07/12/2019 9:54 AM
GARY, Ind. (July 12, 2019) – At the halfway point in the 2019 season, the Cleburne Railroaders own the best record in the American Association South Division. That success was acknowledged on Friday, as Zach Nehrir, John Nester, Chase Simpson and Tyler Wilson were named to the 2019 American Association South Division All-Star Team. All three position players were named starters, while Wilson joins the South Division bullpen.
The game will be held at CHS Field in St. Paul on Tuesday, July 23 at 7:05 PM. The full rosters are available here: https://bit.ly/2GcIyEn
Nehrir was one of the first offseason acquisitions when shaping the 2019 Railroaders roster, and has proven to be a stalwart in centerfield. In addition to elite defensive work, the native of Orange, Calif., has delivered a well-rounded offensive campaign. With a .292 batting average, a league-leading 22 doubles, three triples and four home runs, Nehrir has produced a stellar .910 OPS through the season’s first half. His walk rate has improved dramatically from 2018, with 27 bases on balls to rank top 15 in the league. After pacing the circuit with 38 steals a season ago, the fleet-of-foot outfielder has chipped in nine stolen bases in 13 attempts so far this season.
Nester is on pace for career-highs in virtually all offensive categories, bringing a .309 average with 10 home runs and 26 RBI into play on Friday. The right-handed hitting catcher ranks fourth in the league in both on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.590), in addition to his standout work behind the dish. Nester has gunned down a league-best 14 opposing base stealers, and helped the Cleburne pitching staff compile the league’s third-best ERA at 4.04.
Simpson has established himself as one of the premier power hitters in the American Association, leading the league with 53 RBI and tying for second in home runs (13) and doubles (16). The switch-hitter’s patience has resulted in 32 walks, sixth most in the league, and an OPS of .998. When injuries decimated the Cleburne infield, Simpson filled in wherever necessary, spending time at third base, shortstop, and second base, while also swiping six bases in six attempts.
Wilson has been nothing short of dominant out of the Cleburne bullpen this season, compiling a jaw-dropping 0.77 ERA in 21 appearances as the Railroaders closer. His 12 saves are currently tied for fourth in the league, while his 38 relief points check in at third. In 23.1 innings, Wilson has allowed only 14 hits, striking out 35 while issuing just eight walks.
The group of four are the first All-Star selections for Cleburne since former Railroaders pitcher Patrick Mincey was named to the squad in 2017.
The Railroaders continue their road swing with a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:10, as right-hander Jesus Sanchez (5-2, 3.52) starts for Cleburne.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.