R’Dogs’ De Paula gets All-Star start

Charleston RiverDogs pitcher Gabe Encinas was named to the SAL All Star game. (photo provided)

Charleston RiverDogs right-hander Rafael De Paula will be the starting pitcher for the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division team in the 54th annual SAL All-Star game.

The game will be played June 18 at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.

Charleston pitchers Gabe Encinas and Dietrich Enns, as well as catcher Peter O’Brien, were also named to the Southern Division roster.

De Paula has been one of the SAL’s most dominating pitchers this season. He leads the league and is currently tied for second among all minor league pitchers with 83 strikeouts.

De Paula, 22, has won six of his last seven starts, and is 6-2 overall. He has a 2.48 ERA and has issued just 22 walks in 541/3 innings pitched. De Paula has had three starts this season where he has allowed one hit or less.

Encinas, who will not participate in the game due to an elbow injury, was off to an even better start than De Paula before he was hurt. The Yankees’ sixth-round pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft made seven starts this season and was 3-0 with a 0.77 ERA. In 35 innings, the 6-3, 195-pound right-hander allowed just 22 hits and three earned runs to go along with 31 strikeouts.

Enns, a left-handed reliever, was not on the RiverDogs roster on opening day, but he has been Charleston’s ace out of the bullpen.

Enns has gone 4-0 this season with a 0.56 ERA. Enns, who was taken in the 19th round of the 2012 draft, has 54 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. He has allowed just 17 hits and two earned runs.

O’Brien, 22, leads the RiverDogs and is ranked in the top 10 in the SAL with a .316 batting average. O’Brien, who was taken in the second round of the 2102 draft, also leads the team with seven homers and is second with 34 RBIs.

Southern Division Roster

MANAGER: Luis Rojas, Savannah

PITCHERS: Rafael De Paula, Charleston; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah; Martin Agosta, Augusta; Gabe Encinas, Charleston; Brett Mitchell, Savannah; Christian Binford, Lexington; Tyler Mizenko, Augusta; Shae Simmons, Rome; Dietrich Enns, Charleston; Chris Stratton, Augusta; Alec Mills, Lexington

CATCHERS: Kevin Plawecki, Savannah; Tom Murphy, Asheville; Peter O’Brien, Charleston

1B: Jayce Boyd, Savannah

2B: Levi Hyams, Rome

3B: Mitchell Delfino, Augusta

SS: Rosell Herrera, Asheville

INFIELDERS: Matt Duffy, Augusta; Mookie Betts, Greenville

RF: Derek Jones, Asheville

CF: Jesus Galindo, Augusta

LF: Josh Elander, Rome

OUTFIELDERS: Francisco Sosa, Asheville; Brandon Nimmo, Savannah

DH: David Chester, Greenville