Four Wood Ducks Named to the 2017 All-Star Classic
KINSTON, Lenoir County - The 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic rosters were announced on Monday morning and four Down East Wood Ducks have made the southern division team. INF Josh Altmann, INF Luis La O, C Chuck Moorman, and RHP Ricardo Rodriguez were named to the roster for the game on June 20 in Salem, Virginia.
Altmann, 22, makes his first All-Star roster as a professional in his first full season spent in Advanced-A. The Lockport, Illinois native leads the Wood Ducks with seven home runs while also leading the team in games played at 59. A former Olivet Nazarene University Tiger, he was drafted in the 22nd round of 2015. A versatile infielder (26 games at first base, 30 at third base) Altmann will play the infield.
Furthermore, Altmann will participate in the home run derby on Monday held at Kiwanis Park - the original home of Minor League baseball in Salem before Haley Toyota Field opened in 1995.
La O joined the Rangers organization as an offseason international signee from Cuba. After six seasons in the Cuban National Series, the 25-year-old was assigned to the Wood Ducks out of spring camp and has not disappointed. La O's batting average has not dropped below .290 this season and is second on the Woodies with six home runs. His defense has shined with a .969 total fielding percentage, splitting time between second and third base.
Moorman, 23, is in the midst of a career-year and will enjoy his first ever All-Star selection as a professional since he was drafted in the 17th round of 2012. He spent most of the first two months of the season on the league batting average leaderboard, amassing a .367 average in his first 27 games. Defensively, he leads all southern division catchers with a .996 fielding percentage, which slots second in the league.
Rodriguez has returned to the mound with health and success in 2017 after missing the entire 2016 campaign. A Venezuela-native, Rodriguez has returned from Tommy John surgery to the tune of a perfect nine-for-nine in saves - the second-most in the league. The 24-year-old is among the top five with relievers in opponent's average, strikeouts per nine innings, and baserunners per nine innings. He is in the midst of a "hidden perfect game" retiring 27 batters in a row over his last seven appearances.
All four players will be enjoying their first All-Star selections in professional baseball. Rosters were compiled via votes from league managers and each team's media coverage. The All-Star break begins on Monday June 19, with the home run derby. The All-Star Classic featuring the Carolina League's best will be on Tuesday June 20, at 7:05 p.m. and streamed live on MILB.TV. The Salem Red Sox will host the week's events for the first time since 2006.