LINCOLN, Nebraska – Josh Altmann and James Pugliese have been voted as American Association All-Stars, the league announced Tuesday.

Altmann finished with a single-season franchise record 29 home runs and was named the league’s best shortstop, while Pugliese notched a league-high 25 saves to be named the Relief Pitcher of the Year.

Both players were in their first season with the Lincoln Saltdogs.

Altmann became the first player in Lincoln Saltdogs history with 20-plus homers and 20-plus steals in a single season, and the shortstop finished with a .305 batting average and 72 RBIs. Altmann was previously a member of the Texas Rangers organization and in his first full season of independent baseball he had one of the best single seasons in American Association history.

Pugliese, working as a full-time closer for the first time in his career, finished with a 2.47 ERA and 25 saves over a team-high 42 appearances. The right-hander was one of only seven pitchers in the league with 40-plus appearances and no other reliever had more than 20 saves.

The pair were named to the American Association All-Star team – which is voted on my general managers, managers and media relations representatives across the league.

The full All-Star team is as follows:

Catcher: Ryan Lidge (CHI)
First Base: Kyle Martin (WPG)
Second Base: Ryan Grotjohn (KC)
Third Base: Jose Sermo (SC)
Shortstop: Josh Altmann (LIN)
Outfield: Adam Brett Walker II (MIL)
Outfield: Jordan George (FAR)
Outfield: Gabby Guerrero (KC)
Designated Hitter: Ramon Hernandez (CLE)
Starting Pitcher: Myles Smith (MIL)
Relief Pitcher: James Pugliese (LIN)

The Saltdogs just finished celebrating their 20th season in Lincoln! Stay tuned for updates all offseason long, including ticket, promotional and scheduling information for 2022.