Five Spikes selected for NYPL All-Star Game
From staff reports
STATE COLLEGE — The State College Spikes will send five players to the 2019 New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Wednesday, August 21 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George in Staten Island, N.Y. Pitchers Andre Pallante and Hector Villalobos will join outfielders Andrew Warner and David Vinsky and infielder Martin Figueroa at the NYPL’s annual showcase of future stars.
The quintet of Spikes is just one shy of the franchise record for most players selected for the NYPL All-Star Game, set in 2017. This is the fourth time in the last six seasons that State College has had at least five players selected for the league’s late summer extravaganza.
The NYPL All-Star Game is set to return to Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George, the home of the Staten Island Yankees for the second time. The All-Star Game also visited Staten Island in 2010.
Pallante, the Cardinals’ 2019 fourth-round draft choice out of UC Irvine, is off to an outstanding start in his professional career. The right-hander out of San Clemente, Calif. has posted a 1-0 record with a 2.67 earned run average over eight appearances, six of them starts, and has struck out 31 batters while walking only nine over 27 innings of work. Pallante has also held opposing batters to a .194 average and recorded a WHIP of 1.04.
Villalobos has been a linchpin in the bullpen for the Spikes, serving as a main left-handed option in the later innings in 2019. The San Quintin, Mexico native is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA, two saves and two holds over 16 appearances totaling 34 1/3 innings. Villalobos has struck out 39 batters and walked 10 while holding opponents to a .200 average, including a .108 batting average for left-handed hitters.
Warner leads the Spikes with seven home runs, which places him in a tie for the seventh-best mark in the NYPL through August 15. The 2018 40th-round draft choice of the Cardinals out of Columbia College in Missouri, Warner is hitting .270 with a .378 on-base percentage over his first 37 games. The Lee’s Summit, Mo. native has also produced six doubles, a triple and 23 runs batted in while scoring 24 runs.
Vinsky joined the Spikes in late June and is eighth in the NYPL with 13 doubles through August 15. The 2019 15th-round draft choice of the Cardinals out of Northwood University in Michigan has notched a .283 batting average and a .344 on-base percentage through his first 40 games while serving as the Spikes’ regular center fielder. Vinsky has also hit one home run, compiled 13 RBI and stolen five bases.
Figueroa has been playing primarily second base for the Spikes but was named to the game as a first baseman owing to his versatility. The Elizabeth, N.J. native was originally selected by the Astros in the 32nd round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Rhode Island. Figueroa then played the 2018 season for the Sussex County (N.J.) Miners of the Can-Am League before signing with the Cardinals and joining the Spikes in 2019. The switch-hitter is batting .301 with four home runs and 27 RBI, second-most on the team, over his first 30 games this year.
State College will be one of seven teams represented on the Red team for the game after a format change. The Spikes will join players from Aberdeen, Auburn, Connecticut, Hudson Valley, Vermont and the host Staten Island squad on the Red side, with Batavia, Brooklyn, Lowell, Mahoning Valley, Tri-City, West Virginia and Williamsport comprising the Blue team.
Complete rosters can be found at MiLB.com for the Red and Blue squads. More information on the 2019 New York-Penn League All-Star Game can be found at the host Staten Island Yankees’ official website, SIYanks.com.