The 2018 International League All-Star Team was officially announced Wednesday, and the first-place IronPigs had three representatives selected: infielder Joey Meneses, right-hander Enyel De Los Santos and left-hander Cole Irvin. Meneses, who received the most overall votes, and De Los Santos, the top pitcher in online voting, were both elected as starters.
The 31st-annual Triple-A All-Star Game will be played on July 11 at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The classic will be broadcast live on MiLB.TV and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network and will later be nationally televised by MLB Network on July 18.
Meneses, 26, has enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first year of triple-a baseball as well as his first in the Phillies system. The native of Culiacan, Mexico, is currently tied for the IL lead in total bases (135) while ranking second in home runs (13), third in slugging percentage (.523), fourth in hits (78), fifth in RBI (40) and eighth in batting average (.302). He has also set a new career high with 13 home runs, shattering his prior high of nine set in 2017. This marks Meneses’ second All-Star selection of his career, as he represented the Mississippi Braves in the 2017 Southern League All-Star game a season ago. He was signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent on February 1, 2018, after spending the first seven years of his professional career in the Atlanta organization.
De Los Santos, 22, has also flourished in his first season at triple-a and in the Phillies organization. Acquired in a trade with San Diego for Freddy Galvis in December, the youngest IronPigs pitcher leads the IL in ERA (1.73) while ranking third in WHIP (1.07), fourth in wins (7), fourth in strikeouts (85) and fifth in innings pitched (83.1). The native of San Pedro de Macoris, D.R., has allowed no more than one earned run in 10 of his 14 starts while never yielding more than three runs in a game this season. This marks the second selection for De Los Santos, who was a 2016 Midwest League midseason All-Star with Fort Wayne.
Irvin, 24, is tied for the IL lead in wins (8) after starting the season with just 35 games in his minor league career; none at the triple-a level. The Anaheim, California, native also leads the league in innings pitched (95.2) while ranking second in WHIP (1.03), fourth in ERA (2.54) and is tied for fifth in strikeouts (81). In addition, Irvin set an IronPigs franchise record by winning seven-straight starts from May 6 to June 10, during which time he posted a 7-0 record with a 1.51 ERA (47.2 IP, 8 ER). He also tied a franchise record by winning eight-consecutive decisions from April 27 to June 10. Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth-round of 2016 out of the University of Oregon, Irvin has now made back-to-back All-Star appearances after representing Clearwater as a 2017 Florida State League midseason All-Star.
Last season, the Pacific Coast League earned a 6-4 victory in Tacoma, Wash. Still, the IL owns a 12-8 advantage in the 20 years since the event changed to the current IL versus PCL format. The winning League this season will once again earn the right to have its champion play as the “home team” at the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game which will take place Tuesday, September 18, also at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.