Clearwater, FL – The Delmarva Shorebirds will send three players to represent the team at the 58th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game, announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Pitcher Alex Wells, outfielder Jake Ring, and infield Chris Claire will represent the Shorebirds for the Northern Division at the league’s midsummer classic at Columbia’s Spirit Communications Park on June 20. Ring will start for the North in center field, while Clare was selected as a utility infielder and Wells as one of 11 pitchers.
Ring is in the midst of a historic season at the plate for the Shorebirds. The Ingleside, Ill. native is batting .326, good for fifth in the league. He is the league’s active leader in RBIs (38), doubles (19), extra-base hits (31), slugging (.609), total bases (112), and ranks in the top five in several other offensive categories. A 31st-round pick out of Missouri in the 2016 draft, Ring has been a revalation for Delmarva this season, earning SAL Player of the Week for April 6-16 and Baltimore Orioles Minor League Player of the Month for April. His finest moment came on May 16 when he hit a walkoff two-run double – with two outs and two strikes against Greenville all-star closer Stephen Nogosek – to give the Shorebirds a 6-5 win over the Drive.
A New York-Penn League all-star last year in short-season Aberdeen, Wells has continued his hot start to his professional career with the Shorebirds. The Australian national from Newcastle, New South Wales is 4-2 with a 1.74 ERA through 10 starts, walking eight and striking out 40 through 51.2 innings. He boasts the third-lowest ERA in the SAL, as well as a team-best 1.03 WHIP and six quality starts. Wells has three scoreless starts this season of at least six innings, including seven three-hit shutout frames in a win on June 1 against Hickory.
Clare has been the glue for the Shorebird infield all season, starting primarily at shortstop but seeing half a dozen reps at both second and third base. The Fort Mill, S.C. native is currently batting .274 with a team-best .377 on-base percentage, notching nine extra-base hits and 25 RBIs along the way. Clare introduced himself to the Perdue Stadium faithful in a big way, batting .571 (12-21) with seven RBIs and nine runs scored over a season-opening seven-game homestand from April 13 through 19. The 21st-round pick from High Point in 2016 strung together a seven-game hitting streak from May 7 through 18, notching four multi-hit games in that span. Clare’s hometown of Fort Mill is just 75 miles north of Columbia.
The Northern Division team will be managed by Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson, while Jose Leger of the hometown Columbia Fireflies will lead the South.
“The amount of talent that is showcased each year in this game is tremendous, and this year certainly continues that tradition,” said SAL president Eric Krupa of this year’s all-star teams. “Columbia Fireflies President John Katz and his staff have been working for more than a year in order to put together one of the most anticipated events on the baseball calendar.”
The Shorebirds wrap up the first half of play on June 18 and will begin the second half of the 2017 season with an eight-game homestand starting on June 22 at home against Lakewood.