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Suns' Montz claims SL homer crown
Marlins farmhand clubs 16 longballs in All-Star festivities
06/21/2011 1:03 AM ET
Luke Montz will play in the first All-Star Game of his career on Tuesday.
Luke Montz will play in the first All-Star Game of his career on Tuesday. (Will Bentzel/MiLB.com)
Jacksonville's Luke Montz is making the most of his first All-Star experience.

Montz slugged 16 longballs, outlasting Chattanooga's Kyle Russell to win the Southern League Home Run Derby on Monday in Jackson, Tenn.

Originally drafted by the Nationals in the 17th round in 2003, Montz got off to a hot start with eight blasts in the first round, which lasted for eight outs. The 27-year-old catcher, an All-Star for the first time in his nine-year Minor League career, is second in the league with 15 homers for the Suns.

Paul Goldschmidt was eliminated in a swing-off with Russell after the second round. The former eighth-rounder leads the Minor Leagues with 22 homers this season, after finishing second with 35 last season.

Representing the hometown Generals was left fielder Jake Shaffer, whose nine longballs lead the squad. Despite not making it out of the first round, the 23-year-old Kentucky native enjoyed the experience.

"I don't typically hit too many home runs in (batting practice), but I came out wanting to win," Shaffer said. "But I think I did better than I planned coming in. I probably joked more than anyone else about me hitting in the Derby, and these guys outweigh me by about 30 or 40 pounds."

The Southern League All-Star Game will be played Tuesday. Jackson's Jarrett Grube will take the mound, opposed by Montgomery's Matt Moore, who is coming off a no-hitter in his last start June 16.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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