CHARLESTON, S.C. (DOGS) - The South Atlantic League has announced that the Charleston RiverDogs have four players on the Southern Division roster for the 54th annual SAL All-Star Game on June 18 at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ.
RiverDogs righty Rafael De Paula has been named the starting pitcher for the Southern Division. Fellow Charleston pitchers Gabe Encinas and Dietrich Enns, as well as catcher Peter O'Brien are joining De Paula as All-Stars.
De Paula has been one of the SAL's most dominating pitchers this season, and is currently tied for 2nd in all on Minor League Baseball while leading the Sally League with an incredible 83 strikeouts. A 6'2", 215 pound righty from La Victoria, Dominican Republic, De Paula is turning heads in his first season in America. The 22-year-old, who has won six of his last seven starts, is sporting a 2.48 ERA and a 6-2 record through his first 11 starts of the year. His league leading 83 strikeouts are even more impressive compared to the 22 walks he has allowed in 54.1 innings pitched. De Paula has had three starts this season where has allowed one hit or less.
Gabe Encinas, who will not participate in the All-Star Game due to an elbow injury, was off to an arguably even better start than De Paula before he was hurt. The Yankees 6th round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of high school, Encinas made seven starts this season and was a perfect 3-0 with a miniscule 0.77 ERA, best in the league at the time of his injury. In 35 innings pitched, the 6'3", 195 pound righty allowed just 22 hits and three earned runs to go along with 31 strikeouts.
Lefty reliever Dietrich Enns was not on the RiverDogs roster on opening day, but he has been an ace in the Charleston bullpen. He has gone 4-0 this season with a remarkable 0.56 ERA. The 6'1", 195 pound reliever hails from Frankfort, IL and attended Central Michigan University. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. In Enns' first full season in professional baseball, he has gotten off to an impressive start with 54 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched while allowing just 17 hits and two earned runs.
Peter O'Brien has been a force to be reckoned with in the RiverDogs line-up this season. He leads the RiverDogs and is ranked in the top 10 in the SAL with a .316 batting average. O'Brien, a 6'3", 215 pound right-handed batter, also leads the team with seven homers and is second with 34 RBI. The catcher from Miami Gardens, Florida, was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Miami (FL) University.
Augusta leads the Southern Division teams with six All-Stars while West Virginia, Hickory, and Hagerstown pace the way in the Northern Division with six players each as well.