Abel Nieves, Amalio Diaz and Hector Pellot are headed to Normal for the 2012 All-Star Game…
(Joliet, IL) – Abel Nieves, Amalio Diaz and Hector Pellot will participate in the 2012 Frontier League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 11 at 7:05 p.m. in Normal, IL. Nieves was selected as a starter in the outfield for the West Division while Diaz was named to the pitching staff. Pellot was added on Thursday by West Division manager Jamie Bennett.
Nieves, 26, has played every position for the Slammers this season except for center field, catcher and pitcher. He is currently hitting a team-leading .348 with three home runs and 19 RBI. Nieves played two years of ball at Middle Georgia College before being picked by the Angels in the 50th round of the 2004 draft. Nieves shows good patience at the plate as evidenced by the fact his career On Base Percentage in affiliated baseball (.359) is nearly 100 points higher than his career batting average (.262). Nieves’ OBP with the Slammers this season is currently .441. He played at the Triple-A level in 2010 before spending the 2011 season playing in his native Venezuela.
“Abel Nieves is probably one of the few individuals I’ve ever coached that can play at a professional level at a multitude of positions,” Slammers manager Bart Zeller said. “He comes to the park every day and gives 100 percent of his effort, and the results show.”
Diaz, 25, has struck out 21 batters in 17.2 innings and has nine saves to his credit. The right-hander currently sports a 2.04 ERA. Diaz signed with the Angels out of Venezuela at the age of 18. Diaz reached the Double-A level at the age of 21 and got promoted to Triple-A by the Angels in 2010. His career ERA at the Double-A level is 3.87 in 62 games.
“Diaz thrives on pressure situations, evidenced by his nine out of 10 saves,” Zeller said. “He works as hard as any pitcher on our staff. Once again, hard work and determination have paid off for him by making the All-Star team.”
Pellot, 25, is currently hitting .297 with two home runs and 17 RBI. He has scored a team-leading 33 runs, smacked a team best 14 doubles and has drawn a team-high 28 walks. Pellot was added to the All-Star team by West Division manager Jamie Bennett.
Pellot starred in the playoffs in 2011 after a very good regular season. The slick fielding second baseman hit .500 (13-26) with two home runs and five RBI in seven postseason games in 2011. Pellot hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico where he honed his skills at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. The Mets selected Mike Pelfrey in the first round in 2005 and did not have a second or third round pick, making Pellot their second pick of that draft. In only his second year of professional ball, Pellot was named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star in 2007. His strong start to the season earned him a promotion to the high-A Florida State League that year. He remained in the FSL until 2010 when he got a mid-season promotion to the Double-A Eastern League. Pellot has played most of his games at second base during his career. But he also has experience at third base and has made appearances at all three positions in the outfield.
“Hector was a major cog in last year’s championship team and he’s continued to play second base at a high level,” Zeller said. “He has contributed a very big part to any offense we’ve been able to generate this season.”
Last year the Slammers had four Frontier League All-Stars with Oak Lawn native Erik Lis winning the All-Star Game MVP Award in Avon, Ohio. Joliet’s other All-Stars in 2011 were Joliet native Ryan Quigley (currently in the San Diego Padres’ organization), New Lenox native Josh Flores (currently working in the “real world”) and Bobby Leeper (currently working to earn a graduate degree).
Fans can get tickets to watch the three All-Stars and the rest of the Slammers by calling 815-722-2287. Joliet is home through Sunday before the All-Star break. More details about the exciting events this week can be found at http://jolietslammers.com/gameday/promo-days.