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Mercedes and Gonzalez Named South Atlantic League All-Stars

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Official Shorebird Release

Mercedes and Gonzalez Named South Atlantic League All-Stars

Delmarva Catcher and Left-Handed Pitcher Recognized as the League?s Best

SALISBURY, MD - The South Atlantic League Commissioner?s Office announced yesterday that the league has recognized it?s 2016 Post-Season All-Stars. Accordingly, two Shorebirds were recognized among the elite players in the league as left-handed pitcher Brian Gonzalez and catcher Yermin Mercedes were selected as the best players at their respective positions. Voters around the league included coaches, managers, general managers, broadcasters and media representatives from each of the 14 teams.

Mercedes left the Shorebirds on August 1st with the South Atlantic League?s highest active batting average (.353), best slugging percentage (.579), second highest on-base percentage (.411) and fourth most home runs (14). He totaled 383 plate appearances, which surpassed the 376 necessary to qualify for the league batting title at the end of the season. He played in 91 games from April 10th to July 30th.

Furthermore, in his last 41 games with the team (dating back to June 11th), Mercedes raised his average from .321 to .353 by going 60-152 (.392) with 10 home runs, one triple, 14 doubles and 30 RBI. He had 15 multi-hit games in his last 30 contests. He currently leads the league batting title race by .023 over Asheville Tourists? first baseman Brian Mundell. Mundell was named the South Atlantic League?s Most Valuable Player.

In July, Mercedes hit for a .375 average in 26 games with 12 doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI?s. By comparison, he collected 13 doubles in April, May and June combined. He led the league in hits (36), extra-base hits (17) and OPS (1.105). From June 25th until July 8th, Mercedes hit in 14 consecutive games which included seven multi-hit games in a row. He also reached base safely in 25 straight contests from June 10th until July 8th, which is the fifth longest on-base streak in the league this season.

His capstone game of the season came on July 23rd against the Kannapolis Intimidators. He finished the night 4-for-4 with three solo home runs and a single, becoming the first Shorebird to hit three home runs in a single game since at least 2007. In addition to being named a Mid-Season All-Star, Mercedes was also recognized as the South Atlantic League?s Player of the Month in July and won Player of the Week honors twice (April 18-24 and June 13-19).

Brian Gonzalez repeated the 2016 season in Delmarva after spending all of 2015 with the Shorebirds. The Delmarva left-hander has easily been one of the top pitchers in the league. As of August 31st, Gonzalez is tied for third in the league with a 2.51 ERA. He is also second in the league with 139.2 innings pitched. Gonzalez helped anchor a staff that is among the most successful that the Shorebirds have ever had.

Gonzalez found ways to shine brightest during some of the most pressing moments of his season. With likely two starts still ahead of him, he has limited opponents to a .193 average with runners in scoring position. More impressively, he hasn?t given up a single hit with the bases loaded all season - batters are 0-for-11 in those situations with six strikeouts.

As the season moved along, Gonzalez continued to meet and exceed expectations. He leads the Shorebirds with 15 quality starts. In fact, he has gone at least six innings in each of his last six consecutive starts. He is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA in August.

Here is the complete list of South Atlantic League Post-Season All-Stars:

2016 SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE POSTSEASON ALL-STAR TEAM

NAME POS TEAM MLB ORG

Yermin Mercedes C Delmarva BAL

Brian Mundell* 1B Asheville COL

Josh Tobias 2B Lakewood PHI

Brendan Rodgers? SS Asheville COL

Kelvin Gutierrez 3B Hagerstown WAS

Ian Sagdal UT INF Hagerstown WAS

Yonathan Daza OF Asheville COL

Tate Matheny OF Greenville BOS

Jose Pujols OF Lakewood PHI

Luis Alexander Basabe UT OF Greenville BOS

Chris Gittens DH Charleston NYY

Mitch Keller? RHP West Virginia PIT

Brian Gonzalez LHP Delmarva BAL

C.J. Robinson RP Greensboro MIA

Patrick Anderson Manager Hagerstown WAS

Justin Pope Coach Charleston NYY

* Most Valuable Player

? Most Outstanding MLB Prospect

? Most Outstanding Pitcher

Delmarva Shorebirds

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Both players were very deserving. I think Mercedes has a good shot at Orioles' MiL player of the year, and Gonzalez for MiL pitcher of the year.

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