The Columbia Fireflies will be well-represented at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game later this month, as the team will send four representatives to Greensboro, N.C. Fireflies pitchers David Peterson and Joe Cavallaro, catcher Scott Manea, and first baseman Jeremy Vasquez received the nod on Tuesday, the league announced.
Peterson, the Mets’ first-round draft choice in 2017, has enjoyed a stellar first pro season, ranking sixth in the SAL in ERA (1.93), seventh in WHIP (0.99), and 11th in opponents batting average (.213). The 22-year-old has been particularly strong over his last three starts, during which he’s struck out 22, walked none, and allowed four earned runs in 20.2 innings.
Cavallaro has been one of the nicer surprises in Columbia, as the 2017 24th-round pick has been one of the team’s most consistent arms. The former USF Bull is tied for second in the league in wins (6), 10th in strikeout percentage (26.8), and has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a start this season.
After a nondescript first two seasons in pro ball, Manea, a nondrafted free agent signing, got off to a raging hot start in 2018, slashing .298/.450/.489 in April. He’s cooled off considerably since then, but it’s satisfying to see a grinder like Manea get rewarded for his play.
Vasquez is most notable for his 29-game on-base streak to begin 2018, but the former 28th-round pick has maintained an OBP above .400 through the season’s first 50 games. Like Manea, his May couldn’t replicate his April, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the SAL who gets on base as well as Vasquez.