ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- One third of the Topps' Double-A All-Star Team is made up of Montgomery Biscuits. Tampa Bay farmhands Evan Longoria, John Jaso, Chris Mason and Dale Thayer are the quartet of Biscuits named to the 12-man All-Star Team.
The best performances in all Minor League Baseball classifications are again being honored by the Topps Company of New York, N.Y., in conjunction with Minor League Baseball.
Jordan Brown (23) of Vacaville, Calif., led the Double-A classification in batting average (.333) while playing for the Akron Aeros. The first baseman was voted the league's Rookie of the Year and its Most Valuable Player (MVP). Brown was named the Topps Carolina League Player of the Year in 2006. The Cleveland Indians selected him in the fourth round out of the University of Arizona in 2005.
German Duran (23) of Ft. Worth, Texas, ranked among the top five in the Texas League (TL) in batting average, homers, RBIs, hits, slugging percentage and extra base hits. The Frisco RoughRiders second baseman was drafted in the sixth round in 2005 by the Texas Rangers out of Weatherford (Texas) College.
Evan Longoria (22) of Downey, Calif., continues to impress the Tampa Bay Rays, who selected him with the third overall pick out of Long Beach State University in 2006. The third baseman was among the top five leaders in six offensive categories in the Southern League (SL). Longoria was named the Topps SL May Player of the Month on his way to claiming MVP honors in the league.
Asdrubal Cabrera (22) of Anzoategui, Venezuela, played in 96 games for the Akron Aeros before the Cleveland Indians promoted him to Triple-A. After just nine games in Triple-A, Cabrera was brought up to Cleveland, where he became an integral part of the team as it won its division and advanced to the AL Championship Series. Cabrera was acquired in a 2006 trade with Seattle, which had originally signed him as a free agent in 2002.
John Bowker (24) of Sacramento, Califf., led the EL in total bases (273) and finished among the top five in the circuit in extra-base hits, hits, RBIs, doubles and slugging percentage for the Connecticut Defenders. The outfielder's .307 batting average was eighth best in the EL. The San Francisco Giants tabbed Bowker in the third round in 2004 out of Long Beach State University.
Colby Rasmus (21) of Phenix City, Ala., hit 29 homers for the Springfield Cardinals to lead all Double-A players in that category. He also led the Texas League in runs (93) and extra-base hits (69), while ranking second in total bases and slugging percentage. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Rasmus in the first round (No. 28 overall) out of Russell County (Ala.) H.S. in 2005.
Justin Upton (20) of Chesapeake, Va., began his season in Class A and ended it in the Major Leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In between, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Great Bridge (Va.) H.S., starred for the Mobile BayBears in the SL. Upton hit four homers in his first three games for Mobile on his way to being named to the midseason and end of year All-Star Teams in the league, despite only playing in 71 SL games.
John Jaso (24) of McKinleyville, Calif., hit .316 for the Montgomery Biscuits, tops among all Double-A catchers and second best in the SL. He also drew 59 walks resulting in a .408 on-base percentage, third best in the league. The Tampa Bay Rays selected Jaso, the August Topps Player of the month in the SL, in the 12th round in 2003 out of Southwestern (Calif,) College.
Christian Colonel (25) of Pocatello, Idaho, smacked a Double-A leading 163 hits and 47 doubles while playing for the Tulsa Drillers. After a slow April (.221), Colonel didn't hit below .303 in any month for the rest of the season. The Colorado Rockies picked him in the fifth round out of Texas Tech in 2003.
Chris Mason (23) of Gastonia, N.C., won the Double-A prize of the Most Spectacular Pitcher Award, sponsored by VYTORIN, for having the lowest earned run average (2.54) in the classification. His 15 wins for the Montgomery Biscuits tied for the third most in Minor League Baseball and also earned him the SL Pitcher of the Year Award. The Tampa Bay Rays grabbed Mason in the second round in 2005 out of UNC Greensboro.
Gio Gonzalez (22) of Hialeah, Fla., struck out a Minor League-leading 185 batters in 150.0 innings for the Birmingham Barons. Gonzalez's 3.18 ERA led all Double-A southpaws. The Chicago White Sox re-acquired Gonzalez in a trade with Philadelphia last December. The White Sox originally drafted him with a sandwich pick (No. 38 overall) in 2004 out of Monsignor Pace (Fla.) H.S. and then traded him to the Phillies in 2005.
Dale Thayer (26) of Huntington Beach, Calif., led the Southern League with 21 saves. The Montgomery Biscuits reliever won nine games and held batters to a .187 average, third-best among relief pitchers in Double-A. The Tampa Bay Rays traded for Thayer with San Diego, who originally signed him as a free agent, in September, 2006.
2007 Topps/Minor League Baseball Double-A All-Star Team
Position / Player / Club-League / Affiliate / Avg. / HR / RBI
First Base / Jordan Brown / Akron-EL / Cleveland / .333 / 11 / 76
Second Base / German Duran / Frisco-TL / Texas / .300 / 22 / 84
Third Base / Evan Longoria / Montgomery-SL / Tampa Bay / .307 / 21 / 76
Shortstop / Asdrubal Cabrera / Akron-EL / Cleveland / .310 / 8 / 54
Outfield / John Bowker / Connecticut-EL / San Francisco / .307 / 22 / 90
Outfield / Colby Rasmus / Springfield-TL / St. Louis / .275 / 29 / 72
Outfield / Justin Upton / Mobile-SL / Arizona / .309 / 13 / 53
Catcher / John Jaso / Montgomery-SL / Tampa Bay / .316 / 12 / 71
Des. Hitter / Christian Colonel / Tulsa-TL / Colorado / .309 / 17 / 84
Position / Player / Club-League / Affiliate / W-L / ERA
RH Pitcher / Chris Mason / Montgomery-SL / Tampa Bay / 15-4 / 2.57
LH Pitcher / Gio Gonzalez / Birmingham-SL / Chicago-AL / 9-7 / 3.18
Relief Pitcher / Dale Thayer / Montgomery-SL / Tampa Bay / 9-0 / 2.26 / 21 Saves
Statistics do not reflect players' performances in other leagues.
Next: Topps' will announce its Class A All-Stars on Nov. 20.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.