It’s only May, but Minor League Baseball is getting started with their All-Star game announcements. The Triple-A All-Star game takes place in July, as they pit the two leagues against each other. The rest of the minors, though, play their All-Star games in June (the full-season leagues). The Florida State League seems to be the first one to announce their All-Stars and the Daytona Tortugas are well represented on the team.
Two pitchers made the team from Daytona. Left-handed starter Packy Naughton has dominated in the first half for the Tortugas. The 23-year-old has posted a 2.63 ERA over his first nine starts of the season. In 51.1 innings he’s allowed just two home runs, walked just nine batters, and he’s racked up 50 strikeouts. Opposing batters have a .247/.282/.359 line against him on the year.
Reliever Ryan Nutof has served as the closer for the Tortugas this season. He’s picked up six saves along the way while posting a 3.00 ERA in 21.0 innings. Over his 17 appearances he’s walked just four batters – and one of those was intentional. He’s also struck out 27 of the 86 hitters he’s faced while keeping them to a .225/.267/.313 line.
The two pitchers on the team will be joined by three position players from the Tortugas. Jonathan India, the teams third baseman, gets one of the spots. The Reds 1st round pick from 2018 is hitting .261/.366/.439 with six doubles, two triples, and six home runs. His six home runs are tied for the fourth most in the league. He’s also third in the league in runs scored.
Catcher Hendrik Clementina is making his third consecutive All-Star team of his minor league career. In 2017 he made the Pioneer League All-Star team, and last season he was a Midwest League All-Star with the Dayton Dragons. This year he got out to a slow start, but he’s been hitting well of late for Daytona. Over the last month plus, he’s hitting .277 with four doubles and four home runs, dating back to April 20th.
Alejo Lopez makes the team as a second baseman. This is his first All-Star team as a professional. The Tortugas switch-hitter has a .287/.354/.350 line with four stolen bases. He’s also scored 27 runs, which is fourth best in the Florida State League. His 15 RBI is the second best in the league among second basemen.
The players won’t be alone at the game representing the Tortugas. As the North Division’s returning champions, Daytona manager Ricky Gutierrez will be joined by hitting coach Alex Peláez, pitching coach Tom Brown, bench coach Lenny Harris, athletic trainer Ryan Ross, and strength and conditioning coach Trey Strickland as they handle duties for the North Division All-Stars.