2008 Triple-A All-Star Game coverage
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Contrary to the trend in the International League's All-Star selections, the Pacific Coast League's invitees bear less relation to their clubs' records.
The IL, which released its All-Star roster Wednesday afternoon, features 12 players (out of 28) from its three first-place teams. The PCL only has seven such players from its four division leaders, and its most-represented club is one of the worst teams in the league -- the Albuquerque Isotopes (39-47).
The 'Topes are sending a league-high four players to the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16 (ESPN2, 7:00 ET) at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the IL's Louisville Bats.
Dallas McPherson is arguably the most prominent player on the PCL roster -- the Isotopes third baseman leads professional baseball with 29 home runs. He homered in seven consecutive contests from June 18-27 and boasts the league's highest slugging percentage (.697). The left-handed Greensboro, N.C., native is hitting .307 with 58 runs scored and 63 RBIs.
Joining McPherson from the 'Topes are the sixth-leading hitter in the league, outfielder John Gall (.334, 10 homers, 68 RBIs, 44 runs scores), catcher John Baker (.317, six homers, 31 RBIs, 34 runs) and left-handed starter Chris Seddon. The 6-foot-3 Northridge, Calif., native is 6-6 this season with a 4.07 ERA, 74 strikeouts and two complete games.
The team with the second-most selections is Colorado Springs (43-43). First baseman Joe Koshansky is leading the PCL in RBIs (78) and is hitting .284 with 18 roundtrippers through July 3. Outfielder Seth Smith (.328, 10 homers, 53 RBIs, 54 runs scored) and utility infielder Christian Colonel (.338, four homers, 29 RBIs, 37 runs) round out the Sky Sox representatives.
Three of the four first-place teams in the league (Iowa, Sacramento, Salt Lake) are sending two players apiece, while the final divisional front-runner, Oklahoma, had one player selected.
Starter Mike Burns -- one of eight players from California on the roster -- is 6-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 80 1/3 innings. He's joined by fellow Iowa hurler J.R. Mathes, whose 3.33 ERA is fourth-lowest in the league.
Sacramento's representatives are also pitchers: left-hander Jerry Blevins (2.78 ERA, 10 saves) and southpaw Ryan Wing -- a middle reliever with a 1.50 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
Salt Lake also contributes a pitcher to the mix in closer Jason Bulger (0.70 ERA, 9 saves, 44 K), along with an offensive threat in third baseman Matt Brown (.327, 17 homers, 52 RBIs, 61 runs scored).
The Las Vegas 51s provide what is arguably the most dangerous duo on the roster. Terry Tiffee is the league's leading hitter through 67 games (.387), and his .428 on-base percentage is fourth-best in the PCL. Consistently pitching Tiffee and the 51s to victory is hurler Jason Johnson, who is tied for the league lead in wins (10) and has the most strikeouts of any pitcher on the roster (82).
The balanced player selection continues as three more teams will send two players each.
Left-handed reliever Geno Espineli (1.93 ERA) and shortstop Ivan Ochoa (.322) represent Fresno, while Nashville's Lindsay Gulin (3.15 ERA) and catcher Vinny Rotino (the only returnee from last season's PCL All-Star roster) will sport the Sounds' threads in Louisville.
Tucson is the only other team with two players selected: second baseman Emilio Bonifacio (.302) and the league-leader in hits (110), third baseman Jamie D'Antona (.385, 10 homers, 49 RBIs, 46 runs scored).
Rounding out the PCL roster are the following players who will be their teams' lone representatives: pitchers Josh Muecke (Round Rock) and Jared Wells (Tacoma) and hitters Brian Myrow (Portland), Jason Smith (Omaha), Chris Aguila (New Orleans), Nelson Cruz (Oklahoma) and Nick Stavinoha (Memphis).
Frank Kremblas (Nashville), Terry Bradshaw (Omaha) and Rick Rodriguez (Sacramento) will make the coaching decisions from the dugout.
Nick Cammarota is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.