The Bluefield Blue Jays, who sport an Appalachian League (Rookie Level) best 40-21 record, placed 3 players on the League's All-Star Team.
Lefthanded pitcher Jairo Labourt was joined by 3rd Baseman Mitch Nay, and 1B/DH Matt Dean on the squad.
Labourt has been something of a revelation this year. After two modestly successful seasons in the DSL and GCL, he has been lights out on the mound this year, helping Bluefield pitching post the 2nd best ERA in the loop. Labourt is 2-2, with a 1.72 ERA. In 47 innings, he's struck out 49, and has a 0.96 WIP. Appy batters are hitting .188 against him.
Nay, a sandwich round pick in last year's draft, didn't make his pro debut until this year, after sitting out last summer with wrist and back ailments. He has made up for lost time this year, with a line of .313/.376/.452. His 13 errors at the hot corner are a bit of a concern. Nay has responded well to the challenge of playing every day, and is tied for the league lead in games played, and is in the top 10 in batting average and OPS. Not a bad way to start your pro career.
Dean was named the league's All-Star DH, but as Jays broadcaster Trey Wilson pointed out on this week's edition of "Around the Nest," he is second in the league in fielding percentage at 1st base. Dean struggled at 3rd base and with the bat last year, but has shown a mastery of Appalachian League pitching in his second season in the league. Currently second in the league in hitting, Dean is in the top 10 in OBA, Slugging, and OPS as well, hitting his way to a .326/..412/.495 line. Over his last 10 games, Dean is hitting .412.
The Jays have already clinched a playoff spot, and will face the Mariners in the semi-finals, which begin next Saturday.