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Cyclones lead the way to the all-star game

for The Brooklyn Paper
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They have the best record in the New York–Penn League. They have the highest batting average and the most home runs. And their pitchers have given up the fewest earned runs.

No wonder this week’s league all-star game on Staten Island looked like a normal Cyclones road game.

In all, eight Monsters of MCU Park were named to the all-star team, plus their skipper, Wally Backman.

“It’s great,” said Backman, the future manager of the New York Mets. “I’m really proud of our guys. But I thought we’d have a few more on there.”

Indeed, the list could have included surging J.B. Brown, with his .309 batting average; Brian Harrison, with his seven homers in 126 at-bats; and pitcher Chris Hilliard, who is 7–1 this season.

Still, the eight selections were a franchise record.

And here they are, your Cyclone all stars:

• Pitcher Yohan Almonte has a 1.73 ERA, the third best in the league, and a record of 7-3.

• Joe Bonfe is at sixth in the league with a batting average of .323. He also has 27 runs, 12 doubles, three home runs, and 20 RBI.

• Darrell Ceciliani squashes the competition, leading the league in runs (47), hits (83), batting average (.364), and total bases (122). Ceciliani also the fourth most stolen bases (18), the third most doubles (16) and on-base percentage (.416).

• Angel Cuan remains undefeated with a record of 5-0 in 11 games started, and has a 2.06 ERA. He’s struck out 55 batters in 65-2/3 innings, more than any other pitcher in the league.

• Jeff Flagg has 39 RBI, the fifth best in the league. Flagg also boasts 13 doubles, five triples, six home-runs, and seven stolen bases.

• Closer Ryan Fraser is fifth in the league in saves, with nine and has an 1.46 ERA. He’s whiffed 31 batters in just 24-2/3 innings.

• Now-injured shortstop Rylan Sandoval has a batting average of .330 and is also in third place for home runs (nine), sixth place in total bases (101), and eighth place in hits (61).

• With 12 dingers and 44 RBIs, Cory Vaughn is on track to break the Cyclones single-season records of 13 home runs and 46 runs batted in. Vaughn is second in the league for total bases (119), and has a batting average of .308, nine doubles, four triples, and 10 stolen bases.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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