2019 Home Run Derby Participants Announced
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The West Virginia Power is excited to announce the eight participants in the 2019 South Atlantic League Home Run Derby, presented by Segra, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18. Six of the top 10 home run hitters in the South Atlantic League, including the Power's Jake Anchia, are slated to take part in the league's offensive slugfest next Tuesday.
Besides Anchia, the Northern Division lineup is comprised of Greensboro's Rodolfo Castro and Mason Martin, as well as Hickory's Curtis Terry. Meanwhile, the Southern Division roster is made up of Charleston's Brandon Lockridge and Canaan Smith, along with Asheville's Willie MacIver and Lexington's Chase Vallot. This lineup is subject to change leading up to the Derby on Tuesday evening.
The format for the Home Run Derby will consist of three timed rounds of three minutes per batter, with one 30 second timeout awarded to each slugger. In the first round, all eight batters will compete, with the top two hitters from each division advancing to the Divisional Championship Round. The winners of each Divisional Championship Round will be determined by their cumulative home run totals from rounds one and two. The top two sluggers from the first two rounds will battle it out for the title of Home Run Derby Champion in one final three-minute round. The Championship Round will not include the two batters' home run totals from the first two rounds.
Anchia leads the Power in home runs with nine, tied for 10th-most in the South Atlantic League. The Nova Southeastern product cranked his latest home run last Monday against Delmarva, launching a 437-foot go-ahead grand slam that vaulted West Virginia to a 5-4 win. Anchia also collected his first career multi-HR game May 9 against Augusta, slamming two homers and picking up a career-best five RBI. The backstop left Nova Southeastern as the school's all-time home runs leader, breaking MLB All-Star J.D. Martinez's mark following a 22-homer senior season.
Martin leads the league in homers (17) and RBI (60), both season-bests for the Greensboro infielder. The highlight of Martin's season thus far came May 19, when the 2017 17th round selection launched a pair of three-run walk-off homers in both games of a doubleheader against the Lakewood BlueClaws. Meanwhile, his teammate, Castro, has the third-most league long balls with 14. The Dominican native did not homer until April 18, but turned in a stretch of five homers in four games from April 27-May 1. Castro has only gone deep once since May 26. The Crawdads' Terry has sent 15 balls into the seats this year, second-most among active sluggers in the SAL and tied with former teammate Sam Huff for the most on Hickory this season. Terry had 18 total homers over his first three professional seasons, and has already equaled his 2018 output in eight fewer games.
Charleston's Lockridge and Lexington's Vallot headline the Southern Division pack with nine homers apiece, tied with Anchia for 10th-most in the SAL. Lockridge, a late addition to the 2019 Southern Division All-Star roster, had just one home run in his first 26 pro games in 2018. A fifth-round pick by the New York Yankees a season ago, Lockridge started the season 0-for-12 before hitting the first RiverDogs homer April 7. He ripped off three homers in four games from May 11-14, while more than 50% of his hits this year have gone for extra bases. Vallot, now in his third year in the South Atlantic League, has 35 combined homers across his three seasons. The Lafayette, La., native has tallied double-digit dinger marks every year of his career since 2014.
Since joining the RiverDogs April 10, Smith has been an integral piece of their lineup, averaging .316 with seven homers and 30 RBI. The 2017 draftee put together a 25-game on-base streak from April 18 to May 15, which included hitting for the first RiverDogs cycle in 22 years May 12 at Hickory. The Southern Division starting left fielder is one roundtripper shy of tying his season total over his first two professional seasons.
MacIver's eight homers lead the Asheville Tourists and slot in as a new season-high for the former Washington Husky. The backstop compiled his lone multi-homer game of the season May 20 at Lexington, going 2-for-4 with a pair of solo bombs at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in a 2-1 Asheville victory. The former collegiate third baseman is the 27th-best prospect in the Rockies' system, as well as the organization's highest ranked Minor League catcher per MLB.com.
Former Power player Calvin Anderson won the Home Run Derby with 13 long balls in the final round in 2009, the last time Appalachian Power Park played host to the league's Midsummer Classic. Anderson also claimed All-Star Game MVP honors after smacking a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to snag an 8-7 win for the Northern Division.
The 60th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game, presented by Segra, is set for a 7:35 p.m. first pitch at Appalachian Power Park. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for the WOWK Tailgate Party, and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive an All-Star Game-branded tumbler, courtesy of Segra. The Home Run Derby commences at 6 p.m.
Catch all the action of the 2019 SAL Midsummer Classic on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App by searching "West Virginia Power Baseball Network" and the MiLB First Pitch App. Pregame coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. EST, with David Kahn and Kyle Youmans on the call.
For tickets and more information on the 2019 South Atlantic League All-Star Game, presented by Segra, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
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South Atlantic League Stories from June 14, 2019
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