Minor League Baseball announced the 2023 Carolina League All-Star Team on Tuesday afternoon. Xavier Isaac, Chandler Simpson, Cooper Kinney and Drew Sommers were each selected as the top players at their respective positions. The RiverDogs four representatives are the most of any team in the league. The all-star team is
Minor League Baseball announced the 2023 Carolina League All-Star Team on Tuesday afternoon. Xavier Isaac, Chandler Simpson, Cooper Kinney and Drew Sommers were each selected as the top players at their respective positions. The RiverDogs four representatives are the most of any team in the league. The all-star team is chosen by the vote of league managers and the Commisioner’s Office.
Isaac, the first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2022 MLB Draft, was tabbed as the Carolina League’s top first baseman. The 19-year-old slugger was a dominant force in the middle of the lineup all season long. Despite being promoted to High-A Bowling Green in late August, Isaac led the league slugging percentage and on-base percentage. He also tied for sixth in home runs, tied for seventh in walks, eight in RBI and tied for eighth in runs batted in. The native of Fayetteville, NC displayed a patient approach at the plate in his first full season of professional baseball, working 56 walks while in the Holy City. He also went 10-10 in stolen bases.
Simpson was recognized as one of the top three outfielders in the circuit. The Georgia Tech product used his elite speed to fluster opponents and give his teammates plenty of RBI opportunities throughout his stay with the RiverDogs. When the outfielder departed for High-A Bowling Green, he had amassed 81 stolen bases on the season, the most in Minor League Baseball. That number also tied him for the second-most in team history during a single season. The 22-year-old from Atlanta also led the Carolina League in hits and runs scored, while ranking among the top ten in batting average. A converted infielder, Simpson played the most games of any player in the Carolina League this season without committing an error.
Kinney was selected to the all-star team as a utility player, having played both positions on the right side of the infield. The 20-year-old from Kennesaw, GA spent the whole season with the RiverDogs and paced the Carolina League with 125 hits. He also finished second in the league in doubles and total bases, third in RBI, sixth in batting average and seventh in extra-base hits. The former University of South Carolina commit has been a staple in the middle part of the lineup all season, playing in 121 games. Kinney was drafted by the Rays in Competitive Balance Round A of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Sommers was one of two relief pitchers selected to the all-star team. After beginning the year in extended spring training, the left-hander joined the RiverDogs on April 27 and quickly became one of their go-to relievers late in games. He pitched 32 times out of the bullpen, posting a 1-4 record and 2.72 earned run average. The 2022 11th round selection out of Central Arizona racked up 66 strikeouts in 43.0 innings. The southpaw registered eight saves in nine opportunities this season and put together a stretch of 11 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run.
The RiverDogs host the Down East Wood Ducks Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Carolina League Championship Series. With a victory, the RiverDogs will secure the league title. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
2023 playoff tickets are on sale now, along with season tickets, Dog-E Coin plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park via riverdogs.com/tickets. The Segra Club is also open for events year-round. Visit segraclub.com for more information. The brand new RiverDogs Food Truck is available for your next event! Contact the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS) for more information.