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Texas League All-Stars set for battle in Frisco06/16/2009 3:44 PM ET
By Kira Jones / MLB.com
With Texas League teams so evenly matched early on this season, it's no surprise that each club is well-represented in the lineups of this summer's All-Star Game.
The Double-A Frisco RoughRiders will host the 73rd annual Texas League All-Star Game at Dr Pepper Park on July 1, and the Northern Division-leading Springfield Cardinals (34-28) will have the biggest presence.
Springfield leads all clubs with nine All-Star invitations, with starters such as first baseman Mark Hamilton (.285-7-20), outfielder Tyler Henley (.335-4-30) and second baseman Daniel Descalso (.323-5-35), who is among the league leaders in batting average, hits (76), doubles (21), slugging percentage (.519), triples (5) and extra-base hits (31).
Trey Hearne (5-1, 3.05), Lance Lynn (5-2, 3.86) and Francisco Samuel (3-2, 4.05), who ranks second in the league in saves with 15, will represent Springfield's pitching staff.
Tulsa (32-30) and Arkansas (25-37) will each be sending six players to the All-Star Game. The Drillers, who are sending four pitchers, lead the league in strikeouts (416), shutouts (8) and saves (20).
Drillers ace Jhoulys Chacin (4-5, 3.13) is third in the league in strikeouts with 57, while Samuel Duduno (6-2, 2.98) is tied for most wins. Andrew Johnston (1-3, 3.62) leads the circuit in saves (17) and ranks second in appearances (28) and Esmil Rogers (5-2, 2.82) leads the league in strikeouts (67) and ranks second in innings pitched with 73 1/3.
The Travelers, an Angels affiliate, are sending two infielders, an outfielder, two starting pitchers and a reliever to the Midsummer Classic.
Northwest Arkansas (33-29) only received three invites -- Corey Smith (.248-12-44), who is second in the league in homers, will be manning the hot corner for the North. Outfielder Jordan Parraz (.357-4-37), who leads the league in on-base percentage (.454), will also start.
Cody Strait was added to the North's squad after Arkansas outfielder Peter Bourjos was taken off the roster due to injury.
As for the South, first-place Midland (34-28) received 10 All-Star bids to lead the division. San Antonio (33-29) will be sending six players, while Corpus Christi (29-31) and Frisco (26-34) will send four players apiece.
The South's starting lineup is filled with sluggers. Rangers prospect Justin Smoak (.325-6-25), the No. 11 overall Draft pick in 2008, is among the league leaders in batting average and on-base percentage (.444). Second baseman Adrian Cardenas (.382-2-37) leads the circuit in batting average, ranks second in on-base percentage (.450) and third in slugging (.533).
RockHounds third baseman Tommy Everidge (.294-8-54) ranks among the top in RBIs and doubles (18), while Craig Cooper (.356-5-45) will be the designated hitter and outfielder Andrew Locke (.349-10-61) boats a .550 slugging percentage.
The lineup will be rounded out with speedy outfielder Luis Durango (.315-0-10), whose 25 steals put him second in the league.
The South roster features four six-game winners: right-handers Jason Fernandez (6-5, 4.01), Ernesto Frieri (6-3, 3.00) and Omar Poveda (6-4, 3.59) and southpaw Polin Trinidad (6-4, 3.53).
"We are very honored and excited to host the Texas League All-Star Game and look forward to seeing the best-of-the-best in the Texas League at Dr Pepper Ballpark," RoughRiders president/general manager Scott Sonju said in a press release. "This will be a great event for our fans and the City of Frisco."
Arkansas skipper Bobby Magallanes and his coaching staff join Northwest Arkansas coach Larry Carter in the North dugout, Frisco's coaching staff, including manager Mike Micucci, will manage the southern squad.
The event will also feature a pre-game home run derby.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.