RHP Trevor Clifton, RHP Zach Hedges and RHP Jake Stinnett named Carolina League All-Stars
Three pitchers from the High-A Myrtle Beach staff will represent the organization in the 2016 California-Carolina League All-Star Game. RHP Trevor Clifton, RHP Zach Hedges and RHP Jake Stinnett were named Wednesday to the Carolina League All-Star team.
The 2016 California-Carolina All-Star Game is in Lake Elsinore, Calif. this year and will take place at Lake Elsinore’s The Diamond on Tuesday, June 21 (8:30pm CDT).
High-A Myrtle Beach’s pitching coach Anderson Tavarez and athletic trainer Toby Williams will join the trio of pitchers.
Trevor Clifton, 21, was named the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May. Clifton went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP over five starts during the month, putting together a string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings. Over the course of May, he finished second in the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts (35) and in a tie for third in wins.
Through 10 starts in 2016, Clifton is 4-3 with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. The No. 21 prospect in the Cubs system according to MLB.com has fanned 57 against 19 walks in 52.0 innings, yielding 43 hits. Clifton has given up just seven total earned runs in his last eight starts covering 44 1/3 frames for a 1.42 ERA. During that span, Chicago’s 12th round pick in 2013 out of Heritage High School (Tenn.) has punched out 45 against 12 walks. Clifton currently ranks second in the circuit in strikeouts per nine innings (9.9), fourth in ERA and fifth in strikeouts.
Zach Hedges, 23, sits just behind Clifton in the league leaders with a 2.39 ERA. The right-hander from Glendora, Calif. has allowed more than two earned runs in two of his 10 starts, registering a 5-4 record. In 60.1 innings, Hedges has whiffed 38 against 13 walks and 52 hits allowed, pitching at least seven frames in four outings.
A 26th-round pick by the Cubs in 2014 out of Azusa Pacific University (Calif.), Hedges surrendered five earned runs on 24 hits over five starts from April 15 through May 11. During that span, he tossed 32 2/3 innings for a 1.38 ERA with 22 strikeouts and eight walks. Hedges has allowed three earned runs in 20 2/3 innings (1.31 ERA) over his last three starts.
Jake Stinnett, 24, has been one of the most difficult pitchers in the Carolina League to hit this season. The Vista, Calif. native has allowed more than five hits just once in his nine starts all season, and ranks fifth in the league by holding opponents to a .223 batting average. Stinnett has given up 42 hits in 52 innings this season, striking out 40 with 19 walks. Stinnett is 4-2 record with a 4.15 ERA and 1.17 WHIP after nine starts.
A second-round pick by the Cubs out of the University of Maryland in 2014, Stinnett allowed more than three earned runs in an outing only once in his first eight starts. During that time, the Cubs’ No. 23 prospect was yielding 5.8 hits per nine innings, while going 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA that ranked among that top 10 in the Carolina League.
The three right-handers representing Myrtle Beach in the All-Star Game have been coached this season by Anderson Tavarez, who is in his 16th year in the Cubs’ organization. A season after helping Short Season Class-A Eugene to the Northwest League’s second-best staff ERA (3.55), Tavarez has coached the Pelicans to the Carolina League’s best mark at 3.42. In a rotation led by their three All-Stars, Myrtle Beach starters have ceded three earned runs or fewer in 41 of their last 52 starts, posting a 3.12 ERA in that span.
In his third year in the Cubs organization and first with the Pelicans, Toby Williams spent 2014 with Class A Short Season Boise before working last season with the Rookie-level Mesa Cubs. Prior to joining the Cubs, he worked as an assistant athletic trainer for the GCL Braves in 2013.
The 2016 California-Carolina League All-Star Game features the Carolina League All-Stars against the California All-Stars at The Diamond, the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm. The game will begin at 8:30pm CDT on Tuesday, June 21.
After the California League triumphed 9-2 in Rancho Cucamonga last season, the all-time series between the two High-A leagues is in favor of the West Coast’s circuit at 9-8-2. OF Mark Zagunis, 3B Jeimer Candelario, RHP Duane Underwood Jr. and RHP Jonathan Martinez represented Myrtle Beach in last year’s contest.