FORT MYERS, Fla. – Former FGCU baseball All-American and 2010 Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS) will represent the American League (AL) Central-leading Chicago White Sox in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game on July 10, in Kansas City, as the left-hander was named to the AL squad on Sunday afternoon during the selection show on TBS.
Sale, who was the 13th overall selection in the 2010 MLB Draft, is in his first season as a starter after making 79 appearances out of the pen over his first two years with the White Sox. He was named to the All-Star team by Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who will serve as the AL squad’s manager due to Texas making the World Series last year.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports on July 10, with ceremonies beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Sale became FGCU’s sixth former student-athlete to make the pro ranks when he was called up to the “Windy City” on August 4, 2010, but he is the first Eagle to be named an All-Star at the highest level.
He will head into his scheduled start on Tuesday against, oddly enough, the Texas Rangers with a 9-2 record and an AL-leading 2.27 ERA. Sale’s nine wins are tied for fourth-most in the AL, while he ranks second in both opponent batting average (.198) and WHIP (0.97), sixth in strikeouts per nine innings (8.87) and ninth with 94 strikeouts over 95.1 innings. He was the AL Pitcher of the Month in May.
Sale’s meteoric rise into the MLB started when it took him all of 11 days to earn his first promotion from Advanced Single-A Winston-Salem to Triple-A Charlotte on July 13. Just 22 days after joining the Knights, Sale was on his way to the “The Show” and made his first appearance on August 6, at Baltimore.
According to Baseball America, Sale’s arrival in Chicago after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft on June 7, was be the quickest major league debut of any draftee since Reds 2003 first-rounder Ryan Wagner. Sale was also the first Sox player since Alex Fernandez in 1990 to reach the majors in the season in which he was drafted.
The 2010 Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year and five-time All-American (Ping!Baseball, Louisville Slugger, Yahoo! Sports, Baseball America, ABCA/Rawlings), Sale’s astronomical strikeout numbers in the pros are a familiar story for FGCU faithful, as he ranked fourth in the nation as a junior in 2010 with 146 strikeouts over 103 innings. The Lakeland, Fla. product’s 11-0 record, two saves and 2.01 ERA helped the Eagles clinch their third consecutive A-Sun regular season title in 2010. Sale became the second player in program history to win the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year award and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.