DURAN, ZAYAS TO REPRESENT CAN-AM IN OTTAWA ON JULY 25TH
July 6, Augusta, NJ – The Can-Am League, in conjunction with All-Star hosts the Ottawa Champions, have announced that Juan Duran and Gianni Zayas will represent the Sussex County Miners at the 2017 All-Star Game between the Can-Am League and the American Association, to be held July 24-25 at RCGT Park in Ottawa, ON. It is the first All-Star selection for both players.
Despite missing a week’s worth of action this season, Duran has proven to be one of the most feared power bats in the Can-Am League. The 6′ 7″ Duran was selected as the Designated Hitter for the All-Star Game. Juan enters Thursday’s action with a .286 average, a team leading six home runs, and 27 runs batted in. Included in his highlight reel of impressive home runs is the first ball to ever fully clear the center field wall at Rockland, a feat that he accomplished back on May 20th.
“I feel good, you know, because I do my work, the thing that I love, baseball,” said Duran when talking about his selection to the All-Star Game. “I love to be here with this team. A lot of good guys, great guys. We got a great manager,great staff and I think that’s good to me.”
Duran has been slowed recently by a leg injury that kept him out of the lineup for a week, but he doesn’t see that or the deep-playing Skylands Stadium slowing him down. “I like to hit and I think I’ll put some good numbers because I like to play in this ballpark.”
Zayas started the season for the Miners in the bullpen, quickly earning the setup role on the pitching staff. But Manager Bobby Jones would ultimately move Zayas to the starting rotation on June 9th and the rookie fom North Bergen, NJ has flourished. Since becoming a starter, Zayas has pitched 22 2/3 innings, sporting a 3-0 record in 4 starts and an ERA of 1.99. The Miners have won all 4 starts Zayas has made this season. Zayas has allowed only six earned runs in his last 32 innings between the bullpen and starting, a 1.69 ERA in that span.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far,” said Zayas upon leaning of his selection. “I’m excited to receive such a high honor, to play in such a good league like this, in the All-Star Game.”
Zayas also gave credit to his off-season workouts that helped him prepare for the 2017 season. “I think that a lot o it comes from the wok that I put in this offseason with Luis Santana. He helped me a lot to change how I pitch.”
The Miners skipper is pleased with the two selections from his squad. “First off, congrats to both guys. Gianni has come on and thrown the ball well as a rookie,” said Jones in talking about his two All-Stars, Zayas first. “He’s been great out o the bullpen early, then we threw him in the rotation and he’s been even better. Well deseving, and looking forward to him having a good second half of the season.”
Jones also had praise for his big bopper in of the cleanup spot. “Juan is obviously a threat in the middle of our lineup. We haven’t had him for all of our games, but when he’s in there, he’s a threat. No matter what’s going on, he’s a major threat in the lineup. People fear him.”
The 2017 All-Star festivities between the American Association and Can-Am All-Star teams will start with the skills competition on July 24th, with the All-Star Game itself on the 25th. The All-Star Game coincides with the Canada 150 celebrations, celebrating the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
Come join Juan, Gianni, and the rest of you Sussex County Miner at Skylands Stadium. Tickets for all 2017 Miners home games can be purchased by clicking on the link below or calling our box office at 973.940.0222.