DAYTON, Ohio - Midwest League President George Spelius today announced the rosters for the 49th annual Midwest League All-Star Game, as voted upon by league managers. The game will be played at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Tuesday, June 18th.
The game will match the Eastern Division All-Stars against the Western Division All-Stars. The current roster for each team consists of 18 position players and 17 pitchers. Adjustments to rosters will be made by the league office in the event of player promotions or injuries prior to the game. The Midwest League features 16 clubs.
Five members of the host Dayton Dragons have been selected to play. Outfielder Jesse Winker has been chosen as a starter for the Eastern Division, while shortstop Zach Vincej will be a reserve. Dragons pitchers Robert Stephenson, Drew Cisco, and Sal Romano have also been selected to play.
Stephenson, 20, the Reds 2011 first round draft pick, highlights the Eastern Division roster. Over his last five starts, Stephenson is 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA. He has walked four and struck out 42 in 31.2 innings. For the year, Stephenson is 5-3 with a 3.32 ERA and leads the league in strikeouts. His full-season strikeout total of 77 is tied for fourth in all of Minor League Baseball (120 teams currently playing).
Winker, 19, a supplemental first round pick by the Reds in 2012, is batting .307 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in. He ranks fifth in the league in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage, tied for sixth in home runs, and 10th in batting average. Since April 19, Winker leads all of Single-A baseball in OPS at 1.060 (60 teams). He was selected as the Dragons Batter of the Month for both April and May. Vincej has anchored a Dragons defense that ranks first among the 16 Midwest League clubs in fielding percentage. Cisco and Romano have been consistent starting pitchers for the Dragons. Cisco has issued only six walks in 65 innings.
The Western Division roster is highlighted by Cedar Rapids outfielder Byron Buxton, the second overall selection of the 2012 draft by the Minnesota Twins. Buxton leads the league in runs scored with 55, 16 more than any other player in the league. Buxton currently ranks second in the Midwest League in batting average at .333 and second in slugging percentage at .545. He has hit seven home runs, driven in 39 runs, and stolen 26 bases.
The Western Division team also includes MWL earned run average leader Lance McCullers Jr. of the Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros affiliate). McCullers, a 2012 supplemental first round selection, has posted a 1.70 ERA through 47.2 innings. McCullers, son of former Major League pitcher Lance McCullers, throws a fastball that has reportedly reached 100 miles per hour. The Western Division team will also include Midwest League home run leader Rock Shoulders of Kane County (Chicago Cubs affiliate), who has belted 12 homers this season.
Fans can still purchase lawn tickets for the Midwest League All Star Game for $10 by calling the Dragons Box Office at (937) 228-2287 or by going online to daytondragons.com. Tickets are also available for the Dragons All-Star Block Party event at the Fraze Pavilion on Monday, June 17th. The event features a concert from Parrots of the Caribbean (the #1 Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band in the country), plus a meet and greet with the 2013 All Stars and Dragons entertainment. Tickets for the Dragons All-Star Block Party are available for $10 at fraze.com or the Fraze Box Office located inside Town & Country Shopping Center in Kettering.
The Midwest League All-Star Game was first played in 1964 and has featured many of today's biggest Major League stars such as Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and Adam Dunn. Earlier MWL All-Star Games featured players like Goose Gossage, Carlton Fisk, Vida Blue, Gary Gaetti, Dan Quisenberry, and Dave Stewart.
The Dragons have hosted the Midwest League All-Star Game on one previous occasion, in 2001. That game featured Midwest League all-star Justin Morneau of Quad Cities, who won the American League Most Valuable Player award just five years later with Minnesota.
The Field Staffs for the All-Star Classic will be:
Western Division – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
§ Matt Erickson, Field Manager
§ Dave Chavarria, Pitching Coach
§ Dusty Rhodes, Hitting Coach
§ Jeff Paxson, Athletic Trainer
§ Christian Polega, Strength and Condintioning
Eastern Division – Dayton Dragons
§ Jose Nieves, Field Manager
§ Tony Fossas, Pitching Coach
§ Alex Pelaez, Hitting Coach
§ Tyler Steele, Athletic Trainer
§ Morgan Gregory, Strength and Conditioning
§ Aaron Faucett, Medical Liaison
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