Peoria Chiefs press release
The Midwest League announced the 2016 All-Star Teams on Tuesday afternoon and the Peoria Chiefs will be represented by five players at the June 21 game in Cedar Rapids. Infielders Eliezer Alvarez and Edmundo Sosa were named as reserves while starting pitchers Ryan Helsley, Brennan Leitao and Derian Gonzalez will be on the Western Division All-Star pitching staff.
Alvarez, 21, is batting .311 with one home run, 17 doubles, four triples, 27 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 52 games. He leads the Chiefs in RBI, doubles, triples, extra-base hits and stolen bases while ranking third with 27 runs scored. Alvarez ranks fourth in the MWL in doubles, fifth in steals, fifth in total bases and is also top 10 in triples and extra-base hits. A native of the Dominican Republic, Alvarez signed with the Cardinals in 2011.
Sosa, 20, is batting .262 with two homers, 11 doubles, three steals, 24 runs scored and 24 RBI in 52 games. He ranks second on the Chiefs in doubles and RBI and is also top five in runs scored and total bases. A native of Panama, Sosa signed with the Cardinals in 2012 and is ranked as a top 10 prospect in the Baseball America and MLB.com
Helsley, 21, is 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA heading into Tuesday’s start in Burlington. He has struck out 56 batters and walked 12 in 53 innings while holding opponents to a .239 average. He has gone at least five innings in all nine starts and was named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week April 24. A native of Cookson, OK, Helsley was drafted by the Cardinals in the 5th round of the 2015 draft.
Leitao, 22, is 3-5 with a 2.78 ERA in nine starts. He has struck out 51 and walked 11 in 58 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .243 average. Leitao has five quality starts on the season and has twice gone eight innings in a start. He was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week May 8. A native of Irvine, CA, Leitao was drafted in the 26th round of the 2015 draft.
Gonzalez, 21, is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in nine starts with four quality starts. He has 47 strikeouts and 25 walks in 52 innings while holding opponents to a .234 average. Gonzalez is ranked by Baseball America as a Cardinals top 30 prospect. A native of Venezuela he signed with the Cardinals in 2012.
The 2016 Midwest League All-Star Game will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Tuesday, June 21. The Chiefs have the second most selections in the Western Division with five. Wisconsin, which begins the day in seventh place, leads the way with eight selections and three starters. Clinton, Beloit and Kane County each have four players while first-place Cedar Rapids has three. Burlington has two players and Quad Cities has one.
Brian Walton’s take
The Chiefs’ all-stars are all very deserving.
It is also worth noting that among those passed over are Cardinals 2014 Minor League Player of the Year Magneuris Sierra and top prospect pitchers Jake Woodford, Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez. All still have work to do.
In 2015, the Chiefs also had five mid-season all-stars, though pitcher Luis Perdomo and shortstop Oscar Mercado were starters. Others chosen were Daniel Poncedeleon, Austin Gomber and Robby Rowland.
Prior all-stars were Alvarez and Sosa, both in the 2015 Appalachian League and Gonzalez, 2014 Dominican Summer League.
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