Inside the Dash All-Stars
The Carolina League All-Star ballot was released today, and three Dash players were selected to the team. Outfielders Brady Shoemaker and Michael Earley will start in their familiar positions in left and right field at BB&T Ballpark on June 19. Dash starter Matt Heidenreich was also named as one of the 10 pitchers. Here is a closer look at the All-Star caliber numbers for Winston’s selections. First the offensive numbers:
Batting Average: Both Earley and Shoemaker are hitting over .310 on the season and rank among the top ten in the league in average.
Earley- .314 BA (59 games, 210 AB’s)
Shoemaker- .330 BA (60 games, 224 AB’s)
-After a slow start to the season for Earley, he exploded for his best stretch in the midst of the Dash’s nine-game win streak at the end of April.
-Shoemaker is the model of consistency at the plate. It took 45 games into the season before he went back-to-back games without recording a hit. Shoemaker is third in the league with 74 hits. Earley has 66.
Home Runs: The numberof home runs a player hits is always looked at with great interest from fans. Both are doing quite well in the long ball category.
Earley- 8 HR, 1 Grand Slam
Shoemaker- 10 HR, 2 multi-HR games
-From April 26-30 Earley hit four home runs in five games, only missing on April 28. Then, on May 10 in a game two of a doubleheader against Frederick, he crushed a grand slam.
-Shoemaker’s 10 home runs sit one back of the league lead. He turned in multi-home run games on April 19 at home against Wilmington and on April 30 at Potomac.
Runs Batted In: The two Dash All-Stars rank among the top five in the league in this category as well.
Earley- 35 RBI
Shoemaker – 40 RBI
-Earley is in the top 10 in the Carolina League for RBI while Shoemaker is fourth in the league and second on the team. Earley had 5 straight multi-RBI games from April 26-April 30 and has driven in at least three runs four times this year. Shoemaker’s best run producing stretch came in the six games from April 30-May 5 when he compiled 10 RBI.
-In addition, Shoemaker has driven in two game-winning runs in the past three weeks. On May 18 he broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth against Lynchburg with a single into right field to score the go-ahead run. Shoemaker kicked off the first day of June by drawing a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in the eighth inning against Carolina to give the Dash an 8-7 win.
The numbers for the two Dash All-Stars on offense are a big reason why Winston-Salem has the most productive offense in the Carolina League. The pitching has also been solid, and Matt Heidenreich will represent the staff. A quick glance at his numbers might cause the casual observer to inquire about the worthiness of his selection but for those that have watched him all season long it is obvious Heidenreich is All-Star worthy.
Longevity: Heidenreich is a workhorse who likes to go deep into games, and his early season output reflected that mentality. In his second start of the season, he delivered a complete game performance against Myrtle Beach, striking out six and allowing two runs but ultimately getting the loss. However, that loss was the only one Heidenreich would suffer until June 3. In his next seven outings, he averaged more than six innings and five strikeouts per start.
Consistency: In his three starts from May 12-24, Heidenreich put together his best stretch of the season. He went eight scoreless innings on May 17 and delivered seven innings to bookend that outing. On May 12, Heidenreich carried a perfect game into the fifth inning against Lynchburg before plunking the leadoff batter. The momentum carried to May 17 where Myrtle Beach was no-hit until the sixth inning. And on May 24 Heidenreich delivered his magnum opus, firing seven scoreless and striking out a season-high eight batters to out duel Matt Barnes, Boston’s top pick in 2011 and help the Dash avoid a sweep at the hands of Salem.
We now know who will be playing in the All-Star Game on June 19. The one question remains; will they be representing the Dash as first-half Southern Division champions? With seven games left in the first-half, Winston-Salem could certainly use more big moments from its All-Stars.