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Hessman, Slowey lead IL All-Stars

12-man squad also includes top rookie Joey Votto
August 28, 2007
The International League announced on Tuesday its 2007 Postseason All-Star Team, a 12-man squad featuring representatives from nine of the venerable circuit's 14 teams.

The team -- which was selected by a vote of the league's managers, coaches, media and club representatives -- is highlighted by the presence of four end-of-season award winners: Most Valuable Player Mike Hessman, Most Valuable Pitcher Kevin Slowey, Rookie of the Year Joey Votto and Manager of the Year Dave Miley.

Hessman, the third baseman of the two-time, defending-champion Toledo Mud Hens, currently leads the league with 31 home runs and 97 RBIs. A veteran of 11 professional seasons, Hessman has set career highs in both categories while raising his average nearly 90 points from 2006. The California native is joined on the All-Star Team by teammate Timo Perez, a 32-year-old outfielder (and Major League veteran) who ranks first in the league in hits (151) and runs scored (76).

Slowey, the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher, has gone 10-4 with a league-leading 1.76 ERA for the Rochester Red Wings this season. The 23-year-old has exhibited pinpoint control by walking just 17 batters over 129 2/3 innings pitched and also made seven starts for the Minnesota Twins. Slowey's batterymate, Jose Morales, was also named to the team. The Puerto Rican backstop has handled a pitching staff that ranks second in ERA and first in complete games, and he is hitting a career-high .315 to boot.

Votto, the Rookie of the Year, played for the Louisville Bats this season after winning the MVP of the Double-A Southern League in 2006. A first baseman who has also spent significant time in the outfield, Votto is hitting .297 with 22 home runs, 90 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. As versatile as Votto has been, his teammate Aaron Herr has been even more so. The infielder -- who has split time between second and third base this season -- was named the league's top utility player after driving in a career-high 82 runs and scoring 71.

Miley, the skipper of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, was named the IL Manager of the Year after guiding his squad to a probable first-place finish in the North Division (the Yankees' magic number is currently just four games). An eight-year managerial veteran in the IL, Miley piloted the Louisville Bats from 2000-03, and is the franchise's all-time winningest manager.

One of Miley's standout performers this season was Shelly Duncan, who was named to the team as an outfielder. Now playing with the New York Yankees, Duncan hit a franchise-record 25 home runs while with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Rounding out the All-Star outfield is Buffalo's Ben Francisco and Durham's Justin Ruggiano. Francisco leads the league with a .322 average, while Ruggiano is hitting .313 and has scored 75 runs.

The infield is completed by Richmond Braves second baseman Martin Prado and Indianapolis Indians shortstop Brian Bixler. Prado is hitting .318 and has also played 41 games as a member of the Atlanta Braves. Playing in his first Triple-A season, Bixler has stolen 27 bases and leads the league with 10 triples.

Finally, Norfolk's Cory Doyne was named to the team as the league's premier relief pitcher. The 26-year-old has recorded a franchise-record 29 saves in just 30 chances and has a WHIP of 0.88.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to