By Jerry Del Priore
Four Columbia Fireflies made the 2018 South Atlantic League (SAL) All-Star squad, the association announced Tuesday.
Pitchers Joe Cavallaro and David Peterson, along with catcher Scott Manea and first baseman Jeremy Vasquez will play at First National Bank Field in Greensboro, North Carolina, in the 59th SAL All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 19.
Three of the players are former Brooklyn Cyclones: Peterson, Manea and Vasquez—all of which played for the team during the 2017 season.
Peterson, the New York Mets 2017 MLB first round draft pick, is having a stellar season in Columbia, with the sixth-best ERA (1.93) in the league while whiffing 47 batters in 51.1 frames. The former All-American at the University of Oregon has been nearly untouchable of late: he’s carried a 1.13 ERA over his last six starts. Peterson is the fourth-ranked prospect in Mets’ system, according to MLB Prospect Pipeline.
Manea is batting .248 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 38 games. But it’s been his defensive prowess which has been his strong suit, throwing out 16 of 26 would-be base-stealers (.615)—the highest rate in the association.
Vasquez is hitting a team-best .295 with 11 doubles and league-leading .404 on-base percentage. The 21-year-old reached safely in a franchise-record 29 straight games from April 5-May 6. The Mets drafted the former Florida Gator and Nova Southeastern Shark in the 28th round of the 2017 draft.
Cavallaro is second in the assocation with six wins and has registered a 2.22 ERA over nine outings (eight starts). Batters have hit a meager.198 against the 22-year-old (fifth-best in the SAL), and the Fireflies are 7-2 in contests he has pitched in. Cavallaro is in his second season in New York’s system after being drafted out of the University of South Florida in 2017.