Washington Nationals: Hagerstown well represented in SAL All-Star Game

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May 19, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; A Washington Nationals hat and glove on the bench during a game against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
May 19, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; A Washington Nationals hat and glove on the bench during a game against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Washington Nationals Low-A affiliate in Hagerstown will have six prospects including their coaching staff at this year’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Coming into the season, you could make the case that the Washington Nationals affiliate that was the most intriguing to watch was the Low-A Hagerstown Suns. The Suns are in first place in their division in the South Atlantic League and they will be well represented at their league’s All-Star Game this month.

Yesterday, six Hagerstown Suns were named to the North All-Star team along with manager Patrick Anderson (third time in four years), his pitching coach (Sam Narron), and hitting coach (Amaury Garcia).

In terms of the players who were named to the Northern Division team, there were pitchers McKenzie Mills and Tyler Watson, infielders Carter Kieboom, Sheldon Neuse, and Aldrem Corredor, and outfielder Daniel Johnson.

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Right now, Kieboom is on the DL, so it’s unknown whether he will be able to play in the game on June 20. However, both of them deserved to be All-Stars. Kieboom is hitting .333 with six home runs, 20 RBI’s, and a .398 on-base percentage in 29 games at shortstop.

As for Neuse, he has played both third base and shortstop and has 27 RBI’s in 46 games this year. He had four multi-hit games in his last eight before going on the disabled list.

The surprise of this group has to be Corredor. With the injuries to the Suns key players such as Kieboom, Neuse, and outfielder Juan Soto, Corredor has been a key contributor to the offense. The 21-year-old first baseman is hitting .311 with 22 RBI’s and has an on-base percentage of .382 in 44 games. Plus, his 18 doubles are the third most in the SAL.

Last season, Johnson hit one home run in 62 games with Short-Season Auburn. This year, the 21-year-old has showed off the power in center field for Hagerstown. He has 11 home runs (highest in the SAL) and has a .563 slugging percentage (tied for third in the SAL).

On the mound, Watson is 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA and has 64 strikeouts in 11 games. The 20-year-old left-hander has only lost one game since April 7, is seventh in the league in strikeouts (five or more K’s in eight of 11 outings), and has thrown 61 innings.

As for Mills, he has been the best starter on the team in terms of ERA (2.30 in 11 outings). One of the things to like about the 21-year-old left-hander is that he has good command of the strike zone. His 11 walks are tied for the fewest of any Suns starter.

The Suns are in first place in their division so it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that they had six players selected for the SAL All-Star game. With less than two weeks to go in the first half, the team has a two game lead in the North standings as they try to secure a bid in the postseason as the first half champion.

Next: Three Nats Headline All-Star Vote

Throughout the season, the Suns have shown good resiliency in the late inning of games and almost anyone can be a hero on a given night. That’s the sign of a good team.

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