The 2019 South Atlantic League All-Star Game will take place Tuesday night at Appalachian Power Park, with fans getting the opportunity to perhaps get a peek at future Major League Baseball stars.
The last time the SAL showcase came to Charleston, there were many future big-leaguers on the rosters for the 2009 game at APP, but only one real star in the bunch.
The festivities on that June day 10 years ago began with West Virginia Power slugger Calvin Anderson clubbing 13 homers to win the Home Run Derby and ended with an Anderson single and a throwing error on the South team bringing Delmarva’s Ronnie Welty around to score and give the North an 8-7 walk-off win.
Anderson was the star that night, but let’s look at some of the names from that game who went on to careers in the big leagues.
Rizzo appeared in the 2009 SAL All-Star Game on the South representing the Greenville Drive — then, and still, a Boston Red Sox affiliate. Rizzo went 1 for 2 at the plate with a double, a stolen base, an RBI and a walk. He was traded to San Deigo in the deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox. He made his MLB debut with the Padres in 2011, then flipped to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Andrew Cashner that offseason.
Of course, Rizzo has gone on to become arguably the face of the Cubs’ franchise with 209 career home runs, three MLB All-Star Game appearances, two Gold Gloves at first base and the 2016 Silver Slugger Award. He’s a Chicago legend forever after being at first base for the final out as the Cubs broke a 108-year championship drought by beating the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
Beckham, a shortstop, was a standout for the 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods to earn his spot on the South team in 2009. He went 3 for 5 that night at Appalachian Power Park with two strikeouts. Beckham, now a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners, made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He stuck with the Rays until he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2017. He stayed with the Orioles again in 2018 before his move to the Mariners for this season. All told, Beckham has played in 442 big league games over parts of seven seasons.
Fedorwicz, a catcher for Greenville who went 0 for 1 during the 2009 game, made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has bounced around the majors since there. He stayed with the Dodgers through 2014, spent 2015 in the minors and reappeared for 17 games in 2016 with the Cubs. Fedorwicz has played for a different team every season since — the San Francisco Giants in 2017, the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds in 2018 and this season he has appeared in six games for the Texas Rangers, going 2 for 4 on Friday for the Rangers at Cincinnati.
Perez, now a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins who played for the Hickory Crawdads in 2009, struck out two in one inning of work for the North team 10 years ago. He made his MLB debut for the Rangers in 2012 and stayed with Texas until this season, when he made the move to Minnesota. Perez, who has appeared in 153 Major League games, has three 10-win seasons on his resume — 2013, 2016 and 2017 — and appears on his way to another with a 7-2 record and 3.97 ERA so far this season for the Twins.
Chase and Travis D’Arnaud
The D’Arnaud brothers — West Virginia shortstop Chase and Lakewood catcher Travis — joined forces for the North team in 2009 at Chase’s home ballpark before both went on to big league careers. Travis, now a catcher with Tampa Bay, made his MLB debut with the New York Mets in 2013 and stayed in New York through this season. Since the start of the the 2019 season, however, Travis was sent to the Dodgers for one game before moving on to the Rays. Chase made his big league debut in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hung around with the Pirates organization through 2014, spent 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies, 2016 and part of 2017 with the Atlanta Braves before being sent to Boston then San Diego before the end of that season. He played for the Giants in 2018. Chase has not played in an MLB game this season, but has been on the roster with the Rangers’ AAA team, the Nashville Sounds. In all, Chase has played in 236 Major League games.
Rizzo, Beckham, Fedorwicz, Perez and Travis D’Arnaud are the only players from the 2009 game in Charleston currently playing for Major League Baseball clubs, but several more — like Chase D’Arnaud — are still kicking around the minors.
n Lake County Captains pitcher Tyler Cloyd, who spent time with the Phillies, Mariners and Miami Marlins during his career, is currently on the roster of the Mariners’ AAA team, the Tacoma Rainiers.
n Anthony Gose, in 2009 a hot outfield prospect at Lakewood, flamed out after a brief run in the big leagues, and in 2016, at the suggestion of the Detroit Tigers, became a pitcher. Gose started over as a pitcher down the minor league ladder, and currently plays for the AA Akron Rubber Ducks in Cleveland’s organization.
n Jesus Sucre, a catcher with the Rome Braves in 2009, has played in 20 games for Baltimore this season but now is on the Orioles’ AAA roster with the Norfolk Tides.
n Jordan Pacheo, a catcher for the Asheville Tourists in 2009, spent parts of six season with the Colorado Rockies, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Reds. He hasn’t played in an MLB game since 2016, but is currently active in pro ball in Mexico.
n Justin De Fratus, a Lakewood standout in 2009, has appeared in 191 MLB games as a pitcher, all with the Phillies between 2011 and 2015. De Fratus, however, has not been in the big leagues since and now plays for the AA Tulsa Drillers.
There are also several players from the 2009 game who got to the majors but are no longer active in baseball. Charleston Riverdogs outfielder Melky Mesa, Savannah Sand Gnats infielder Joshua Satin, Augusta infielder Juan Perez, Rome pitcher Ezekiel Spurill, Riverdogs pitchers Hector Noesi, and West Virginia Power pitcher Rudy Owens — who pitched in one game for the Astros in 2014 — all made it to “The Show” but are no longer active in professional baseball.