .336. Of Herum’s 75 hits 26 of them have been for extra bases, including four home runs. He leads the team in RBIs with 38 as well.
McCullough is the only one of the four Rawhide pitchers on the All-Star roster who is currently undefeated at 2-0. With an ERA of 2.25 in the 32 innings pitched McCullough has struck out 56 batters.
This season Almonte is the most experienced Rawhide pitcher on the All-Star roster with a record of 4-5 and has the most innings pitched with 67. Almonte has an ERA of 3.90 and of the 33 runs that he has allowed 29 were earned. He also has also struck out 86 batters so far this season.
Jeter currently has a record of 1-3 and an ERA of 2.45 in 25.2 innings pitched so far this season.
Bellow is at a 3-1 recorded with a 2.92 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched. Of the entire Rawhide pitching staff who have pitched 20 innings or more so far this season Bellow is the only one yet to give up a home run.
He is the only Rawhide pitcher who has pitched 20 innings or more yet to give up a home run so far this year.
Not only will the Rawhide be represented out on the diamond but in the dugout as well as the North Division All-Stars will be managed by Visalia’s very own Shelley Duncan. Assisting Duncan will be pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru, hitting coach Vince Harrison, and coach Eddie Oropesa.
This year’s game will feature 23 prospects from teams around the league who are rated in the Top 30 according to MLB.com.
Prospects such as infielder Brendan Rogers, left handed pitcher A.J. Puk and right handed pitcher Cal Quantrill. Rogers is ranked tenth for the Colorado Rockies. Puk is ranked third for the Oakland Athletics. Quantril is the second ranked prospect for the San Diego Padres.
The Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, June 19, and will be part of the All-Star Fan Fest. There will be chances to meet the 2017 All-Stars and witness on the field activities. Those activities include an All-Star Skills Challenge, the traditional Visalia Cow Milking Contest, the In-N-Out Burger High School Hitting Challenge; featuring local baseball and softball players who will compete for scholarship money, and the Lions Club International Charity Beep Baseball Game.
Then prior to the 2017 All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 20, there will be a ceremony to induct the 2017 Hall of Fame Class. The class includes Visalia’s own Kirby Puckett, Mike Piazza, Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan and Doug Harvey.
The first pitch of the All-Star Game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
For tickets or more information on the California League All-Star Game and Fan Fest visit Rawhidebaseball.com or call 559-732-4433.