The Pacific League today announced the members of its 2008 All-Star team. The squad of 28 PCL standouts will take on the International League’s best in the 21st annual Triple-A All-Star Game, slated for July 16 in Louisville, Kentucky. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. eastern daylight time and can be seen live on ESPN2.
The Pacific Coast League roster is filled with league hitting and pitching leaders, including current home run leader Dallas McPherson (.307, 29 HR, 63 RBI) of Albuquerque and saves leader Jared Wells (15 saves) of Tacoma. Eight All-Stars are in the Top 10 for batting average led by the league leader Terry Tiffee (.387, five HR, 49 RBI) of Las Vegas. Fellow All-Stars Jamie D’Antona (.385, 10 HR, 70 RBI) from Tucson; Memphis’s Nick Stavinoha (.351 10 HR, 50 RBI); Oklahoma RedHawk Nelson Cruz (.348, 25 HR, 70 RBI); outfielder John Gall (.334, 10 HR, 68 RBI) from the Albuquerque club; Portland’s Brian Myrow (.329, 10 HR, 52 RBI); Colorado farmhand Seth Smith (.328, 10 HR, 53 RBI); and Salt Lake’s Matt Brown (.327, 17 HR, 52 RBI) round out the Top 10. Tucson infielder Emilio Bonifacio (.302, one HR, 29 RBI) leads the league in hits with 111 with D’Antona in second place with 110 hits and Tiffee (108) , Brown (98), and Gall (98) filling out the leaders in that category.
Colorado Springs first baseman Joe Koshansky (.284, 18 HR, 78 RBI) leads the league in several offensive categories including RBI (78), doubles (30, tied-first), and extra base hits (50) and will join Bonifacio on the right side of the infield. Joining McPherson on the left side will be Fresno’s Ivan Ochoa (.322, 6 HR, 32 RBI) who is currently tied for second place in the PCL stolen base (18) race.
Jason Johnson of Las Vegas (10-4, 4.05 ERA, 82 K) leads the league in wins (10) gets the start for the Coast League in the mid-summer exhibition and will anchor a deep pitching staff that includes four pitchers in the top 10 for ERA, led by Nashville’s Linsday Gullin (4-4, 3.15 ERA, 56 K); Iowa teammates J.R. Mathes (5-3, 3.33 ERA, 40 K) and Mike Burns (6-5, 3.81 ERA, 66 K); and Round Rock’s Josh Muecke (6-6, 3.88 ERA, 64 K). Salt Lake’s Jason Bulger (2-0, 0.70 ERA, 9 saves, 44 K) leads a solids group of relievers that includes Sacramento teammates Jerry Blevins (2-2, 2.78 ERA, 36 K) and Ryan Wing (2-1, 1.50 ERA, 29 K) and Fresno’s Geno Espinelli (1-0, 1.93 ERA, 40 K).
The 2008 Pacific 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 Pacific Coast League office. All 16 of the PCL’s clubs will be sending representatives to Louisville, with the Albuquerque Isotopes leading the way with four All-Stars, followed by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox with three players.
The International League will look to pick up its third consecutive win at the mid-summer classic after coming out victorious in the 2006 All-Star Game held in Toledo, Ohio and the 2007 Game in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This will be the 11th showdown under the current IL vs. PCL format, as the first ten contests pitted All-Stars selected from National League affiliates against those from American League affiliates. The IL and PCL are currently tied 5-5. The winning League this year will once again earn the right to have its champion play as the “home team” at the Triple-A Championship Game – the Bricktown Showdown – in Oklahoma City this September.