Four Fireflies named to SAL All-Star team

COLUMBIA, SC – Four Fireflies were named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team by the league on Tuesday. Pitchers Joe Cavallaro and David Peterson, catcher Scott Manea and first baseman Jeremy Vasquez will be on display at First National Bank Field in Greensboro, North Carolina, for the 59th SAL All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 19.

“I’m truly happy for those guys,” Manager Pedro Lopez said. “They’re hard workers and put the time in and the effort. Hopefully they can take advantage [of this opportunity] and go out there and have some fun and be ready for the second half.”

Cavallaro is second in the league with six wins and has posted a 2.22 ERA over nine outings (eight starts). The right-hander from Venice, Florida, has been a model of consistency this season and has posted six quality starts (six or more innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed). Batters have hit just .198 against the 22-year-old (fifth-best in the SAL), and the Fireflies are 7-2 in games he has pitched in. Cavallaro is in his second season in the Mets system after being drafted out of the University of South Florida in 2017.

The Mets selected Peterson in the first round a year ago, 20th overall, and for good reason. The 6-foot-6 southpaw has just about over-powered the South Atlantic League through eight starts. Peterson owns the sixth-best ERA (1.93) in the league and has punched out 47 batters in 51.1 IP. The former All-American at the University of Oregon has been unhittable of late: he’s carried a 1.13 ERA over his last six starts.

Manea (pronounced Muh-NAY-uh) has been one of the hardest outs for opposing pitchers to record in the South Atlantic League in 2018. His .397 on-base percentage is fourth-best in the league, and the 22-year-old carried an impressive 16-game on-base streak from April 21-May 12. In 38 games, the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, native is hitting .248 with three homers and 14 RBIs. Even better, Manea has thrown runners out at the highest rate in the league: the catcher has thrown out 16 of 26 attempted base-stealers (.615).

And finally, Vasquez (pronounced Vas-kwez) rounds out the group of Columbia’s all-stars. The native of Palm City, Florida, has easily shown he’s one of the most well-rounded hitters in the league with a team-best .295 batting average, with 11 doubles and league-best .404 on-base percentage. As of June 5, no other player in the SAL owns a longer on-base streak than Vasquez. The 21-year-old reached safely in a franchise-record 29 straight games from April 5-May 6. The Mets drafted the former Florida Gator and Nova Southeastern Shark in the 28th round of the 2017 draft.

“The Fireflies are extremely proud to have our four players selected to represent Columbia at the All-Star Game,” said Fireflies team President John Katz. “During the 2018 season, we’ve seen an All-Star from each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons make their Major League debuts. It’s exciting for our fans to know that they are seeing the future stars of MLB right here at Spirit Communications Park.”

The Southern and Northern Division square off in the 59th annual SAL All-Star Game on June 19 at First National Bank Field in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Story by: Columbia Fireflies

Categories: Local Sports, Sports