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All-Stars set to head back to school08/12/2009 10:00 AM ET
By Danny Wild / MLB.com
It's only been a few months since leaving college for many Minor Leaguers, but on Aug. 18, a select group will return to campus.
Rosters were unveiled Wednesday for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, which will be hosted by the State College Spikes on the campus of Penn State University. Three hometown players highlight the roster for the National League affiliates in a game that will showcase much of the circuit's top talent amid a week of events.
Spikes infielder Brock Holt, Pittsburgh's ninth-round pick in June's Draft, will join pitchers Phil Irwin and Zack Foster on the NL squad as the Pirates affiliate presents what it has dubbed the first "green" All-Star Game in professional baseball history.
The American League roster features Staten Island left fielder Neil Medchill, the league's home run leader, and Yankees teammates DeAngelo Mack, Zoilo Almonte and Jimmy Paredes.
Holt, a middle infielder out of Rice University, leads the Spikes with 44 hits and five homers. He's joined by Vermont Lake Monsters second baseman Francisco Soriano, a switch-hitting native of the Dominican Republic who's batting .316.
Mets prospect Sam Honeck (.293, 19 RBIs) will share first base chores on the NL squad with Williamsport's Francisco Murillo (.280, four homers, 13 RBIs).
Alan Ahmady (.306, 2, 20) of the Batavia Muckdogs and Marlins farmhand Chase Austin (.255, 2, 13) were selected at third base, while the Crosscutters' Jeremy Barnes (.301, 3, 25) and Jamestown's Sean Nicol (.270-0-12) will man shortstop.
Phillies prospect Sebastian Valle (.326, 4, 31) boasts some of the best numbers in the league as Williamsport's catcher. He's joined behind the plate by Batavia's Luis De La Cruz (.216, 0, 11) and Brooklyn's Dock Doyle (.256, 0, 14).
J.D. Martinez of the Tri-City ValleyCats will share time in the outfield with teammate Russell Dixon, Leandro Castro of the Crosscutters, Rand Smith of the Jammers and Luis Rivera of the Cyclones. Jamestown's Kyle Jensen (.333-1-16) was also selected as an NL outfielder.
Irwin (1-1, 0.41) and Foster (2-0, 2.10) are joined on the mound by Vermont's Mitchell Clegg (1-2, 1.89) as well as the Brooklyn trio of Mark Cohoon (7-2, 2.77), Michael Powers (1-1, 2.70, 10 saves) and James Fuller (3-5, 2.13). Other NL pitchers are Williamsport's Austin Hyatt (2-0, 0.28) and Tri-City's James MacDonald (2-1, 2.74).
Cohoon leads the league in wins and innings pitched (65), while Fuller ranks second with 59 strikeouts and seventh with a 2.13 ERA.
Medchill and the AL team hope to make up for last season's ninth-inning loss in Troy, N.Y. The Yankees slugger leads the league with 10 homers, is tied for second with 30 RBIs and is hitting .285 with seven stolen bases.
Tigers prospect Rawley Bishop (.307, 5, 31) shares the league lead in RBIs with his All-Star partner at first base, Chris McGuinness (.255, 5, 31) of the Lowell Spinners.
Former Red Sox second-round pick Derrik Gibson (50 hits, 18 RBIs, 20 SB) will team with Paredes (.290, 10 RBIs, 13 SB) at second base, while Hudson Valley's Tyler Bortnick (.306, 4, 18, 13 SB) and Mahoning Valley's Kyle Smith (.259, 12 RBIs, 8 SB) are the AL shortstops.
A pair of Orioles prospects, Levi Carolus (.313, 21 RBIs, 13 SB) and Tyler Kelly (.285, 1, 12), will represent the Aberdeen IronBirds at the hot corner.
Oneonta Tigers catcher John Murrian (.348, 4, 31) is second in the league in batting and is tied for the lead in RBIs. Sean Ochinko (.314, 3, 15) of the Auburn Doubledays and Hudson Valley's Mark Thomas (.248-3-16) also should see time behind the plate.
Staten Island has a lock on the AL outfield with Medchill, Almonte and Mack, although Oneonta's Michael Rockett (.311, 3, 25), Mahoning Valley's Jordan Henry (.272, 14 RBIs, 14 SB) and Auburn's Welinton Ramirez, who leads the league with a .353 average, provide depth.
Lowell's Ryan Westmoreland (.287, 6, 27, 14 SB), who ranks second in the league in homers among active players, is the AL's designated hitter.
The Spinners also are sending an exciting pitcher to State College in Jose Alvarez (5-3, 1.74). Alvarez, a southpaw who spent time this summer at Class A Advanced Salem, ranks third in the league in ERA.
A pair of Scrappers, Cory Burns and Marty Popham, join Auburn's Egan Smith, Hudson Valley's Alexander Colome, Staten Island's Francisco Rondon and Oneonta's Kenny Faulk on the AL pitching staff.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.