INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Indians catcher Erik Kratz and relief pitcher Chris Bootcheck have been selected to take part in the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played on July 15 at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon.
The International League's top players will face the Pacific Coast League's best in the 22nd annual contest, which will be televised live on ESPN2 at 10:00 p.m. EDT.
The 2009 International League All-Star squad is made up of 13 elected players who have received the most votes from ballots submitted by clubs' field managers and general managers (1/3), members of the media (1/3), and online fan voting (1/3). The elected players are joined by 15 additional All-Stars selected by the International League office. Each of the IL's 14 clubs will be represented in Portland.
Kratz currently leads the Tribe with a .280 batting average, 17 doubles, .335 on-base percentage and .429 slugging percentage. His six steals also lead all International League catchers and all catchers in the Pirates' organization, while also equalling his entire Minor League total entering the 2009 season.
The 29-year-old just wrapped up an excellent month of June in which he hit .308 with nine runs and seven RBI in 18 games played. The slugging backstop has also ranked among the IL's best in hits, runs, and batting average throughout the season and currently ranks in the top five in the IL in caught stealing efficiency, having thrown out 33% percent of runners trying to steal against him.
Bootcheck currently ranks third in the IL with 14 saves to go along with a 2.91 ERA in 30 appearances out of the Indianapolis bullpen this season. He also currently leads all hurlers in the IL, with at least 30 strikeouts, in strikeout to walk ratio with an 8 to 1 (48 SO vs. 6 BB) ratio so far this season.
A La Porte, Indiana native, Bootcheck was nearly perfect in the month of June, allowing just six hits and no runs in 11 appearances on his way to collecting seven saves in the season's third month. The right hander enters the month of July having not allowed a run in his last 10.2 innings and continues to rank among the best closers in the League with his 14 saves and 30 appearances both ranking third among all IL hurlers.
Indianapolis has now had 12 players invited to the midsummer classic in five seasons as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, including RHP Ian Snell, LHP Tom Gorzelanny and INF Brian Bixler all of whom are currently on the Tribe's roster. RHP Mark Corey, LHP Zach Duke, OF Nate McLouth and Snell were given the nod in 2005. Gorzelanny was honored in 2006, Bixler, RHP Bryan Bullington and UTIL Yurendell de Caster participated in 2007 and Bixler and OF Andrew McCutchen were invited in 2008.
More information on the Triple-A All-Star Game can be found at www.IndyIndians.com, www.MiLB.com, www.ILBaseball.com or www.PortlandBeavers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.