The ISWB league commissioner Brendan Dudas made an executive decision earlier this week to re-select the participants for the 2015 All-Star game to create a better representation of the league's talent.
The All-Star game was originally scheduled to be played in June, but weather pushed it back to this Friday. With extra games being played since the original selection, Dudas wanted to re-select players for a more accurate look at the league’s top talent.
The 13-2 Sand Gnats had Brendan Dudas, Drake Capps, and Joshua Hart selected to represent their top-ranked team. Dudas and Capps, potentially the top 2 MVP candidates, were easy selections. Dudas leads the league in average (.554), RBIs (56), and home runs (20) as well as 6-1 record and 2.86 ERA on the mound. Capps is not far off, batting .472, driving in 35 runs and hitting 12 bombs while posting a 5-1 record and a 3.04 ERA. Hart’s stats (23 RBIs, .480 OBP) are not gaudy as he was likely the last selection. Hart’s roster spot is more due to the Sand Gnats overall success and not so much his own.
The 11-4 Otters will be represented by Sawyer Mitchell, Christian Abner, and Slater Burge. Mitchell has been erratic all year (30 Ks batting, 67 BB pitching), but also has a 9-1 record and a league second-best 17 homers. Abner has been a steady bat for a wild team, batting .352 while driving in 30 runs. Burge was not an original All-Star selection, but a recent tear put him in the game. He has a .366 average, 38 RBIs, and 14 home runs on the year.
The 9-6 Skeeters were the only team to have all members selected. Brandon Benedict (.441, 23 RBIs), Austin Church (.333, 30 RBIs), Blake Voris (.438, 30 RBIs, 12 HRs) and Dillon Douthitt (5-2 pitching, 30 RBIs, 7 HR) all combined to create an offensive juggernaut all season that has produced 114 runs.
The 7-8 Seawolves placed Dakota Rogers (.475, 29 RBIs, 13 HRs) and Cody House (.364, 23 RBIs, 12 HRs) on the team. Rogers and House have been the consistent players all year for the Seawolves, in hitting and simply in attendance. The team would likely have a more impressive resume if it weren’t for their rotating cast of third and fourth players.
Jacob Harris (.344, 20 RBIs, 8 HRs) leads the first-year team Naturals in all offensive categories. While the team has struggled, Harris has been strong all year, even hitting a walk-off homer in week 1 to hand the Sand Gnats one of their two losses on the year.
Mason Nickell (.339, 22 RBIs, 8 HRs) will represent the one-win Manatees. Nickell has been the lone bright spot for the first year team all year. General Manager Eli Pulley has nice piece to build around in Nickell, but needs to look for additional help in the off-season.
Keegan Caughey (Sand Gnats) and Michael Plourde (Naturals) earned the final two vote-in spots for Friday's game. Caughey is making his second all star appearance after posting a solid stat line (.315, 7 HR, 22 RBI) in 2015. Plourde, the Naturals best pitcher and Week 6 Hitter of the Week, carried the Naturals on the mound and helped Jacob Harris lead the offense.
The game takes place Friday at 7 pm in Whitley Field at the Dirtyard with a home run derby proceeding at 6 pm.