Eastern League All-Star Team Announced08/26/2010 2:00 PM ET
By Bill Rosario / Eastern League
The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce the selections for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Team, as voted on by respective Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media. (Statistics listed are for games played through August 25, 2010)
After combing to hit .276 with eight homers and 38 RBI in 89 games between Altoona and Indianapolis in 2009, Hector Gimenez returned to the Curve for the 2010 season and has been one of the top players in the league. The 27-year old is batting .301 with 26 doubles, 16 home runs, 66 RBI and 45 runs scored in 86 games this season while helping lead the Curve to the top spot in the Western Division standings. Gimenez, who is a native of San Felipe, Venezuela, is currently ranked second in the league in slugging percentage (.540) and OPS (.925) and ranks fifth in batting average (.301). He also leads all Eastern League catchers in home runs (16) and stolen bases (6) and has thrown out 34 percent of all would be base stealers this season, which is the fourth best percentage in the league. The 5'10", 225 lb. slugger was also the starting catcher for the Western Division squad at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
Hector Gimenez, Altoona Curve
(.301, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 45 R)
Matt Rizzotti began the 2010 season as a member of the Clearwater Threshers of the Class-A Florida State League, but quickly showed he was ready for a new challenge, which he received when he was promoted to Reading on May 13th after hitting .358 with eight doubles and 18 runs scored in 31 games with the Threshers. Rizzotti's hot start continued with the R-Phils, as he batted .361 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs, 62 RBI and 48 runs scored in 77 games before earning his second promotion of the season to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on August 5th. At the time of his promotion the 24-year old was leading the league in batting average (.361), slugging percentage (.638), on-base percentage (.451) and OPS (1.087). Rizzotti, who is a native of Floral Park, New York, won the Eastern League Player of the Week Award for the week ending June 27th and was also the Eastern League Player of the Month for the month of June after hitting .369 with seven homers and 24 RBI during the month. Matt started at first base for the Eastern Division at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game and went 1-for-1 with a walk and one run scored.
Matt Rizzotti, Reading Phillies
(.361, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 48 R)
Bowie Baysox second baseman Ryan Adams kicked off his season by going 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI in his Double-A debut on April 8th and he hasn't stopped hitting since. The 23-year old is batting .302 with 41 doubles, 13 home runs, 72 runs scored and 62 RBI in 122 games with the Baysox this season. Adams, who was a second round pick in the 2006 draft, has already broken the Bowie Baysox single season record for doubles while also setting career-highs in hits, home runs, RBI, runs scored, doubles and total bases this season. Adams is also on pace to set new career highs in slugging percentage and OPS. Ryan currently leads the league in doubles (41) and is tied for first in hits (145). He is also currently ranked among the league leaders in extra-base hits (54-2nd), total bases (225-3rd) and batting average (.302-4th). The New Orleans, Louisiana native has been especially impressive during the second half of the season, hitting .344 with 15 doubles, six home runs, 28 runs scored and 21 RBI in 39 games since the All-Star break.
Ryan Adams, Bowie Baysox
(.302, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 72 R)
Trenton third baseman Brandon Laird was a Florida State League All-Star in 2009 after hitting .266 with 13 homers and 75 RBI in 124 games with the Tampa Yankees. The 22-year old made it two consecutive All-Star appearances after batting .291 with 22 doubles, 23 home runs, 90 RBI and 73 runs scored in 107 games with the Thunder this season before receiving a promotion to Triple-A on August 2nd. At the time of his promotion, the 6'1", 215 lb. slugger was leading the league in RBI (90) and total bases (214) and was also among the league leaders in homers (23-2nd), hits (119-2nd), extra-base hits (47-tied 2nd), runs scored (73-4th) and slugging percentage (.523-5th). Brandon twice drove in seven runs in a game for the Thunder and also become just the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. He completed his cycle by hitting a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 7-6 win against Erie on May 26th. Laird was named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending May 30th, won the Eastern League Player of the Month Award for the month of May and was selected as a member of the Eastern Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
Brandon Laird, Trenton Thunder
(.291, 23 HR, 90 RBI, 73 R)
Harrisburg Senators shortstop Danny Espinosa entered the season rated by Baseball America as the fifth best prospect in the Washington Nationals organization, and with his performance this season he has certainly lived up to that billing. In 99 games with the Senators this season the 23-year old batted .262 with 16 doubles, 18 home runs, 66 runs scored and 54 RBI. Danny was rewarded on August 6th with a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse, where he has continued to flash his power, hitting .273 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 17 games. Espinosa, who is a native of Santa Ana, California, was the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending June 20th and was also the starting shortstop for the Western Division at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game. The 6'0", 190 lb. slugger was also a member of the United State Team for the 2010 Futures Game in Anaheim.
Danny Espinosa, Harrisburg Senators
(.262, 18 HR, 54 RBI, 66 R)
After hitting .271 with 38 stolen bases during the final 71 games of the 2009 season with New Hampshire, Darin Mastroianni returned to the Fisher Cats this season and has put up even better numbers. The 5'11", 190 lb. speedster is batting .304 with 24 doubles, five triples, four home runs, 95 runs scored, 45 RBI and 43 stolen bases over 121 games this season. Mastroianni, who is a resident of Huntersville, North Carolina, is currently leading the league in runs scored (95), stolen bases (43) and walks (75) and is also currently ranked among the league leaders in hits (146-tied 1st), on-base percentage (.398-2nd) and batting average (.304-3rd). Darin was selected as the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending May 9th earlier this season and was also a member of the Eastern Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
Darin Mastroianni, New Hampshire Fisher Cats
(.304, 4 HR, 45 RBI, 95 R)
Ben Revere, New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain Rock Cats outfielder Ben Revere entered this season having made the season ending All-Star Team for his league during each of his first three professional seasons. The 22-year old extended the streak to four consecutive seasons after hitting .297 with 10 doubles, two triples, 39 runs scored, 22 RBI and 31 stolen bases in 86 games with the Rock Cats this season. Revere, who has been on the disabled list since August 5th with a fractured orbital bone, is currently ranked fourth in the league in stolen bases (31) and ranked ninth in batting average (.297). The 2007 first round draft pick won the Eastern League Player of the Week Award for the week ending May 23rd, was a member of the US Team at the 2010 Futures Game in Anaheim and also started in centerfield for the Eastern Division at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
(.297, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 39 R)
Eric Thames, New Hampshire Fisher Cats
New Hampshire Fisher Cats outfielder Eric Thames entered the season rated by Baseball America as the 18th best prospect in the Blue Jays organization, and he will certainly be moving higher up the list following his performance this season. Thames is hitting .293 with 25 doubles, six triples, 25 homers, 97 RBI and 92 runs scored in 124 games with the Fisher Cats this season. The 23-year old, who is in just his second professional season, currently leads the league in RBI (97), total bases (251) and extra-base hits (56). He is also ranked among the league leaders in home runs (25-2nd), runs scored (92-2nd), slugging percentage (.528-3rd) and hits (139-5th). Eric, who was chosen in the seventh round of the 2008 draft out of Pepperdine, was selected as a member of the Eastern Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
(.293, 25 HR, 97 RBI, 92 R)
Ray Chang has appeared in games at first base, second base, third base and shortstop while hitting .300 with 30 doubles, nine home runs, 56 runs scored and 52 RBI in 113 games for the Portland Sea Dogs this season. The 27-year old has been incredibly consistent this season for the Sea Dogs, hitting at least .290 in each month of the season. Chang, who is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is currently ranked third in the league in on-base percentage (.385) and seventh in batting average (.301). Ray also showed his versatility during the Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg. He started the game at shortstop and later moved to third base for the Eastern Division while going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Ray Chang, Portland Sea Dogs
(.300, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 56 R)
Joel Guzman has been one of the top sluggers in the league for the Bowie Baysox this season, hitting .271 with 18 doubles, 29 home runs, 83 RBI and 80 runs scored in 119 games this season. The 25-year old native of Quisqueya, Dominican Republic, currently leads the league in home runs (29), is ranked second in total bases (234) and is tied for fourth in RBI (83). The 6'5", 245 lb. slugger has hit a home run once every 16.14 at bats this season, which is the second best rate in the league this season. He also homered in four straight games from April 21st-24th. Joel, who hit .281 with 12 homers and 57 RBI in 108 games with the Harrisburg Senators last season, was selected as a member of the Western Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game.
Joel Guzman, Bowie Baysox
(.271, 29 HR, 83 RBI, 80 R)
Kyle Drabek got his first taste of the Eastern League with the Reading Phillies last season and put together a record of 8-2 with a 3.64 ERA over 15 games. The 22-year old returned to the Eastern League this season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats following a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays in a package for Roy Halladay and continued his dominance, collecting a league-high 14 wins with 123 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA. Kyle not only leads the league in wins, but is also ranked among the league leaders in innings pitched (154-2nd), batting average against (.216-2nd), shutouts (1-tied 2nd), strikeouts (123-3rd), ERA (2.98-3rd) and WHIP (1.19-4th). Drabek, who is a native of Victoria, Texas, has allowed two earned runs or less in 14 of his 25 starts this season, including eight games in which he has not allowed an earned run. The 6'1", 190 lb. hurler won the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week Award for the week ending July 4th and was also the starting pitcher for the Eastern Division at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg and pitched one shutout inning.
Kyle Drabek, New Hampshire Fisher Cats
(14-9, 2.98 ERA)
The Altoona Curve have had one of the top pitching staffs in the Eastern League this season, and one of the biggest reasons is the performance of southpaw Rudy Owens. The 22-year old has made 24 starts for the Curve this season and has posted a record of 10-6 with 118 strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA in 138 innings pitched. Owens, who is a native of Mesa, Arizona, currently leads the league in ERA (2.67) and WHIP (1.01) and is also ranked among the leaders in strikeouts (118-4th) and batting average against (.232-5th). Rudy has allowed more than three earned runs in only two of his 24 starts this season, including 13 appearances in which he has allowed one earned run or less. The 6'3", 215 lb. hurler was also named to the Western Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game.
Rudy Owens, Altoona Curve
(10-6, 2.67 ERA)
Richmond reliever Rafael Cova has been dominant at the back of the Flying Squirrels bullpen this season, converting 21 saves while posting a 2.31 ERA and 59 strikeouts over 50.2 innings of work. The 27-year old leads the league in saves (21) and is ranked third in games finished (34). Cova, who is a native of Cariaco, Venezuela, has not allowed an earned run in 35 of his 43 appearances this season, including a stretch of 12 consecutive innings at the start of the season. The 6'2", 175 lb. hurler was also selected as a member of the Western Division roster for the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg.
Rafael Cova, Richmond Flying Squirrels
(0-5, 2.31 ERA, 21 Saves)