Five RubberDucks Named to El All-Star Team
(AKRON, OHIO) - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball Clubs has announced the Eastern and Western Division All-Star teams for the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game with five Akron RubberDucks included on the Western Division roster. Outfielders Ka'ai Tom and Connor Marabell will join first baseman Wilson Garcia and pitchers Eli Morgan and Kyle Nelson to form the Akron contingent at the game.
Players were chosen from a combination of votes of the league's managers, broadcasters and writers. The EL All-Star Game will be played at The Diamond, the home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:05 p.m., as part of the four-day EL All-Star Week, presented by Genworth. Here is a look at the Akron RubberDucks 2019 All-Stars through June 23:
Ka'ai Tom, the reigning Eastern League Player of the Month, has arguably been the Eastern League's hottest hitter over the last two months. Since the start of May, he leads the league in batting average (.328) and OPS (1.018) and is second in home runs with 11. Across the entire season, his 72 hits lead the Eastern League, while he is fifth in home runs (12) and fourth in OPS (.876). Tom maintained a 27-game on-base streak stretching from May 21 to June 18, tied for the league's longest this year. The Kane'ohe, Hawaii, native and University of Kentucky product was drafted by Cleveland in the 5th round in 2015.
Connor Marabell has been a constant presence in the middle of the Akron lineup in 2019 and has earned EL All-Star Game recognition for the second consecutive season. He holds a .260 batting average with seven homers and 29 RBI. Like Tom, he has heated up over the last few months, with all seven of his four-baggers coming since the start of May and an .834 OPS since then. A versatile defender who has played all three outfield spots as well as first base, Marabell was a 25th-round selection in 2015 after a collegiate career as a Jacksonville (FL) University Dolphin. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
Wilson Garcia is the leading run producer for the 2019 RubberDucks, as his 46 runs batted in pace the team and put him second in the Eastern League. Garcia has smacked a league-leading 23 doubles this season and is one of just nine EL players to hit double-digit home runs - these numbers give him the league lead in extra-base hits (33) and place him third in total bases (122). A native of Charallave, Venezuela, Garcia was a Rule 5 draft pick by Cleveland in 2018. While still on the final All-Star roster, Garcia will be unable to play in the game itself after hitting the injured list with a right foot sprain on June 21.
Eli Morgan has been terrific for Akron since being called up from Lynchburg on May 6, posting a 5-0 record and 2.22 ERA in eight starts with the RubberDucks. He has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start all season and has twice has scoreless outings with 6+ innings of work (May 22 and June 7). Morgan has 50 strikeouts and 19 walks, while opposing hitters are batting .208 against him. A resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Morgan was an 8th-round draft pick out of Gonzaga in 2017.
Kyle Nelson, a southpaw reliever, has been lights-out coming out of the bullpen for Akron in 2019. With 20.1 innings of work, Nelson maintains a 1.77 ERA and a 1-1 record. In 17 appearances this season, he has gone without an earned run in 15 of those and held 0.00 ERA into June. With 30 strikeouts (good for a 13.3 K/9 mark), opposing batters have posted a meager .130 average against Nelson and he holds a 0.79 WHIP. Nelson was a 2018 all-star with Lynchburg in the Carolina League. The 22-year-old from San Francisco was a 15th-round selection in 2017 out of UC Santa Barbara.
Tickets for the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 10 and the Celebrity Home Run Derby on July 9 are available now at www.SquirrelsBaseball.com/AllStar. Tickets can also be purchase in person at the Flying Squirrels offices at The Diamond or by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866).
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2019 season, powered by FirstEnergy, is the franchise's 23rd since moving to Akron. For more information, call 330-253-5151 or visit akronrubberducks.com.
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