MLB All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber is former Hillcat

Lynchburg HillcatsFormer Lynchburg Hillcats and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber was named the MVP of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Bieber donned a Hillcats uniform just two seasons ago, when he went 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts for Lynchburg, before earning a promotion to Double-A Akron in July of 2017. In 90 innings with the Hillcats, Bieber struck out 82 while walking just four, posting a WHIP of 1.10.

Overall in 2017, combining his time with Single-A Lake County, Lynchburg and Akron, the right-hander went 10-5 to go along with a 2.86 ERA over 28 starts. Bieber led the Cleveland Indians farm system with 173.1 innings pitched, and his 2.86 ERA ranked second. He needed just 47 minor league games to earn the call-up to The Show.

A former walk-on at UC Santa Barbara, Bieber was drafted by the Indians in the fourth round in the 2016 MLB draft. He is the 20th Gauchos player to play in the Major Leagues.

On Tuesday, in front of his hometown fans in Cleveland, Bieber struck out the side in the fifth inning. He caught Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras looking, fanned Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte and froze Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to retire the side in order.

Bieber helped lead the American League All-Stars to a 4-3 win over the National League, marking the seventh consecutive victory for the AL.

Bieber is the third player in All-Star Game history to win the MVP award in his home ballpark, joining Pedro Martinez at Fenway Park in 1999 and Sandy Alomar Jr. also in Cleveland in 1997. The Orange, Calif. native is also the first pitcher to win All-Star Game MVP since Mariano Rivera in 2013 and is just the fifth pitcher to do so in the past 40 years.

The 24-year-old was a late addition to the All-Star team. He replaced Texas Rangers starter Mike Minor, who wasn’t eligible to play because he pitched two days prior to the Mid-Summer Classic.


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