The two 23-man Florida State League All-Star teams for 2014 were named on Tuesday afternoon. Four Palm Beach Cardinals were chosen for the South Division roster, though one will be unable to play and another is a replacement for an unavailable player from another club.
Infielder Breyvic Valera and outfielder Charlie Tilson were named with no strings attached. Outfielder Starlin Rodriguez was also selected, but will be unavailable to participate due to his promotion to Double-A Springfield. Left-hander Kyle Helisek, the only Cardinals pitcher recognized, was an addition to replace another.
Though he will apparently not be at Bradenton's McKechnie Field for the June 14 contest, the selection of Rodriguez is a back to the future move. Two years ago, the 24-year-old, then a second baseman, was an FSL All-Star for the first time. In fact, he was a member of both the mid-season and post-season all-star rosters in 2012.
Rodriguez, who had two Double-A trials last season, has a line of .269/.342/.440 with Palm Beach in 2014. In 175 at-bats over 46 contests, the right-handed hitter has five home runs, 24 RBI and has scored 30 runs.
Another all-star repeater is Valera, among the best in his league for the third consecutive year. The 21-year-old was recognized in the New York-Penn League in 2012 and in the Midwest League last season.
A switch-hitter, Valera has a sharp line of .332/.382/.389 in 229 at-bats over 56 contests, good for fourth in the league batting race. He has both driven in 28 and scored 28 times. Valera has struck out just 10 times this season compared to 18 walks and contributed a dozen steals in 20 attempts.
Though a top prospect in the Cardinals organization since being drafted in the xth round in 20xc, this is Tilson's first all-star selection at any level. The Palm Beach leadoff man and centerfielder has .292/.350/.337 line in 202 at-bats over 47 outings. The left-handed hitter has six steals in eight tries and has crossed home plate 25 times.
Helisek, 24, has made nine starts for Palm Beach, logging a 3-2 record with a 2.49 ERA. The left-hander has struck out 25 and walked 22 in 50 2/3 FSL innings. He is holding opponents to a collective .215 batting average.
The Cardinals' representation of four players is up from three last year. In 2013, first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez and outfielder Stephen Piscotty were initially named with reliever Ronnie Shaban added later.
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