Tag Archives: All-Star

Kicking Off Midwest League All Star Week

Midwest League All Star Game LogoYes indeed, it’s All-Star Week in Fort Wayne. It’s a time when the best of the best in the Midwest (League that is) who hasn’t been promoted or sidelined will come to the Summit City to show off their home run hitting talents on Monday before displaying their skills on the field come Tuesday.

And while the TinCaps didn’t quite dominate the first half like they did last year – they in fact didn’t even get a post season berth and now must come through in the second half if they are to defend their crown – the fan support at Parkview Field has been tremendous. As a thank-you, the team will offering $1 soft drinks and beers at Parkview Field concession stands during Monday’s festivities.

5:05-6:45: Player autographs

6:30: Little League Home Run Derby

7:30: MWL Skills Challenge

8:15: MWL Home Run Derby

Post-event: Fireworks!

On the West, two first-rounders from last year’s draft, Cedar Rapids OF Mike Trout and Clinton INF Nick Franklin, will slug it out in the Home Run Derby. They’ll likely to be joined by Quad Cities infielder Matt Adams and Wisconsin outfielder Khris Davis. Davis has already launched an estimated 425-foot missile to center field earlier this month during a game at Parkview Field.

From the East, the Loons’ Jerry Sands (with a league-best 18 home runs) will be joined by Fort Wayne infielder Nate Freiman is expected to hit at his home ballpark. South Bend infielder Matt Davidson and Dayton infielder Henry Rodriguez will likely make up the other half of the contingent.

The Midwest League sluggers will be joined by 2010 Garrett High School grad Spencer Burns, who won the TinCaps’ Hometown Hitters competition.

TinCaps Add Valdez, Mikolas to All-Star Roster

TinCaps’ infielder Jeudy Valdez and right-hander Miles Mikolas were added to the Midwest League All-Star roster Tuesday, bringing the host city of Fort Wayne’s total All-Star representatives to six.

The additions are thanks to the promotion of Lansing’s Mark Sobolewski and an injury to Lake County’s Trey Haley.

Valdez, 21, is in his second season in the Midwest League. He’s batting .251 with a team-leading seven home runs and 15 stolen bases. His best game at the plate this year came May 26 vs. Great Lakes when he clubbed a pair of homers, including a grand slam, to finish with six RBI.

Mikolas, 21, has been one of the most reliable relievers on the staff, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA. A seventh-round selection in last year’s draft out of Nova Southeastern University, Mikolas had a 26- inning stretch without allowing an earned run this year.

Valdez and Mikolas join TinCaps infielder Nate Freiman, outfielder Danny Payne and righties Jerry Sullivan and Nick Schumacher on the Eastern Division All-Star roster.

Former Wizards Skipper, Ready to Manager All-Stars

Let’s start by stating that IMHO, this will be former Fort Wayne Wizards skipper, Randy Ready’s last season as a Minor League Manager. He was in the running for the Mariner’s spot this past offseason, and the experts agree that Ready is ready for MLB.

But for now, he’ll enjoy managing the Triple-A All Stars for the Pacific Coast League when the Triple-A All-Star Game takes place in Portland Oregon on on July 15th.

The Pacific Coast League All-Star team will be managed by Portland Beavers manager Randy Ready. This is his second season leading the Beavers and his eighth season overall as a Minor League manager. The former infielder played all or part of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues with Milwaukee, San Diego, Philadelphia, Oakland and Montreal.

Ready played in 777 Major League games and hit .259 with 107 doubles, 21 triples, 40 home runs, 239 RBIs, and 312 runs in his career. He began his managerial career in the Detroit Tigers system and was named New York-Penn League Manager of the Year in 2002 after guiding Class A Oneonta to the playoffs. He joined the Padres organization in 2004 and spent the next three seasons as manager of Class A Fort Wayne and led them to two playoff berths.

In 2007, in his only season as manager of Double-A San Antonio, he led the team to a 73-66 record and a Texas League Championship and was the Padres’ Jack Krol Award winner in recognition of his contributions to player development in their system. The Beavers finished 70-74 in Ready’s first season and he was named PCL’s “Best Manager Prospect” by Baseball America.

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I try to make MiLB All-Star Games. Unfortunately, Portland is a bit too far for me at this time.

Related BBIFW Posts:

Jaff Decker Added to All-Star Team

You gotta think that if he had been there all year, Fort Wayne TinCaps’ outfielder Jaff Decker would have been on the Midwest League All STart team. Turns out, it didn’t take a whole season. In fact, Decker was added to the Midwest League Eastern Division All-Star team today, becoming the sixth TinCap on the squad.

South Bend Silver Hawks OF Brendan Duffy was promoted to Advanced-A Visalia, opening the roster spot. The move also pushed Fort Wayne OF Sawyer Carroll into the starting lineup for next Tuesday’s game in Clinton, Iowa.

Decker, 19, burst onto the scene this year, blasting a home run in his first at-bat with the TinCaps. He remains the only player to hit a home run onto the TreeTops Rooftop Party Area beyond the right-field wall at Parkview Field in a game. Decker was selected 42nd overall in last year’s draft and led all of Minor League Baseball with a .513 on-base percentage. He was the Arizona League MVP with the Peoria Padres. He is listed as the No. 3 prospect in the San Diego organization by Baseball America.

Decker, Carroll, INF James Darnell, RHPs Anthony Bass and Brad Brach along with LHP Zach Herr are on the All-Star roster for the Eastern Division

2010 MWL All-Star Game in Fort Wayne

The All-Star game will be coming to Fort Wayne.

Wizards general manager Mike Nutter confirmed Wednesday that the 2010 Midwest League All-Star Game will be at the new ballpark at Harrison Square.

“It was a draft a few years ago which was a random draw of when the game would be and we drew 2010, but the caveat for everyone in the league was if a new stadium came in or a major renovation happened, that person would go up to the front. We got pushed back for Midland. Because of the new deal, we’ll have it in 2010,” Nutter said. “… Because of the beautiful facility we are going to have, we got bumped back up.

“It will be tremendous. We’ll have it the second year like they had it (in Midland, Mich.), and we can’t wait. … They had it here in 1994. Alex Rodriguez, Billy Wagner, there was some big guys that made it. Our fans can look forward to the same thing.”

Clinton, Iowa, is the site for next year’s game.

[course: LaMond Pope]

Wizards’ Carrasco Launches 21 to Win MWL All-Star HR Derby

Felix CarrascoFelix Carrasco is starting to turn more than a few heads with his play for the Fort Wayne Wizards. But last night, he made everyone stand up and take notice. The switch hitting first baseman powered out 11 in the first round, seven the second and three in the final round to defeat Clinton’s Ian Gac — who is the league’s home run leader.

Carrasco used the right field scoreboard as target practice and hit several shots off of it during the competition. But he was doing more than aiming for it.

“I was trying to hit it over the scoreboard,” joked the 21-year-old Carrasco, whose 12 homers are tied for second in the league after not hitting a ball out of the yard in 101 at-bats between the Rookie-level Arizona League and Class A Short-Season Northwest League in 2007. “The hard work is really paying off. I didn’t feel tired” [source: MiLB.com]

I’m checking my history, but I don’t beleive Carrasco is the first Wizards player to win the contest. I’ll provide an update once I know. If you happen to recall any, please comment below.

Photo by Chad Gramling (taken earlier int he 2008 season).

Several Former Wizards Selected as Double-A All-Stars

Last week I mentioned that three Wizards had been selected to represent the team in the Midwest League All-Star Game (as has Fort Wayne Native and Diamondbacks’ farmhand, Jarrod Parker). Thought it was worth noting that former Wizards; Chad Huffman, Kyle Blanks and Greg Burke are among the five San Antonio Missions players who have been selected for the South Division of the Texas League (Double-A) All-Star Team.

BTW: If anyone is going to either of these games, please let me know. I’d love to obtain some photos of former Wizards players. The Double A game is a bit far for me and the MWL I’m not going to be able to make the MWL trip. However, I am going to the Triple-A AS Game in Louisville and would be willing to go on “assignment” if there are any players named that you want photos.