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Gordon, Albers top Texas stars

Hooks place quintet among postseason selections
August 29, 2006
The Texas League announced its 2006 Postseason All-Star Team today, and its roster is dominated by the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Five players from the first-half South Division champion Hooks were named to the squad, while Corpus Christi skipper Dave Clark was named Manager of the Year.

Highlighting Clark's five is right-hander Matt Albers, who was named the TL's Pitcher of the Year. The 23-year-old went 10-2 with a 2.17 ERA for the Hooks before earning a promotion to the Triple-A Round Rock Express in late July. Corpus Christi has now won the Pitcher of the Year Award in both its two years in existence. Jason Hirsh received the honors in 2005.

The Player of the Year is Wichita third baseman Alex Gordon. The second overall pick in the 2005 draft, Gordon ranks among the league's top four in average (.325), home runs (29) and RBIs (95). The last Wranglers player to win the award was Johnny Damon in 1995.

Joe Koshansky of the Tulsa Drillers was named as the team's first baseman. The slugging southpaw has hit 31 homers and driven in a Minor League-leading 108 runs. At second is the Hooks' Jonny Ash, who ranks fifth in the league with a .322 batting average. Rounding out the infield is shortstop Brandon Wood of the Arkansas Travelers. The 21-year-old, who hit a Minor League-leading 43 homers in 2005, leads the league with 71 extra-base hits.

Kurt Suzuki of the Midland RockHounds was honored at catcher. The native Hawaiian's knowledge of the strike zone was on display this season, as he walked 58 times against just 50 strikeouts. The designated hitter spot went to Nate Gold of the Frisco RoughRiders, who has smashed a league-leading 32 home runs.

The outfield is comprised of the Wranglers' Billy Butler and Josh Anderson and Hunter Pence of the Hooks. Butler hit .331 with 15 homers and 96 RBIs before leaving Wichita to join Team USA in the Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Anderson's 43 stolen bases lead the league, while Pence has slugged 28 homers and driven in 94 runs.

Corpus Christi's Ben Zobrist gets the nod as the team's utility man. The versatile switch-hitter hit .327 before being traded to Tampa and promoted to the Triple-A Durham Bulls in mid-July.

Joining Albers on the All-Star team's pitching staff is a quintet of right-handed starters: San Antonio's Yorman Bazardo, Frisco's Thomas Diamond, Tulsa's Ubaldo Jimenez, and Brad Knox and Brad Ziegler of Midland.

Ziegler's 3.07 ERA ranks second in the league, while Bazardo's 3.56 mark ranks fourth. Diamond and Knox are tied for the league lead with 12 wins apiece. Jimenez went 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA over 13 starts for the Drillers before earning a promotion to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox at the end of June.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor for