The Appalachian League Wednesday announced its 2021 all-star team prior to the completion of its inaugural season as a collegiate summer league as part of the MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) and included two Pulaski River Turtles — utility infielder Mark Trotta and catcher Ryan Johnson — on the team.
The honorees were nominated and voted on by the league’s managers and are highlighted by Elizabethton’s Marcus Brown, who was named Player of the Year, and Greeneville’s Bryce Mayer, who earned Pitcher of the Year honors. Additionally, Greeneville manager Alan Regier was named the Appalachian League Manager of the Year.
Brown earns league Player of the Year honors after a stellar summer at the plate for the River Riders. As of Aug. 3, his .407/.602/.535 slash line led the league, and he had recorded a team-best 48 hits and 13 doubles. Brown, who plays collegiately at Oklahoma State, had slugged two triples and two home runs in 2021 and led Elizabethton in runs scored (35), RBIs (30), and walks (27). The Springdale, Ark., native was also tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 12.
Regier was named the 2021 Appalachian League Manager of the Year after leading Greeneville to the West Division title this summer. As of Aug. 3, the Flyboys were a league-best 30-14-1 and had the league’s third-highest team batting average at .263 and the lowest ERA (3.61) in the league.
The league all-star team is composed of five infielders, four outfielders, three pitchers, one catcher, and a designated hitter. The infielders are Brown at shortstop, Brady Day of the Princeton WhistlePigs at second base, Oscar Serratos of the Burlington Sock Puppets as a utility infielder, Mark Trotta of the Pulaski River Turtles at third base, and Johnson City’s Joe Vetrano at first base.
Named to the team’s outfield were Greeneville’s Homer Bush, Jr., and Princeton’s Nathan Holt and Dylan Rogers. Kendal Ewell of the Bluefield Ridge Runners was picked as a utility outfielder.
In addition to Mayer, who earned all-league honors as a right-handed pitcher, left-handed pitcher Cole Kirschsieper and relief pitcher Zane Probst were named to the squad. Kirschsieper competed for the Kingsport Axmen before joining the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in its series against the U.S. Olympic Team in July.
Rounding out the all-star lineup are Pulaski’s catcher Johnson and designated hitter Sam Thompson of the Elizabethton River Riders.
Eight of the 10 Appy League teams are represented on the 2021 all-star team with Princeton’s four selections leading the way. Greeneville and Elizabethton each had three players chosen while Pulaski had a pair of athletes selected, and Bluefield, Burlington, Johnson City, and Kingsport had one each. Eight of the 14 honored athletes play in the league’s East Division and six compete in the West Division.