BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball announced Tuesday that shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and relief pitcher Mike Antonini have been named to the 2018 Post-Season All-Star Team.
Rodriguez earns this selection after completing his second season with the Somerset Patriots. The everyday starting shortstop led the Patriots in games played (122), at-bats (432), hits (131), runs (69), and RBI (55). His .303 batting average ranked second on the team and 10th in the Atlantic League, while his .395 on-base percentage was also second on the team and fourth in the league. He set a career-high with five home runs: fourth most on the Patriots.
The Oak Hill, Virginia native led all Atlantic League shortstops in batting, on-base percentage, games, runs, doubles, and walks (58). He also ranked second amongst shortstops in at-bats, hits, RBI and stolen bases (17). Defensively, Rodriguez played in more innings (1,034.2) and recorded more put-outs (190), assists (309), and double plays (76) than any other shortstop in the league.
Rodriguez enjoyed a number of memorable moments in his season. He was selected to represent Somerset in the 2018 Atlantic League All-Star Game. There, he went 3-for-3 from the plate, reached base four times, and recorded two RBI – including the game-tying and walk-off game-winning runs – en route to being named the All-Star Game MVP.
The second-year Patriot established a season-best nine-game hit streak from June 17th to June 27th and a 20-game on-base streak from June 17th to July 13th: third-longest on-base streak for the team this year. Additionally, he reached base safely in 102 of his 119 starts and Somerset was 34-14 in games in which he scored a run.
At the end of the regular season, Somerset Patriots fans voted Rodriguez as the team MVP. His impressive season carried over to the Atlantic League playoffs, where he went 7-for-16 from the plate, good for a team-best .438 batting average. He also scored a pair of runs, drew a team-high five walks and finished with a .591 on-base percentage over five games.
Somerset’s second Post-Season All-Star, left-handed pitcher Mike Antonini, also set forth a remarkable 2018 campaign. The southpaw reliever impressed with a 1.61 ERA over nine starts with the Patriots in 2017, but built upon those numbers out of the bullpen in 2018. He went 3-2 with a 1.41 ERA over 42 relief appearances, including a 56/11 strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) ratio over 51 innings of work.
The Aston, Pennsylvania native led the Atlantic League with a 0.76 WHIP (minimum of 40 innings pitched). Additionally, only Felipe Paulino (Sugar Land Skeeters) had a lower ERA (1.18) than Antonini in the entire league among pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings of work.
Antonini did not allow an earned run over his first 10 appearances, stretching 14.2 innings of work from April 27th to May 31st. He allowed just three hits over this stretch. The second-year Patriots lefty picked up his play again after June 14th. He allowed just four runs and four walks while striking out 32 batters with a 1.15 ERA over his final 27 appearances of the regular season. That included 14-straight shutout relief appearances from July 8th to August 18th.
His success continued in the postseason, where he made three scoreless and hitless relief appearances in consecutive games, striking out six batters against one walk over 3.1 innings of work.
The full 2018 Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star Team roster can be found at www.atlanticleague.com.