Cancel, Lee Lead Six Naturals to All-Star Game
SPRINGDALE, Ark - The Texas League announced the rosters for the 83rd annual Texas League All-Star game to be played on Tuesday, June 25th at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma and six (6) members of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals have been selected to represent the Texas League North Division in the exhibition game against the Texas League South.
The Naturals' All-Star selections include position players 2B Gabriel Cancel, OF Khalil Lee, and INF/OF D.J. Burt along with starting pitchers RHP Gerson Garabito, RHP Ofreidy Gomez and RHP Conner Greene. Cancel has been voted in as the starting second baseman while outfielder Khalil Lee has been tabbed to start in left field for the Texas League North.
Cancel, has been the Naturals' second baseman and has settled in the number three spot in the order where he has been one of the most productive players in the league. On the year, he is tied for the league-lead in RBIs (49) and extra-base hits (29) while ranking in the top five in doubles (2nd), home runs (T-3rd), total bases (4th), and slugging percentage (5th). The power-hitting infielder will be the starting second baseman for the North Division after being voted in by the league.
Lee, the Royals' third-ranked prospect, has been named the starting left fielder for the Texas League North Division. The speedy outfielder is second in the league in stolen bases (27) and runs scored (42) while ranking in the top 10 in walks (5th) and on-base percentage (8th). The 20-year old has been hot at the plate of late as he is hitting .375 with three home runs and 9 RBIs over his last 10 games. As of June 14th, the Virginia-native is hitting .268 with five home runs and 33 RBIs.
Burt, has been selected to the North Division roster as an infield/outfield reserve. The role should suit the North Carolina-native well as he has done a lot for Northwest Arkansas serving as a designated-hitter, left fielder, second baseman and third baseman as well as hitting in five different spots in the batting order. The 23-year old hit .340 during the month of May and is currently hitting .250 for the year while ranking fourth in the Texas League in stolen bases (16).
Garabito, has been selected to the North Division pitching staff. The right-hander has been a mainstay in the Naturals' rotation this season and has performed well. The 23-year old out of the Dominican Republic is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA to go along with 46 strikeouts in 61.2 innings pitched. After winning the Carolina League ERA Title for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced-A) in 2018, he has followed that up by currently ranking sixth in the Texas League in that category.
Gomez, has performed well in his first season with Northwest Arkansas and has been rewarded with a Texas League All-Star selection. As of June 14th, the right-hander has started 14 games and is 3-4 with a 3.90 ERA. He currently ranks in the top 10 of the league in five different categories including ERA (9th), strikeouts (9th), games started (T-5th), average against (3rd), and WHIP (4th). His three wins rank in a tie for second on the team while his 61 strikeouts lead all Naturals' pitchers.
Greene, the Opening Night starter for the Naturals, has been a veteran presence in the rotation. The right-hander is 3-5 with a 5.37 ERA but ranks in the top 10 in multiple Texas League pitching categories. He is tied for fifth in games started (12), tied for ninth in innings pitched (65.1), ninth in average against (.260), and tied for eleventh in strikeouts (60).
Players were selected to the All-Star Game through a voting process that included each team's manager, hitting coach, pitching coach, additional coach and two media representatives. The media representatives could include the club's radio broadcaster as well as a media representative. A voter was not allowed to vote for players from their own club.
A number of the best prospects in all of Minor League Baseball will be on display for the Texas League North Division at the All-Star Game in Tulsa. According to rankings by MLB.com, the group of highly-touted prospects will include OF Khalil Lee (Royals #3 prospect) of the Naturals, RHP Justin Dunn (Mariners #3 prospect) and INF Evan White (Mariners #4 prospect) of the Travelers, OF Dylan Carlson (Cardinals #2 prospect) of Springfield as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers top three ranked prospects in C Keibert Ruiz (#1), INF Gavin Lux (#2), and RHP Dustin May (#3) of the Tulsa Drillers.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information, including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
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