Tucker, Verdugo, Urias lead PCL All-Stars

Three top-100 prospects join Blash, Hudson on talented squad

No. 9 overall prospect Kyle Tucker, 21, made the team despite being one of the circuit's youngest players. (Jesus Sepulveda/Fresno Grizzlies)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | June 28, 2018 2:00 PM

The International League announced its All-Star representatives Wednesday, and now they know exactly whom they'll be facing July 11 in Columbus, Ohio.

Top-100 prospects Kyle Tucker, Alex Verdugo and Luis Urias highlight the Pacific Coast League All-Star roster that will head to Huntington Park next month, that circuit announced Thursday.


View the complete Pacific Coast League All-Star Roster »


Among the group of players elected to the squad as starters, with help from fans via the Triple-A All-Star ballot, are a host of league leaders in major offensive categories. Salt Lake's Jabari Blash, fresh off his three-homer performance Wednesday in Reno, was an easy selection to lead the starting group of outfielders as he tops the PCL in home runs (22), slugging percentage (.795) and OPS (1.237) through 53 games with the Bees. He'll be joined on the grass by Reno's Socrates Brito, the current front-runner for the PCL batting title with a .358 average over 62 contests. Fresno teammates J.D. Davis (third base) and AJ Reed (first base) -- the latter of which has gone deep 18 times in his attempt to defend his Joe Bauman Home Run Award -- highlight the PCL elected infielders.

Video: Blash goes deep three times for Salt Lake

On the pitching side, Memphis right-hander Dakota Hudson and Oklahoma City left-hander Manny Banuelos were elected into the PCL's two starting slots. Hudson leads the circuit in wins (10) and ERA (2.04) over 14 starts in his first trip to the Minors' highest level, while Banuelos tops all PCL pitchers with 91 strikeouts over his 77 1/3 innings. This will be Banuelos' second trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game after he earned the honor with Gwinnett in the Braves system in 2015. Round Rock right-hander R.J. Alvarez -- the league leader with 16 saves -- and Oklahoma City switch-pitcher Pat Venditte were elected as relievers.

The trio of Tucker, Verdugo and Urias give the PCL plenty of firepower off the bench. This will be Verdugo's second straight trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game, and the No. 28 overall prospect earned that addition to his resume by hitting .330/.377/.490 over 51 games with Oklahoma City. Tucker, who is the highest ranked of the bunch at No. 9 overall, has ridden an incredibly hot month of June to punch his ticket to Columbus. The Fresno outfielder has hit .404/.442/.670 with five homers in 23 games this month and has pushed his season line up to .315/.382/.525 to go with 12 homers and 13 steals through 72 games. Urias (No. 30 overall) has already set a career high with six homers for El Paso and continues to reach base at a solid clip with a .377 OBP through 73 games in his first Triple-A season.

The Triple-A All-Star Game will be streamed live on MiLB.TV, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Video: Grizzlies' Tucker leaves yard

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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