TROY – The league-leading Staten Island Yankees had a representative at the 12th, and possibly final, New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium after all on Tuesday night.
After the initial rosters came out for this year’s ASG, it appeared the Yankees would be snubbed as not a single player from Staten Island was listed. However — in the 13th hour — it was Yankees’ utility infielder Jose Polonia who got the nod.
“I just found out from Julio (Mosquera) on Sunday and I was very surprised,” Polonia said outside of the batting cage on Tuesday. “But I’m very happy to be here. I’m happy because I am representing the Yankees here. They gave me the opportunity and it’s an honor to be here doing something for them.”
Polonia entered the game for the South team in the bottom of the fifth inning as a defensive replacement at third base. He played the final five innings of the game at the hot corner and over that time he did not have a single ball hit in his direction.
Polonia also made two appearances at the plate. In his first at-bat of the game — in the top of the seventh inning — he went down swinging on three pitches.
In Polonia’s second at-bat, he hit the ball on the screws but it was right to the second baseman who put it away.
The South team went on to defeat the North team 5-2 in the game. With the game tied at two in the ninth, the South blew it open with three runs at the top of the inning. The South is now 2-1-1 since this game changed formats from AL vs. NL to North vs. South in 2014.
Entering Tuesday, Polonia appeared in 18 games with Staten Island and played shortstop, second base and third base – with the majority of his time being spent at the hot corner. Over that stretch, the 21-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic batted .269/.361/.269 with two RBIs and eight walks.
Polonia started the 2017 season splitting time between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League. He was assigned to Staten Island on July 11 from the GCL Yankees West.