Though Travis Ott didn't open the season as a starter, he's been a force in Hudson Valley's rotation since July 4 and will represent the Renegades in their home park in the New York-Penn League midsummer classic.
Ott and other standouts such as Lowell outfielder Tyler Hill, Vermont first baseman Miguel Mercedes and Brooklyn right-hander Harol Gonzalez headline this year's North and South rosters for the Class A Short Season NYPL All-Star Game, which will take place at Dutchess Stadium on Aug. 16.
Ott, who posted a 3.90 ERA in 13 starts with Hudson Valley last season, made his first three appearances out of the bullpen, including five innings of a one-hitter in his season debut June 20. He made the move to the rotation on Independence Day -- making an adjustment from a sidearm delivery back to one more over the top -- and hasn't looked back with only one earned run allowed in 41 2/3 innings, good for a league-best 0.22 ERA. His 0.62 WHIP is also tops in the circuit as no other qualified pitcher has a mark lower than 0.88 in the category. Ott, the first pitcher listed on the initial North team roster released by the league, will likely start next Tuesday's shhowcase event.
While Ott will be the North's standout arm, Hill is among its standouts with the bat. The Red Sox prospect leads the circuit with a .373 average, .439 OBP and .982 OPS. The 20-year-old corner outfielder's .542 slugging percentage trails only Stephen Wrenn, who posted a .544 slugging percentage in 36 games for Tri-City before being promoted on July 27, making him ineligible for this year's All-Star proceedings.
The North also boasts Mercedes, who ranks second in the circuit in both homers (eight) and RBIs (30) and third in total bases (78).
Though two of the league's best early-season performers will represent the North, the South roster is no pushover. Pitching in his second stateside season, Gonzalez is enjoying a breakout campaign. He is the league leader in strikeouts with 67 over 56 innings for the Cyclones while posting a 1.77 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in nine starts for the Mets affiliate.
State College shortstop Tommy Edman and catcher Jeremy Martinez both got starting nods for the South and have shown impressive patience at the plate. Both have walked more times than they've struck out with on-base percentages above .400 (Edman, .404; Martinez .436). The pair also ranks third and fourth in OPS with Edman posting an .867 in the category and Martinez an .857.
The complete North and South All-Star rosters can be found at those links. (For mobile users, go to www.milb.com/asg for info.)