With the best record in the Frontier League so far this season, it should be no surprise that the Gateway Grizzlies received the most player selections to this year’s All-Star Game, which will be played at CONSOL Energy Park in Washington, Pa., — home of the Washington Wild Things — on July 17.
Gateway, which boasts a 29-15 record and a three-game lead in the Frontier League West Division standings, had its hard work recognized on Tuesday with a league-most seven players earning a trip to the All-Star Game, including West Division starting lineup selections OF Antone DeJesus, 3B Chris McClendon, and OF Jon Myers.
Catcher Landon Hernandez was selected as a reserve, while pitchers Tim Brown, Zac Treece, and Ja’Vaun West were all named to the West Division All-Star pitching staff.
The Grizzlie coaching staff including manager Phil Warren, pitching coach Randy Martz, and hitting coach Zach Borowiak will also represent the West Division, after Gateway clinched the best first half record with its come-from-behind win over the Normal CornBelters on Sunday.
Warren, who last coached the All-Star team in 2007 and is second all-time in Grizzlies franchise history in wins (333), is responsible for naming the final three players selected to the 27-man West Division All-Star team.
Myers, the St. Peters native and former Saint Louis University standout, was one of the most sure bets to make the All-Star team, after a breakout first half of the season, in which he’s batted .311, which is second-best on the Gateway team, along with 11 home runs, which is tied for the most in the league this year, and 15 doubles and a .604 slugging percentage, which are both tied for second-most in the league.
DeJesus, the Grizzlie centerfielder, is the club’s leading hitter with a .316 average, which has been steadily on the climb during his current streak of hitting safely in 15 of his last 16 games.
And McClendon, who missed some time in late May and early June with an injury, has been red-hot since returning to the lineup on June 11.
Since then, the Lufkin, Texas, has hit a team-best .349, while also posting a league-best .936 fielding percentage at the hot corner.
Hernandez, a 2012 All-Star starter for the Grizzlies, narrowly missed earning the honor again with a dynamite first half that has him hitting .297, with nine homers and 34 RBIs this season.
The two co-aces of the Gateway pitching staff were also no-brainers selections to the All-Star team, with Brown (7-2) and West (7-1) both tied for the second-most wins in the league.
The two have combined for almost half of the Grizzlies’ wins this year, with the veteran Brown posting a 3.11 ERA and a perfect 5-0 record in road games, while West — the former reliever turned starter this year — leads the Gateway starting staff with a 2.26 ERA.
Treece, the 2012 Frontier League Rookie of the Year, earned his first All-Star selection by somehow being even better this year for the Grizzlies.
The righthander from Hot Springs, Ark., is 5-0 with a 0.73 ERA this year while working primarily as the Gateway setup man, but he does also have three saves this year and has only allowed two earned runs and 11 basehits in 24 2/3 innings work.
THE 2013 FRONTIER LEAGUE ALL-STAR SELECTIONS
East Division All- Stars ……………………….. West Division All-Stars
1B – Balbino Fuenmayor — Frontier Greys . 1B – Mike Schwartz — Normal CornBelters
2B – C.J. Beatty — Washington Wild Things . 2B – Marquis Riley — Joliet Slammers
SS – Taylor Wrenn — Traverse City Beach Bums SS – Patrick McKenna — Normal CornBelters
3B – Andrew Davis — Lake Erie Crushers … 3B – Chris McClendon — Gateway Grizzlies
C – Emmanuel Quiles — Lake Erie Crushers .. C – Mike Valadez — Schaumburg Boomers
OF – C.J. Henry — Evansville Otters ………. OF – Jon Myers — Gateway Grizzlies
OF – Stewart Ijames — Washington Wild Things OF – Antone DeJesus — Gateway Grizzlies
OF – John Schultz — Evansville Otters …… OF – Sean Mahley — Schaumburg Boomers
DH – Byron Wiley — Florence Freedom ….. DH – Steve McQuail — Schaumburg Boomers
P – Scott Dunn — Traverse City Beach Bums P – Ryan Dennin — Normal CornBelters
P – Ryan Zamorsky — Evansville Otters … P – Drew Rucinsky — Rockford Aviators
P – Bryce Morrow — Evansville Otters …. P – Tim Brown — Gateway Grizzlies
P – Michael Oros — Florence Freedom ….. P – Ja’Vaun West — Gateway Grizzlies
P – Jorge Marban — Florence Freedom ….. P – Michael Click — Windy City ThunderBolts
P – Dave Middendorf — Lake Erie Crushers . P – Nick Kennedy — River City Rascals
P – Mat Rein — Lake Erie Crushers ……….. P – Chris Phelan — Schaumburg Boomers
P – Preston Vancil — Southern Illinois Miners P – Zac Treece — Gateway Grizzlies
IF – Gerardo Avila — Southern Illinois Miners IF – Phil Wunderlich — River City Rascals
IF – Carlos Mendez — Southern Illinois Miners OF – Curran Redal — River City Rascals
IF – Max Casper — Lake Erie Crushers ….. OF – Adam Davis — Windy City ThunderBolts
OF – Daniel Bowman — Lake Erie Crushers IF – Mike Torres — Windy City ThunderBolts
IF – Junior Arroyo — Florence Freedom …. IF – Ryan Soares — Windy City ThunderBolts
C – Marcus Nidiffer — Traverse City Beach Bums IF – Gerard Hall — Schaumburg Boomers
C – John Nester — Evansville Otters ……….. C – Landon Hernandez — Gateway Grizzlies