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Eastern League reveals 2010 All-Stars06/29/2010 3:00 PM ET
By Griffin Zucosky / Special to MLB.com
Thunder slugger Brandon Laird, the Minor League leader in runs batted in, and Lonnie Chisenhall, likely Cleveland's best prospect still left in the Minors, are among those selected to play in the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg, Pa., on July 14.
Laird was able to ward off early-season woes that plagued him in 2008 and '09 and has been smacking the cover off of the ball all season long. The Eastern League leader in home runs (19), hits (87), runs scored (59) and RBIs (77) -- he has 22 more RBIs than the batter in second place -- will lead the powerful Eastern Division squad. Laird, Cleveland's former 27th round pick, has quickly become one of the best power hitting prospects in both the Yankees organization and the league.
The Western Division squad counters with a top slugger of its own in Indians prospect Lonnie Chisenhall. He has been highly productive throughout his Minor League career, hitting 18 home runs last year in the Carolina League before getting moved up to the Double-A Akron Aeros, and Chisenhall has continued to display that firepower in 2010. The third baseman has also made drastic improvements in the field: He has only committed six errors so far this season, down from 22 last year.
Laird, the New York Yankees' 2007 27th-round pick, is just one slugger on an Eastern squad stacked with them. The roster also features Reading third basemen Tagg Bozied. Bozied has been around the Minors for five years but seems to have found his niche in Reading. He is in the top five in home runs (13), RBIs (55) and slugging percentage (.563) and should give the Eastern squad a devastating 1-2 punch with Laird. Revere, the Twins' former first-round pick, adds speed to the Eastern squad. He is among the league leaders in stolen bases (24) and average (.309) and has proven he can drive in runs as well by posting a .410 average with runners on base.
The Western squad combats the Eastern's power hitters with an arsenal of young arms. The Eastern league leaders in ERA will be well represented at the All-Star Game, and most of them are on the Western roster, including four of the top five in ERA. That includes Altoona's Derek Hankins (five wins, 1.60 ERA) and Rudy Owens (seven wins, 2.74 ERA, 0.95 WHIP), and Richmond's Daryl Maday (eight wins, 2.22 ERA) and Zach Britton (seven wins, 2.48 ERA), who was recently called up to Triple-A. The Western Division also boasts Richmond's Rafael Cova, who is third in the league with 14 saves.
The players on the roster have been determined on a vote by managers, broadcasters, reporters and fans.
[* Editor's notes: On July 2, the league announced that Trenton pitcher D.J. Mitchell would replace his teammate, pitcher David Phelps, who was promoted to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Portland pitcher Jason Rice will replace his teammate, pitcher Stephen Fife, who is unable to pitch but will be attending the game. Reading infielder Freddy Galvis will replace Binghamton infielder Luis Hernandez, who was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. On July 6, Akron pitcher Paolo Espino was added to the roster in place of teammate Bryce Stowell, who has been promoted to Triple-A Columbus. Richmond pitcher Clayton Tanner has been named in place of teammate Daryl Maday, who has been promoted to Triple-A Fresno. On July 7, Trenton pitcher Josh Schmidt, Reading pitcher Drew Naylor and New Hampshire outfielder Adam Loewen were named as replacements for Trenton's Lance Pendleton (unable to pitch), Reading pitcher Michael Schwimmer (promoted to Lehigh Valley) and New Hampshire infielder Shawn Bowman (injured). On July 9, Altoona infielder Chase d'Arnaud was named as a replacement for Richmond infielder Brandon Crawford (unable to play). On July 10, Binghamton's Mike Nickeas replaced former teammate Nick Evans, who was promoted to the Major League Mets. On July 11, Harrisburg pitcher Adam Carr was added as a replacement for Richmond pitcher Rafael Cova, who is unable to participate in the game; because Bowie infielder Joel Guzman will be unable to participate in the game, Richmond infielder Brandon Crawford was returned to the roster, but will be unable to play and will not attend the game. On July 12, the Eastern League replaced infielder Brandon Laird (Trenton) with Kevin Mahar and left-handed pitcher Clayton Tanner (Richmond) with Jake Stevens.