JC's Schaffer, Shaban: Appy League All-Stars

Johnson City 1B Jeremy Schaffer and closer Ronnie Shaban are 2012 Appalachian League All-Stars.

The Johnson City Cardinals feature two of the 14 members of the 2012 Appalachian League All-Star Team, named Thursday by the ten-team, short-season rookie-level league. The two honored players are first baseman Jeremy Schaffer and relief pitcher Ronnie Shaban. Both were collegians less than 90 days ago.

Shaban, 22, a Virginia Tech Hokie who joined the Cardinals in the 33rd round of the 2012 draft, has been a solid closer for Johnson City. The right-hander's 15 saves are not only tops in the league, but the player with the second-most has just nine. In his first 19 2/3 professional innings, Shaban has struck out 28 and walked just six. He has allowed six earned runs for a 3.20 ERA.

Schaffer, 22, the Cardinals 18th-round draft pick this June from Tulane, leads the Appy League with 20 doubles and 48 RBI in his 57 games played. The right-handed slugger is tied for fifth in the league with nine home runs and his slugging mark of .514 is sixth. His overall line is .269/.316/.514. Schaffer's .830 OPS ranks 11th in the circuit.

The Appalachian League has a single-population All-Star Team and does not play an All-Star Game. Last summer, the Cardinals also had two all-stars, left-handed pitcher Kyle Hald and infielder Tyler Rahmatulla. Both are currently with A-Advanced Palm Beach.

Two-time defending league champion Johnson City remains in a tight battle to make the post-season with just six games remaining in the regular season. The 35-26 club is six games out of the division lead, but holds a 1.5 game lead for a playoff berth that goes with a second-place finish.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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