By Michael YEGHIAYAN
Local baseball team the Glendale Angelenos will be hosting the California Collegiate League’s annual All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13 at Stengel Field.
The Angelenos, the newest addition to the CCL, are halfway through their inaugural season in the developmental league. The game will be broadcast by Fox Sports West and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The CCL is a summer league designed to aid the development of collegiate level baseball players and prepare them for professional baseball. The wood bat league is made up of division 1, division 2 and junior college players.
Fans of the CCL are given a preview of potential future major league stars, many of who are local athletes looking to fine tune their skills before declaring for the MLB draft. In the recent draft, two players from the CCL were drafted in the first round to Los Angeles based teams. Left-handed pitcher Chris Reed was selected by the Dodgers and first baseman C.J. Cron was sent to the Angels.
The Angelenos are led by head coach and team president Tony Riviera. A longtime member of the major league baseball scouting community, Rivera also began the first professional baseball league in Canada and has earned a strong reputation as a hitting coach. The Angelenos staff also includes hitting coach and three time MLB All-Star Brady Anderson and infield coach Andres Perez-Thomas, who was a shortstop for the Atlanta Braves and managed in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers organizations.
The upcoming All-Star game will feature three players who have been selected in to 2011 MLB amateur draft. Matt Young, Aaron Brown and Sako Chapjian have all been drafted into professional baseball’s minor league system.
The Angelenos, whose season began on June 1, heavily emphasize run prevention as a critical cornerstone of their team philosophy. The team’s website stresses that the Angelenos aim to succeed with “positive player development with an emphasis on pitching, defense and fundamental baseball.” A focus on mistake free baseball is an important aspect of success at the professional level and is a skill that many think has deteriorated in past generations of major league players. The team philosophy is explained in the clearest of terms by head coach Riviera: “If you don’t allow runs, you don’t lose games.”
The Angelenos return from the All-Star break with home games at Stengel Field against Orange County on Thursday, July 14 and Santa Barbara on Saturday, July 16. They currently stand at a 7-13 record in league play, sitting seven games out of first place in the league.