Roldani Baldwin and Darren Fenster Named South Atlantic League Annual All-Stars

Baldwin named SAL’s top catcher; Fenster selected as league’s top manager

Ed Jenson
August 29, 2017 - 11:14 am

The Greenville Drive have clinched a South Atlantic League playoff berth for their outstanding play on the field in 2017, and two of the crucial figures in making that happen have been rewarded for their efforts with selections to the 2017 South Atlantic League Annual All-Star team.

Roldani Baldwin has been selected as the top catcher in the South Atlantic League, while Darren Fenster was chosen as the circuit’s top manager in 2017, as announced by league president Eric Krupa on Tuesday.  The annual awards are voted on by the managers, general managers, broadcasters and sportswriters of the 14 teams in the league.

Baldwin is the eighth player in Drive franchise history to receive South Atlantic League Annual All-Star recognition, and he is the first to do so as a catcher.  Baldwin joins outfielders Luis Alexander Basabe and Tate Matheny (2016), second baseman Yoan Moncada (2015), utility infielder Carlos Asuaje (2014), outfielder Keury De la Cruz (2012), outfielder Brandon Jacobs (2011), and outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (2010) as Drive players to be recognized as annual all-stars.

In his return to Greenville for the 2017 season, Baldwin has taken off in his full-time transition to catching.  In 91 games entering Tuesday, the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic native is hitting .276 with a team-high 14 homers and 65 RBI.  He also leads the team with 33 doubles and a .496 slugging percentage while throwing out 33 percent of opposing baserunners. 

In addition to his terrific numbers, Baldwin has come up with big hits all season long, delivering four walkoff hits on the year, including a game-winning homer against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Opening Night.  Baldwin was selected as a South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star as well, and he participated in the league’s All-Star Game in Columbia.

“Roldani is very much deserving of this all-star honor,” noted Fenster.  “He has had an outstanding season, both offensively as a consistent anchor in the middle of our lineup, and defensively as the energetic leader of our club from behind the plate.  His impact on our collective success as a team this year goes far beyond his numbers, and his performance is a true testament to the work he has put in to become a great player.”

Fenster has piloted the Drive to a league-best 75-57 record entering Tuesday’s action, and the club will make its first South Atlantic League postseason appearance since 2010 next week.  In four seasons in Greenville, he has won 277 games and posted three winning seasons, and he becomes the first Drive manager in franchise history receive South Atlantic League Annual All-Star honors.

Fenster’s roster this season included four South Atlantic League All-Stars at midseason, including Baldwin, outfielder Lorenzo Cedrola, and pitchers Logan Boyd and Stephen Nogosek, and 11 players off this year’s roster have received promotions from Greenville, making his league-best record even more impressive.

“As honored as I am to be named Manager of the Year, this award is, in every sense, a team award for an incredibly successful season than many have had a significant hand in. I cannot speak high enough about the job that Walter Miranda, Wilton Veras, and Corey Wimberly have done to help our players develop on the field, and the work that Phil Millan, Jordan Wheat, and Tony Rivero have put in to keep our players strong and healthy on the field.”

Fenster continued, “We as a staff are only as good as the players we have to coach, and this group that we've had here in Greenville has come to the ballpark every single day with the approach of getting better, and competing to winning games, both of which they've done as well as any group I've had here in my four years running the club. It's been an awesome team to be around day in and day out, and I'm glad those around the league have recognized what a special group of players this truly is.”

Comments ()