Two pitchers, six position players selected for league's North vs. South contest at St. Joseph June 26, 2019
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The MINK League on Saturday (June 22) announced the rosters for its 2019 All-Star Game at St. Joseph’s Phil Welch Stadium Wednesday evening.
Fifty-six of the best players from the league’s North and South divisions through the first half of the season will represent their respective divisions in the 7 p.m. exhibition contest, which returns to St. Joseph after being hosted by Joplin last year and Chillicothe in 2017. Welch Stadium was the site for each of the first two league All-Star games in 2015-16.
"It's nice to have it back in St. Joe," MINK League Commissioner Ron Rodriguez says. "They do a great job hosting the All-Star games, as well as the other cities that have hosted in the past."
"The game is a great time to showcase the talent across the league,” he observes. "I find it important that players get together and learn more about each other from across the two divisions."
Eight Chillicothe Mudcats are among the 28 players selected from the four MINK North Division squads, tied for the second-most from any team.
They are catcher/first baseman Nolan Metcalf, infielder/outfielder/DH Logan Eickhoff,speedy middle infielders Marcus Gonzalez and Tate Wargo, outfielders Jack Grace and Blaine Ray, and righthanded relief pitchers Jack McNellis and Jack Albright.
The St. Joseph Mustangs, current leaders of the North, have the most representatives in the game with 10, including Chillicothean Derek Hussey, an outfielder who was a 2018 All-Star while playing with the Mudcats. Joplin has the same number of honorees as Chillicothe – eight. Surprisingly, defending champion Sedalia, which is neck-and-neck with St. Joseph for the league’s overall best record to date, has only six.
The All-Star Game is to cap what is scheduled to be – weather permitting – a full day of activity for the league at historic Phil Welch Stadium Wednesday.
The late-morning and early-afternoon hours will see a “pro day” during which scouts from professional baseball teams and colleges will put any league player who chooses to attend through a variety of skills tests and measurements involving hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing, and running.
After the players have a break to refresh themselves, activities will resume at 5:30 p.m. with a Home Run Derby involving one player from each league team attempt to drive balls over the Welch Stadium walls, using regulation college bats, not the wood bats used during league play. Metcalf will be the Mudcats’ representative in the derby. The last time the All-Star Game was played at St. Joseph, a Chillicothe player, corner infielder Nick Banman, won the home run-hitting contest.
The stadium gates will open to the public for the Home Run Derby and ensuing All-Star Game at 4:30 p.m., the league news release states.
Advance tickets are available by calling the host St. Joseph Mustangs’ box office at 816-279-STJO.