Eight Drive Members Named to 2009 South Atlantic League All-Star Team
Greenville, SC - When the 50th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game is played on Tuesday, June 23rd at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, WV, the Greenville will be represented with by a franchise record eight members, including a Southern Division-high five players - pitchers Casey Kelly and Armando Zerpa, catcher Tim Federowicz, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder David Mailman, manager Kevin Boles, pitching coach Bob Kipper, and hitting coach Billy McMillon.
In addition, Boles, who is just 13 victories shy of 500 career wins, was selected as the manager of the Southern Division All-Star Team. For the five players of the Drive chosen to represent the Southern Division, it is their first All-Star selection of their respective professional careers.
"We as a coaching staff are extremely proud of the accomplishments these five young men have made this season thus far," noted Boles. "To be selected as an All-Star by the league's coaches, media personnel, the fans, and front office management is a tremendous honor that speaks very highly of their accomplishments."
In his second year as the Drive's manager, Kevin Boles has his team currently in second place of the Southern Division, just 1.5 games behind the first place Charleston RiverDogs. At 17-11 away from Fluor Field, Greenville boasts the best road record in the 16-team South Atlantic League. In addition, the Drive pitching staff ranks first in the league with a 2.83 earned run average.
Despite being promoted to the Salem Red Sox of the Carolina League on May 28th, Casey Kelly was still selected to the All-Star Game after dominating South Atlantic League hitters. The Red Sox' 2008 first round selection - 30th overall - posted a 6-1 record in nine starts, and began the 2009 campaign by tossing 16.0 consecutive scoreless innings. Kelly's 1.12 ERA (6 ER/48.1 IP) currently leads the South Atlantic League, and his six wins ranks tied for third.
In his third season in the United States, Armando Zerpa has established himself as one of the more dominant relief pitchers in the South Atlantic League. The southpaw has posted a 1.17 ERA (4 ER/30.2 IP) in 14 appearances, limiting opposing batters to a meager .125 (13-for-104) average. A native of Venezuela, Zerpa also leads the Drive with 0.68 WHIP and has yet to surrender a home run.
Catcher Tim Federowicz continues to wreak havoc on professional pitchers, just like he did at the collegiate level for three seasons at the University of North Carolina. The 2008 5th round selection currently ranks seventh in the league with a .319 (58-for-182) average, while leading the Drive in hits (58), doubles (14), slugging percentage (.511) and OPS (.878). He is also tied for the team-lead with seven homers and 19 multi-hit games, and second with 26 RBI.
The feel-good story of the 2009 South Atlantic League All-Star selections would be Anthony Rizzo, who was limited to just 21 games a year ago after being diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The 19-year-old's 31 RBI currently leads the Drive, while he ranks tied for first on the team with seven home runs, tied for second in hits (54), and tied for second in doubles (13). Rizzo became the first Greenville batter of 2009 to collect a multi-homer game with two round trippers on May 14th, and his recent five RBI performance on June 6th was also a team-high.
After batting just .200 during the month of April, David Mailman has been on an incredible hot streak over the last month. His .375 (33-for-88) average during the month of May ranked second in the South Atlantic League, and Mailman is currently in the midst of a career-high 13-game hit streak in which he is hitting .389 (21-for-54). The former 7th round selection is third in the league with seven triples, and is tied for the team-lead with 19 multi-hit games, tied for second in hits (54), and third in RBI (25).
Drive General Manager Mike deMaine commented on the 2009 South Atlantic League All-Star selections, saying, "The Red Sox are among the best in the game at scouting, drafting, and developing Major League talent. By having five players and a manager selected to this year's South Atlantic League All-Star Game, further demonstrates the importance of the amateur draft and international scouting, and the overall quality of the Boston Red Sox minor league system as they continually build for the future."
The Drive return home to Fluor Field on Thursday, June 11th when they host the Asheville Tourists for two games, followed by a three-game set with the Hot Rods. For more information on single-game tickets, ticket plans, group outings, luxury accommodations, visit www.GreenvilleDrive.com or call (864) 240-4500.
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