RockHounds Land Seven On All-Star Team

By Brian Smith / Midland RockHounds | June 14, 2012 8:31 AM ET

Texas League strikeout leader Dan Straily, Jeremy Barfield, Shane Peterson, Anthony Aliotti, Conner Crumbliss, Jonathan Ortiz, and Murphy Smith will represent the RockHounds and the Oakland Athletics at the 2012 Texas League All-Star Game on June 28 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Texas League president Tom Kayser today announced the All-Star selections for the annual contest, which will match the North Division with the South at ONEOK Field. Balloting was conducted among the league's managers, writers, broadcasters, and media relations staff members from the eight clubs.

Dan Straily (Oakland's 24th-round selection in the 2009 Draft) leads the Texas League with 99 strikeouts and has already twice been named the League's Pitcher of the Week (May 14-21 and June 4-11). He currently boasts an astounding 4.3 strikeout-walk ratio and has four starts of 10 or more strikeouts, including his 15-strikeout performance against Corpus Christi on May 18. That night, he punched out nine consecutive Hooks, one away from the League record set in 1910. Straily has not lost since May 13, going 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 45 strikeouts (in 32 innings) over his last five starts.

A native Texan, Jeremy Barfield enjoyed a very auspicious beginning to the 2012 campaign, providing the game-winning grand slam in the 'Hounds home opener on April 12. The right fielder currently leads the team in hits (65), RBI (38), and slugging percentage (.461), and is tied for the club lead with seven homeruns. His .300 batting average ranks eighth in the Texas League.

Anthony Aliotti has emerged as one of Oakland's top first base prospects this summer. The A's drafted him in the 15th round of the 2009 draft, following a season during which he was named to the All-West Coast Conference team. Aliotti leads the 'Hounds (and ranks 5th in the League) with a .307 batting average, is 4th in the League in on-base percentage (.414), and second on the team in OPS (on-base plus slugging-.852).

Shane Peterson was a 2nd-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and acquired by Oakland in the 2009 Matt Holliday trade. His .449 on-base percentage leads the League, and Peterson ranks 3rd in the League with 42 walks. "Pete" is the RockHounds' leader in OPS (.886) and triples (3), ranks 4th in doubles (11), and second with nine stolen bases.

Jonathan Ortiz has played a crucial role as the team's closer in 2012, leading the League with 23 games finished and ranking fourth (tied) with nine saves. Originally signed out of his native Dominican Republic by the New York Yankees in 2004, he signed with the Athletics in December 2010. Ortiz currently has a 2.5 strikeout-walk ratio.

Murphy Smith was the 2009 America East conference Pitcher of the Year out of Binghampton University. He is tied for second on the 'Hounds staff with four wins and leads the club's starters with a 3.42 ERA.

Conner Crumbliss has been invaluable at the top of the Club's batting order, leading the team in runs (44), stolen bases (14), and walks (49). His stolen base and walk totals are good for 4th and 2nd in the Texas League, respectively. Crumbliss is also 3rd on the team in hits (59), doubles (12), and OBP(.399).

The Texas League first half concludes June 19, with the second half beginning the next day (all clubs return to 0-0). The All-Star break is six games into the half, June 26-28.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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