North, South Division squads filled with high-performance prospects
June 9, 2014
The Tulsa pitching staff leads the Texas League in ERA, shutouts, WHIP and, of course, wins, and it has three big names to thank for that. Now, they will be rewarded further for their efforts.
The Tulsa pitching trio of Eddie Butler, Jon Gray and Daniel Winkler were three of the biggest names on the Texas League All-Star Game rosters announced Monday for the midsummer exhibition to take place June 24 in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Gray and Butler are the Rockies' top two prospects, respectively, and have pitched as such in their first seasons together on the same staff. Gray, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, is 6-3 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 59 innings withe Drillers. Butler was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 68 2/3 innings before he got called up to make his Major League debut against the Dodgers last Friday. The Rockies added Butler to the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff inflammation Monday.
While those two have turned their share of heads in Double-A ball, the one with the more impressive numbers has been Winkler, who leads the circuit with a 1.41 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 71 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander and 2013 Minor League strikeout king is coming off an abbreviated start after concerns with his right elbow led to an early exit.
Gray, Butler and Winkler were joined by reliever Scott Oberg (15 saves, 2.84 ERA) and catcher Dustin Garneau (.264/.362/.382 in 33 games) on the North Division roster. Springfield outfielder and Cardinals No. 6 prospect James Ramsey, who leads the league with a .976 OPS, is the most notable slugger on that side.
Representing the South Division behind the plate will be Padres top prospect Austin Hedges. The San Antonio backstop has been solid with the bat, putting up a .254/.303/.401 slash line with five homers, 14 doubles and 24 RBIs but has continued to build on a very strong defensive profile. The 21-year-old has thrown out 40.3 percent (27 of 67) of attempted basestealers this season.
The Frisco RoughRiders, who have the best record in the Texas League at 36-25, placed a league-high nine players on the South Division squad. Among them is Rangers No. 2 prospect Rougned Odor, who received a reserve infielder spot despite having not played in the Texas League since May 6. He owned a .279/.314/.450 line with six homers and six steals in 32 games before getting called up to the Majors.
Here are the rest of the Texas League All-Stars as announced Monday: