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07/01/2009 8:17 PM ET
PCL squad blends power, speed
Sox, Sounds, Cats, Bees boast three All-Stars apiece
Colorado Springs' Matt Murton had a league season-high 29-game hitting streak. (Dave Nelson/


At last year's Triple-A All-Star Game, the Pacific Coast League scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning to stun the International League, 6-5. With a healthy mix of sluggers and speedsters on this year's squad, which was unveiled Wednesday, the PCL is hoping it won't need late-inning heroics on July 15 at Portland's PGE Park.

All 16 teams will send at least one representative to the midsummer classic, while the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Nashville Sounds, Sacramento River Cats and Salt Lake Bees boast three All-Stars apiece.

Randy Ruiz of the Las Vegas 51s gets the start at first base. He's hitting .317 with 15 homers and leads the league in RBIs (67), hits (99), extra-base hits (46) and doubles (30). He'll play alongside speedy Sky Sox second baseman Eric Young Jr. (.292, 3, 21), who tops the PCL with 46 stolen bases and 68 runs scored.

Salt Lake's Brandon Wood (.302, 15, 45) will man the hot corner, with Nashville's Alcides Escobar (.294, 3, 27) rounding out the infield at shortstop. Escobar is tied for second in the league with 27 steals and ranks fourth with 56 runs scored.

John Bowker (.359, 16, 58) of the Fresno Grizzlies holds down one outfield spot. He leads the PCL with a .460 on-base percentage, is second in batting and third with a .637 slugging percentage. Sky Sox teammates Matt Miller (.324, 5, 63) and Matt Murton (.377, 9, 23) fill the other outfield spots, with Miller ranking third in the league in RBIs, hits (96) and doubles (25).

The PCL pitching staff boasts four pitchers who rank in the top 10 in ERA. Round Rock Express right-hander Bud Norris (3-5, 2.17) will get the start after pacing the circuit in ERA and strikeouts (88). He's joined by teammate Yorman Bazardo (7-2, 2.79), who's third in ERA.

Other starters on the staff of Portland Beavers manager Randy Ready are Grizzlies right-hander Kevin Pucetas (8-2, 3.17), Omaha Royals southpaw Lenny DiNardo (5-3, 3.46) and Albuquerque Isotopes knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (8-5, 3.75). Pucetas and DiNardo rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in ERA, while Pucetas and Haeger share the league lead with eight wins.

Ready will be able to call upon a deep bullpen headlined by Jess Todd (3-1, 2.50, 17 saves) of the Memphis Redbirds and Salt Lake's Jeremy Hill (1-3, 4.01, 16 saves). Other relief options are Portland's Mike Ekstrom, Bobby Korecky of the Reno Aces, Nashville's R.J. Swindle and Jay Marshall of the River Cats.

2009 Triple-A All-Star teams
International LeaguePacific Coast League
CCole ArmstrongCharlotteCEric MunsonSacramento
CErik KratzIndianapolisCChris RobinsonIowa
IFReid BrignacDurhamIFAlcides EscobarNashville
IFSeth BynumSyracuseIFEsteban GermanOklahoma City
IFBarbaro CanizaresGwinnettIFBryan LahairTacoma
IFMike CervenakLehigh ValleyIFEric PattersonSacramento
IFBrent DlugachToledoIFRandy RuizLas Vegas
IFJustin HuberRochesterIFRusty RyalReno
IFWes TimmonsGwinnettIFEric YoungColorado Springs
IFAndy TracyLehigh ValleyOFTerry EvansSalt Lake
OFJordan BrownColumbusOFChad HuffmanPortland
OFShelley DuncanScranton/WBOFBrendan KatinNashville
OFAustin JacksonScranton/WBOFMatt MillerColorado Springs
OFJorge PadillaSyracuseOFMatt MurtonColorado Springs
OFDrew StubbsLouisvilleOFMichael RyanNew Orleans
RHPFernando CabreraPawtucketRHPYorman BazardoRound Rock
RHPAndrew CarpenterLehigh ValleyRHPCharlie HaegerAlbuquerque
RHPNelson FigueroaBuffaloRHPJeremy HillSalt Lake
RHPJustin LehrLouisvilleLHPDusty HughesOmaha
RHPJ.D. MartinSyracuseLHPJay MarshallSacramento
RHPJim MillerNorfolkRHPBud NorrisRound Rock
RHPDale ThayerDurhamRHPScott PattersonPortland
RHPCarlos TorresCharlotteRHPKevin PucetasFresno
RHPLuis ValdezGwinnettLHPR.J. SwindleNashville
RHPJose VaquedanoPawtucketRHPJess ToddMemphis

Kira Jones is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.