Bryant, Black and Rivero Among Six Smokies Named Southern League All Stars

The Southern League announced the roster for the North Division squad for the upcoming All-Star game on Tuesday. Six players from the Tennessee Smokies were tabbed as All-Stars … 3B Kris Bryant, RHP Corey Black, RHP Armando Rivero, INF Stephen Bruno, OF John Andreoli and C Rafael Lopez.

Kris Bryant, Armando Rivero and John Andreoli will likely participate in the game. Depending on how the day falls with Corey Black’s schedule could impact on whether or not he would be available to pitch in the game. Stephen Bruno is currently on the disabled list and Rafael Lopez will not play in the game due to his promotion to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.

Southern League field managers, radio broadcasters, general managers and print media cast votes to determine the All-Star rosters.

The Southern League All-Star game takes place on June 17 at AT & T Field in Chattanooga. And the starting lineups will be announced later this week.

Kris Bryant leads the Southern League in most offensive categories. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Bryant was hitting .351/.455/.688 with 15 doubles, 18 home runs, 34 walks, 65 strikeouts, 49 RBI, 141 total bases and a 1.143 OPS. Bryant was named Southern League Hitter of the Week on Monday, his second weekly honor of the season.

Armando Rivero has made 20 appearances for the Smokies this season and has saved eight games. Rivero has performed rather well as the Smokies closer. He has allowed six runs on 13 hits with 12 walks and 42 strikeouts in 28 innings (1.93 ERA, 0.89 WHIP). Rivero

John Andreoli is hitting only .235 this season but has a .362 OBP. Andreoli works counts and is a pest on the bases. Andreoli is 26-for-28 in stolen base attempts this season and during one stretch this year he reached base in 30 straight games.

Corey Black is quietly putting together a very good year. Black is 2-4 in 11 games, 10 starts, with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. In 52 1/3 innings, Black has allowed 23 runs, 20 earned, on 34 hits (five home runs) with 31 walks and 55 strikeouts.

Stephen Bruno was hitting .288/.381/.484 with 15 doubles, three triples, three home runs and a .864 OPS before landing on the DL. Bruno hit .346/.414/.641/1.055 in 21 games in May with 13 doubles, two triples and two home runs.

The Cubs bumped Rafael Lopez up to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday after his excellent start to the season both offensively and defensively. Lopez hit .297/.412/.466 with 13 doubles, four home runs, 29 walks, 26 strikeouts and a .879 OPS in 48 games. Lopez threw out 48.8 percent (20) of would be basestealers, the highest percentage in the Southern League.

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  • Patrick_Schaefer

    What’s the deal with Lopez? He’s 26 but seems like a better option than Eli Whiteside. He threw out 48% of Batters and is hitting so y is Whiteside here.

    • Tom U

      Lopez was 23 years old when he was drafted in 2011. He also lost a good chunk of the 2012 season with a concussion. Despite his age, he is right on his developmental schedule.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I hadn’t realized that Alcantara is already on the 40 man roster. Interesting maybe he will get a shot this year

  • GaryLeeT

    Neil, I never question your assessments in the comment section, but when you called Corey Black’s season very good, I have to say that his 31 walks in 52 innings is beyond brutal.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      1.24 whip is pretty good.

      • GaryLeeT

        He can get away with those walks in the Minors, but they would make him pay dearly in the Majors.

    • Neil

      Gary, if you see something, please question. I attempt to provide the best info I can, and I do make mistakes. After reading your comment and thinking about it, I probably should have said good and not very good. The contact that I’ve seen off Black has been weak. He’s allowed five home runs and kept the hits he’s allowed down. 14 of those walks have come in three starts as well.

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  • paulcatanese

    Interesting comment by Hoyer on Bryant, that he feels that he would like him to dominate that league a little more before any promotion. How much more is he expected to do? He is just tearing it up now, what does Hoyer expect?
    Far as I’m concerned, it’s all about team control for another year, and not so much about Bryant, gets back to the money.
    I hope down the line, Bryant really sticks it to the Cubs with the dollars.

    • sshaun23

      Can you blame them for holding Bryant back? Big league team is not going anywhere this year and I would rather have another year of Bryant down the road then to call him up now or at all this season. Let him play an entire year in aa and start in aaa next year and after a couple months and he’s still raking then bring him up.

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