The Southern League's top hitter and top pitcher will join forces on the North Division squad for the 2009 All-Star Game, the league announced today.
Carolina's Travis Wood (8-3, 1.36) leads the league in wins and ERA and will anchor the squad on the mound while West Tennessee's Ezequiel Carrerra (.354-1-22) -- the league leader in a number of offensive categories including batting average and on-base percentage (.473) -- will pace the North's offensive charge. Wood, the Reds' 2005 second-round Draft pick, is the only unanimous selection on the squad.
Fellow Mudcat Todd Frazier (.314-7-42) was also named to the roster. Frazier, the Reds' 2007 first-round supplemental selection, leads the league in doubles (28) and extra-base hits (36). Mudcats' utility infielder Zack Cozart (.287-8-36), a second-round choice of the Reds in 2007, also earned a bid to the game. In addition to Wood, two other Carolina pitchers were selected to the squad -- James Avery (2-3, 2.89) and Jordan Smith (4-3, 3.29).
Six members of the first-half champion Huntsville Stars were named to the squad, including pitcher Donovan Hand (6-1, 2.39). Hand's miniscule ERA is good for third in the pitching-rich Southern League. Joining Hand on the pitching staff will be teammates Casey Baron (4-3, 1.80) and Robert Hinton (0-4, 3.27).
Hand and Co. may be pitching to their own catcher as Huntsville backstop Jonathan Lucroy (.258-5-43) was named to the team along with fellow Stars Shane Justis (.307-4-38) and outfielder Adam Stern (.300-3-26).
After a third-place finish in the first half, Tenneesee will contribute six players to the roster, led by pitcher Casey Coleman (7-3, 2.80), who owns the league's fifth-lowest ERA. Smokies closer Brian Schlitter (0-4, 4.64) also was invited on the strength of his 12 saves.
Tennesee shortstop, Darwin Barney (.315-3-32) will join teammate Blake Lalli (.302-2-20) in the infield while James Adduci (.302-1-25) will patrol the outfield for the North.
Chattanooga followed next with four selections, including Matt Sartor (1-2, 3.02), who has five saves on the season for the Lookouts. Playing the field and representing Chattanooga will be Andrew Lambo (.267-7-27), Josh Bell (.278-8-38) and Lucas May (.298-4-11).
Diamond Jaxx first baseman Marhshall Hubbard (.282-10-38) will serve as the team's DH for the contest. Hubbard, who was also named a Southern League All-Star in 2008 has tallied 42 walks this season for his club.
Chris Heisey (CAR), Drew Anderson (HVL) and Scott Elbert (CHA) were also chosen to the squad but will be unable to participate due to promotion. Heisey, also unanimously selected) led the league at the time of his promotion, hitting .347 with 40 RBIs.
The All-Star contest will take place July 13 at Regions Park in Birmingham. The South Division's roster is expected to be released June 30 followed by starting lineups on July 1 (North) and 2 (South).
The North squad will be managed by Diamond Jaxx manager Phil Plantier while Birmingham skipper Ever Magallanes will lead the South Division.
Bailey Stephens 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.