07/10/2009 5:06 PM ET
Thunder announce Home Run Derby details
Past, present sluggers, local high school All-Stars to compete
TRENTON, N.J. -- The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced the participants and other details for the Yankees-Steiner Collectibles Home Run Derby that will take place prior to the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 15 at Waterfront Park in Trenton, N.J.
The Home Run Derby will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m., and will feature past, present and future sluggers. Participants will include Eastern League All-Stars, local high school All-Stars and a former Major Leaguer.
Home Run Derby participants
Brian Dopirak leads the Eastern League in home runs with 19. The Crystal Beach, Fla., native has appeared in 85 games for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2009 and has a .313 batting average with 68 RBIs, which also leads the league. The first baseman was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of the 2002 June First-Year Player Draft. He was released by Chicago after the 2007 season and signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jorge Vazquez is ranked eighth in the Eastern League with 12 home runs. The Culiacan, Mexico, native has appeared in 52 games for the Trenton Thunder this season and has batted .332 with a team leading 51 RBIs and a team high .584 slugging percentage. Vazquez also appeared in five games for Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and batted .294 with one home run and five RBIs. Prior to the 2009 season, the first baseman spent 10 seasons in the Mexican League and sported a .321 career batting average in 627 games with 151 home runs and 491 RBIs.
Rene Tosoni is tied for 11th in the Eastern League with 10 home runs. The Toronto, Ontario, native has appeared in 81 games for the New Britain Rock Cats and leads the team in home runs, games played, walks (36), runs scored (45), slugging percentage (.483) and RBIs (49). Tosoni was drafted by the Twins in the 36th round of the 2005 Draft. The outfielder will also appear in the XM All Star Futures Game on July 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Michael Taylor is ranked fourth in the Eastern League with 15 home runs. The Apopka, Fla., native is the No. 6 ranked prospect and "Best Power Hitter" in the Phillies' Minor League system according to Baseball America. The outfielder has appeared in 82 games for Reading this season and leads the team in batting average (.336), home runs, RBIs (64) and hits (102). Taylor was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft out of Stanford University.
Brennan Boesch is ranked second in the Eastern League with 17 home runs. The Santa Monica, Calif., native has appeared in 81 games for the Erie Sea Wolves this season and leads the team in home runs, RBIs (56) and hits (83). The outfielder was selected by the Tigers in the third round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of California at Berkeley.
Nick Weglarz is tied for sixth in the Eastern League with 13 home runs. The Stevensville, Ohio, native has appeared in 82 games for the Akron Aeros this season and leads the team in RBIs (58). The outfielder is the No. 3 ranked prospect in the Indians' Minor League system according to Baseball America. He was selected by the Indians in the third round of the 2005 Draft.
Frank Menechino is the Trenton Thunder hitting coach. He played in the Majors from 1999-2005 for the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays. He played second base, shortstop, third base and designated hitter. In his seven-year Major League career, he hit a total of 36 home runs and drove in 149 runs. Menechino played in the 1996 Double-A All-Star game at Waterfront Park.
Mark Zagunis just completed his sophomore season at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J. In 24 games this season, Mark batted .524 with 33 hits, seven doubles, two triples, and seven home runs (third in the Burlington County Scholastic League). Zagunis homered at Waterfront Park on Sunday, May 17, in the Burlington County Scholastic League Championship against Delran High School.
Mike Fassl is a rising senior at New Egypt High School in New Eygpt, N.J. The catcher played in all 24 of his team's games during his freshman and sophomore years before being limited to just nine games last season with an ACL injury. In his 57-game high school career, he has five HR, 49 RBIs and a .344 batting average. He has participated in the Trenton Thunder Showcase and Blue Grey Classic at Waterfront Park.
Home Run Derby rules
* The Home Run Derby will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m..
* The order that participants will hit in will be determined by Trenton Thunder management.
* Participants may choose someone to pitch to them during the Derby. If they do not have a selection, a member of the Trenton Thunder coaching staff will pitch to them.
* The two high school participants are the only ones allowed to use metal bats.
* The Home Run Derby will consist of two rounds.
* During the first round, each player will swing until he records 10 outs. An out is any swing that is not a home run. Questionable Home Run calls will be made by Trenton Thunder personnel on the field.
* The two players with the highest number of home runs in the first round will advance to the Championship Round. The Championship Round will be for a total of 10 outs.
* In the event that both players are tied after the Championship around, rounds of five outs each will continue until a winner is declared.
* The winner of the Home Run Derby will be presented with an authentic autographed Hank Aaron bat and a $350 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods.
All-Star Game information
The 2009 Eastern League All-Star Game will be played at Mercer County Waterfront Park on Wednesday, July 15, at 7:05 p.m. The gates at Waterfront Park will open for all fans at 2:05 p.m. -- a full five hours before the first pitch. Fans will be able to watch both teams take batting practice, then there will be an autograph session followed by the Home Run Derby.
All-Star Game tickets are available now by calling 609-394-3300 or at www.trentonthunder.com online.
|2009 Eastern League All-Star teams|
|Northern Division||Southern Division|
|POS.||PLAYER NAME||TEAM||POS.||PLAYER NAME||TEAM|
|1B||Lars Anderson||Portland||2B/3B/OF||Miguel Abreu||Bowie|
|2B||Brock Bond||Connecticut||C||Alex Avila||Erie|
|2B/SS||Reegie Corona||Trenton||OF||Quintin Berry ||Reading|
|2B/OF||Brian Dinkelman||New Britain||OF/1B||Jason Delaney||Altoona|
|1B||Brian Dopirak||New Hampshire||SS||Brian Friday||Altoona|
|C||Brian Jeroloman||New Hampshire||OF||Marvin Lowrance||Harrisburg|
|3B/1B||Jorge Jimenez||Portland||1B||Beau Mills||Akron|
|OF||E. Martinez-Esteve||Connecticut||C||Carlos Santana||Akron|
|C||Jesus Montero||Trenton||OF||Deik Scram||Erie|
|SS||Eduardo Nunez||Trenton||3B/1B/2B||Neil Sellers||Reading|
|1B||Whitney Robbins||New Britain||OF||Michael Taylor||Reading|
|OF||Rene Tosoni||New Britain||OF/3B/2B||Jonathan Tucker||Bowie|
|1B||Jorge Vazquez||Trenton||OF||Nick Weglarz||Akron|
|OF||D.J. Wabick||Binghamton||OF||Brennan Boesch*||Erie|
|C||Josh Thole*||Binghamton||1B/OF||Ryan Strieby*||Erie|
|POS.||PLAYER NAME||TEAM||POS.||PLAYER NAME||TEAM|
|RP-LHP||Michael Dunn||Trenton||SP-RHP||Jeanmar Gomez||Akron|
|SP-RHP||Matt Fox||New Britain||SP-LHP||Daniel Moskos||Altoona|
|SP-RHP||Zach McAllister||Trenton||RP-RHP||Ryan Ouellette||Bowie|
|RP-LHP||Roy Merritt||Binghamton||SP-LHP||Joe Savery||Reading|
|RP-RHP||Dan Otero||Connecticut||RP-RHP||Zach Simons||Erie|
|RP-LHP||Joe Paterson||Connecticut||RP-RHP||Carlton Smith||Akron|
|RP-LHP||Chris Province||Portland||RP-LHP||Jack Spradlin||Harrisburg|
|RP-LHP||Dustin Richardson||Portland||RP-LHP||Chad Thall||Bowie|
|RP-RHP||Josh Schmidt||Trenton||RP-RHP||Josh Wilkie||Harrisburg|
|RP-RHP||Anthony Slama||New Britain||SP-RHP||Vance Worley||Reading|
|SP-RHP||Junichi Tazawa*||Portland||RP/SP-RHP||Josh Rainwater*||Erie|
|SP-LHP||M. Bumgarner*||Connecticut||SP-RHP||Hector Rondon*||Akron|
|SP-RHP||Reidier Gonzalez*||New Hampshire||RP-RHP||Josh Perrault*||Bowie|
|RP-RHP||T.J. Large*||Portland||RP-RHP||Vinnie Pestano*||Akron|
| ||COACH NAME||TEAM|| ||COACH NAME||TEAM|
|Manager||Tony Franklin||Trenton||Manager||Mike Sarbaugh||Akron|
|Pitching Coach||Tommy Phelps||Trenton||Pitching Coach||Ruben Niebla||Akron|
|Hitting Coach||Frank Menechino||Trenton||Hitting Coach||Lee May Jr.||Akron|
|Coach||Vic Valencia||Trenton|| Trainer||Michael Salazar||Akron|
|Trainer||Tim Lentych||Trenton||Strength Coach||Todd Kubacki||Akron|
|The following players were first team selections or replacement All-Stars, but are unavailable:|
Portland RHP Junichi Tazawa will attend the game, but will not play because of his participation in the MLB XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 12; Connecticut RHP Madison Bumgarner will not play because of his participation in the Futures Game; Trenton C Josh Thole will not attend because he is on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb; New Hampshire RHP Reidier Gonzalez is injured and will not be playing in the game but will attend the game and festivities; Portland RHP T.J. Large has been promoted to Triple A and will not attend the game
Erie RHP Josh Rainwater will not participate because of his promotion to Triple-A Toledo in the Detroit Tigers organization; Akron RHP Hector Rondon will not participate because of his promotion to Triple-A Columbus in the Cleveland Indians organization; Bowie RHP Josh Perrault will not participate because of his promotion to Triple-A Norfolk in the Baltimore organization; Akron RHP Vinnie Pestano is injured and will not be playing in the game but will attend the game and festivities; Erie OF Brennan Boesch is injured and will not attend the game; Erie 1B Ryan Strieby is injured and will not attend the game; Harrisburg IF Leonard Davis is injured and will not attend the game