The Class A Advanced Florida State League All-Star rosters were announced on Wednesday and the North Division team included seven Phillies prospects from the Clearwater Threshers.
Included on the team are outfielders Cameron Perkins and Aaron Altherr, third baseman Maikel Franco, second baseman Carlos Alonso, catcher Logan Moore along with pitchers Gabriel Arias and Perci Garner.
Perkins, a righty hitter, was the Phillies’ 6th round choice in last year’s draft, and skipped Class A full season Lakewood this year, opening his 2013 campaign with Clearwater. In 51 games this season the 22-year-old Purdue University product is batting a league best .337 with three homers and 31 RBI. Last year, with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and short-season Williamsport, the 6-foot-5 205-pounder tallied a .294 average with one home run and 38 RBI in 72 combined contests.
Altherr, a 9th round pick from 2009 out of Agua Fria High School in AZ, is batting .321 with five homers, 35 RBI and 14 steals in 50 games. The 6-foot-5 190-pounder spent last season with Lakewood, where he batted .252 with eight home runs and 50 RBI while swiping 25 bases in 110 games.
Franco entered the 2013 season as the Phillies’ 4th ranked prospect by PhilliesNation.com. The 20-year-old Dominican is batting .295 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 54 games this season. Last year with Lakewood the 6-foot-1 180-pounder posted a .280 average with 14 home runs and 84 RBI in 132 games.
Alonso, a University of Delaware product that was drafted by the Phillies in the 32nd round in 2010. Thus far this season, the 25-year-old is batting .275 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 49 games. Alonso, a 5-foot-11 200-pounder, entered the 2013 season as a .287 hitter with nine homers and 79 RBI in three pro seasons.
Moore, a 9th round pick from 2010, is a surprise on the North division roster, as he’s hitting just .164 with two homers and 16 RBI in 40 games this season. The 22-year-old Northeastern Junior College product entered 2013 as a .231 hitter in two professional seasons.
Arias, a 23-year-old Dominican, sports a 6-2 record with a 2.47 ERA in 12 games (seven starts) for Clearwater this season. Arias, who sports a fastball that reaches 95 MPH, has an 8.22 K/9 mark through his seven pro seasons. The 6-foot-2 180-pounder is currently sidelined and on the 7-day disabled list.
Garner, 24, was the Phils’ 2nd round draft choice in 2010. In 11 games this year, the 6-foot-3 225-pounder has a 5-0 record along with a 2.78 ERA. The Ball State product’s progress has gone slowly since he turned pro, having missed considerable time with elbow and oblique issues during his time in the minors.
Lefty pitching prospect Ethan Stewart is set to officially rejoin the Threshers’ starting rotation this Saturday, when the club takes on Dunedin (Blue Jays). Stewart, a 6-foot-6 205-pounder, had been demoted to extended spring training in May, as the Phillies wanted him to improve his control and increase the consistency with his arm slot.
In seven starts prior to the demotion, Stewart, who was selected by the Phillies in the 47th round of the 2010 draft, posted a 0-1 record with a 6.35 ERA and a .315 batting average against. Last season with Lakewood, the 22-year-old sported a 5-9 record with a 3.89 ERA with a .233 batting average against.
After three encouraging starts for the extended spring team, Stewart is back with the Threshers and is confident that his time away from the Threshers this year will serve him well in the long run.
“The move was tough, but being able to take it as a positive to work on stuff without the stress of real games was nice and getting back into it, I feel a lot more confident on the mound,” Stewart told PhoulBallz.com on Wednesday.
Asked if he was able to bond at all with right-handed hurler Carlos Zambrano, who has been pitching in Clearwater with the extended spring team and the Threshers in recent weeks, Stewart explained that he had limited one-on-one time with the veteran, but offered the following impression…
“I didn’t talk to him much, but how he goes about things is that he’s really laid back and loves the game. He’s a kid stuck in a big body.”
Additionally, the Class A South Atlantic League All-Star rosters were announced on Tuesday. A press release from the Lakewood BlueClaws, who are set to host the event on June 18th stated the following:
Catcher Chace Numata and reliever Steven Inch will represent the BlueClaws on the field at the 54th South Atlantic League All-Star Game, held at FirstEnergy Park on June 18th. The announcement of 50 South Atlantic League All-Stars was made Tuesday by League President Eric Krupa.
BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini and athletic trainer Mickey Kozack have also been named to the staff of the Northern Division.
Numata, a 20-year-old Hawaii native, is slumping as of late, going through a 4-for-31 (.129 avg) stretch in his last nine contests, but had sported a .298 average prior to his recent cold streak. Numata, a catcher, has slugged eight doubles, mashed two homers and driven in 20 runs in 42 games for the ‘Claws. The 6-foot tall 175-pounder was selected by the Phillies in the 14th round in the 2010 draft.
Inch, the team’s closer, is 1-1 with seven saves and a 2.28 ERA in 21 games this season. The 22-year-old righty was the Phils’ 6th round draft choice in 2009. The Alberta, Canada native stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 205 pounds.
Morandini, a former big league All-Star with the Phillies, is in his second season managing the BlueClaws. Morandini also participated in the 1989 SAL All-Star game as a player, representing the Spartanburg Phillies.
Kozack, a Jacksonville, FL native, is in his seventh season as an athletic trainer with the Phillies organization and his sixth with the BlueClaws, according to the Phils’ media guide.
Full rosters for the game can be found by clicking here. Tickets are available for the contest and the Celebrity Hitting Challenge that is set to feature baseball greats Dwight Gooden, Mitch Williams, Matt Stairs, Morandini and plenty others by visiting BlueClaws.com.