Dominique Taylor never made an All-Star team in high school or college.
So when the Lexington Legends outfielder got word that he had been named a South Atlantic League All-Star, he seized the moment.
"I was really excited. I called my parents. They were like, 'Thank you, Jesus, this is awesome!'" Taylor said. "It's just a really cool thing to say, and no one can take that away from me, that I made the All-Star team in Single-A. Hopefully there's many more All-Star selections to come."
Taylor and first baseman/catcher Frank Schwindel will represent the Legends on the SAL's Southern Division squad when the All-Star game takes place Tuesday at Hickory, N.C.
Schwindel earned summer-league All-Star honors when he played for St. John's University.
"I played in the Hamptons League my freshman year and then the New England League my sophomore year," Schwindel said. "Again, just playing with great players, an honor. But nothing like this. A pro-ball all-star game is something special."
Taylor is batting .306 with four homers, 28 RBI and 36 runs in the first half of the season. Schwindel is hitting .259 with 10 homers, 37 RBI and 26 runs.
Legends Manager Brian Buchanan says both All-Stars have made steady improvement throughout the season.
"I think that's the key at this level and any level of the minor leagues," Buchanan said. "You start the season and as the season goes on you need to get better. And they both have done an excellent job of staying with the plan that we have for them. They've been swinging the bat and playing really well."
Taylor, who played collegiately for Salt Lake Community College and UC-Irvine, is playing with confidence.
"Every time I put the ball in play, I feel like it's finding a hole," he said. "And I feel like up to this point, I'm being pretty consistent at the plate. I just want to carry that on throughout the rest of the season."
Schwindel had one of the hottest streaks in the SAL this season when he smacked six homers over a six-game stretch.
"That just happens sometimes. I try to come to the park with the same approach every day," Schwindel said. "But that week was just something special because I felt like every time I swung the bat something good was going to happen. But I just stay level-headed and keep the same approach, and I know it's not going to happen everyday, but just try to get it going again."
Once the All-Star festivities wrap up, it will be on to the SAL's second-half-of-the-season race.
Taylor says he takes a one-game-at-a-time approach, "so it's hard to look into the future." But he thinks the Legends have the talent to contend for a playoff appearance.
Schwindel also has high hopes for the second half.
"I sure hope so. We're starting to come together," he said. "I think the team's playing well and once we put it all together we could be dangerous."
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com