Des Moines, IA - Four Iowa Cubs were named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Team, announced today by the league office. 2B Arismendy Alcantara, closer Blake Parker, and starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will represent the I-Cubs in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 16. This is the first time the Cubs have had four players selected to the Triple-A All-Star Game since the event started in 1988. The Cubs and Tacoma Rainiers lead the league with four All-Star selections apiece.
Alcantara was elected to the team and will start at second base. He is batting .310 (97-for-313) with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs, 40 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 83 games with Iowa this season. He is currently riding a career-high 12-game hit streak and was just named the PCL's Player of the Week on Monday for June 23-29. The 22-year-old is leading the league in runs, triples, extra-base hits (43), and total bases (171). He is tied for third in steals, tied for fourth in hits, fifth in slugging percentage (.546), and tied for fifth in doubles. This is his third straight season receiving All-Star honors. He was named a Florida State League All-Star with Daytona in 2012 and a Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star with double-A Tennessee last season.
Parker was also elected to the team. He has no record and a 1.44 ERA (4ER/25.0IP) in 25 games with Iowa and leads the PCL with 18 saves in 19 opportunities this year. Parker has also appeared in three games over two stints in the big leagues with Chicago this season. Parker is Iowa's all-time leader with 59 saves. The Cubs drafted Parker in the 16th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of Arkansas and converted him to pitching in 2007. This is Parker's second professional All-Star selection. He was selected to the Midwest League All-Star team while pitching for single-A Peoria in 2008.
Hendricks is 10-5 with a 3.58 ERA (40ER/100.2IP) in 16 starts with Iowa this season. He is tied with Jimmy Nelson of Nashville for the league-lead in wins. They are part of a group of eight pitchers tied for second in all of minor league baseball in victories this year. Hendricks ranks third in the league in innings and fourth with 93 strikeouts. Hendricks was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week for May 12-18 after pitching eight shoutout innings and setting a career-high with 11 strikeouts on May 15 against Round Rock. This is Hendricks' third consecutive All-Star selection. He was named to the Carolina League All-Star team while pitching for Myrtle Beach in 2012 and the Southern League All-Star team last season with Tennessee. The Cubs acquired Hendricks along with 3B Christian Villanueva from the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2012 in exchange for RH Ryan Dempster. Last year, the Cubs named Hendricks their Minor League Pitcher of the Year after combining to go 14-3 with a 2.00 ERA (37ER/166.1IP) between Tennessee and Iowa.
Wada is 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA (28ER/99.0IP) in 16 starts with Iowa this season. He ranks second in the league in strikeouts (101), third in wins, and fourth in ERA. He is tied with Hendricks for the team lead with 11 quality starts. The Cubs named Wada the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month in April after he went 3-1 with a league-best 0.68 ERA (2ER/26.1IP) in four starts to begin the year. He was also the PCL Pitcher of the Week for April 3-13 to open the season. This is Wada's first All-Star selection in three years in the United States. He was a four-time All-Star during his nine years pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in his native Japan from 2003-11.
This year's game will be hosted by the Durham Bulls of the International League. Players are selected by a combination of on-line fan voting, ballots cast by the league's managers and broadcasters, and the league office. Cubs' broadcaster Deene Ehlis will be part of the radio broadcast of the game that can be heard live on AM 940 in Des Moines.
The Cubs and Omaha Storm Chasers play the final game of a five-game series at Principal Park tonight at 7:05. RH Dallas Beeler (5-3, 4.03) will start for the Cubs against RH Aaron Brooks (7-2, 3.67) for the Storm Chasers. There will be a special pre-game ceremony for 30 people to take the oath of United States citizenship and a special holiday fireworks show following the game. The naturalization ceremony and tonight's game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and streamed live at iowacubs.com starting at 6:35.