Chris Ellis among 4 M-Braves named Southern League All-Stars
PEARL (MississippiBraves.com) - The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced its South Division All-Star team Wednesday, June 8, selecting four Mississippi Braves players to the 2016 Southern League All-Star Game. The North Division takes on the South Division Tuesday, June 21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Catcher Willians Astudillo, RHP Chris Ellis, outfielder Dustin Peterson and infielder Dansby Swanson were all named to the South Division roster.
Astudillo, 24, is hitting .242 with six doubles, one homer and 19 RBI in 44 contests this season. The catcher has struck out only six times in 165 at-bats while walking twice. Astudillo is hitting .378 against left-handers this season. He's thrown out a Southern League leading 38 percent of runners attempting to steal (18 of 48). A native of Venezuela, Astudillo was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Braves on November 24, 2015.
Ellis, an Ole Miss alumnus, is 7-2 with a 2.85 ERA in 12 starts for the M-Braves this season. He ranks 10th among Southern League Leaders in ERA and is tied for the league lead in wins. Ellis is 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA in six games at Trustmark Park. Opponents are hitting .197 against the Braves No. 15 prospect this season-third-lowest in the league. Ellis was named Mississippi Pitcher of the Month (April) by the Braves organization after making five starts, posting a record of 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA. Ellis held opponents to a .192 batting average in those five contests. The Alabama native was acquired by the Braves along with Erick Aybar, Sean Newcomb and cash from the LA Angels in exchange for Andrelton Simmons and Jose Briceno on November 12, 2015.
Peterson, 21, is hitting .265 with 14 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 31 RBI in 55 games with the Double-A Braves this season. The outfielder is hitting .310 against southpaws. He's batting .323 with runners in scoring position this season and is hitting .391 thus far in the month of June. Peterson entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the Braves No. 22 prospect. The Arizona native was acquired by the Braves as part of a six-player deal with San Diego that sent Justin Upton to the Padres in December 2014.
The Braves No. 1 prospect joined the M-Braves at the end of April. Swanson is hitting .277 with 11 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 32 games. The 22-year-old shortstop also ranks among Baseball America's Top 100 in baseball at No. 17. Prior to his promotion to Double-A, Swanson was hitting .333 with 12 doubles, a homer, 10 RBI and seven stolen bases in 21 games at High-A Carolina. He was selected first overall in the 2015 draft by the Diamondbacks out of Vanderbilt. The Kennesaw, GA, native was acquired by the Braves along with OF Ender Inciarte and RHP Aaron Blair from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Shelby Miller and LHP Gabe Speier on December 8, 2015.
The North Division All-Stars were announced Tuesday, June 7. Players were selected after a vote by Southern League field managers, radio broadcasters, general managers and print media. All players on Southern League rosters as of May 31 were eligible in the voting. Starting lineups for the North and South Divisions will be announced on Thursday, June 9 and Friday, June 10, respectively.
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