LOVES PARK, Ill. – Two of the Rockford Rivets’ home-state prospects have been picked for the Northwoods League All-Star Game.
On Friday, the NWL released its selections for the annual game, scheduled for later this month. Outfielder John Rave and pitcher Cole Bellair will represent the Rivets on the South Division roster.
Rave entered play on Friday hitting .343, fifth in the league, with two home runs and 10 RBI. This spring as a freshman, Rave stole 12 bases in 16 tries and scored 31 runs in 56 games for Illinois State University. Rave chose the Redbirds over the Boston Red Sox, who picked him in the 35th round of last year’s Major League Baseball draft out of Bloomington Catholic Central High School.
Bellair has been a workhorse in the Rivets’ rotation, averaging nearly seven innings an appearance over his six starts. Bellair is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA. He’s struck out 39, tied with Bismarck’s Ryan Bird for fourth in the league, and walked nine this summer. He’s pitched 40 2/3 innings, good for second in the league. This spring as a sophomore, Bellair was 3-2 with a 6.97 ERA in 15 appearances, nine as a starter, for the University of Illinois. The Lockport native was a Big 10 Conference All-Freshman team selection in 2016.
The All-Star Game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at Athletic Park in Wassau, Wisc., home of the Wisconsin Woodchucks. All-Star teams were chosen by voting among the coaching staffs and broadcasters of the NWL’s 20 teams.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, in its 24th season of summer collegiate baseball. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 170 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), two-time World Champion Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Lucas Duda (Mets). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com.