AZL All-Stars Announced; Decker Named MVP

The Arizona League announced its all-star team yesterday and Padres outfielder Jaff Decker was chosen as the league Most Valuable Player. It’s not a surprising selection as Decker’s been a hitting machine since being a supplemental first-rounder out of Sunrise Mountain High in Peoria, Ariz. this spring. Decker is the league leader in on-base percentage with a ridiculous 55 walks in 47 games and is near the top in batting average and slugging.

Aside from Decker, the rest of the list is highlighted by Mariners third baseman Jharmidy DeJesus who hit .339/.417/.591 through 127 Arizona League at-bats. The 18-year-old DeJesus was then promoted to short-season Everett in the Northwest League. . . Athletics shortstop Nino Leyja hit really well with a .313/.383/.456 line over 160 at-bats. The numbers are even more impressive for the 15th-round draft pick when you consider he posted them as a 17-year-old playing a premium defensive position. . . Alexi Amarista is a small outfielder out of Venezuela playing for the AZL Angels. Listed at just 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, the switch-hitter posted a line of .335/.420/.428 over 194 at-bats. The 19-year-old also stole 20 bases, but was caught 13 times.

Tyrone Boykin, who played in the Angels’ system from 1992 through 1996, topping out at double-A, was selected as the Manager of the Year after leading the AZL Angels to a league-best 37-17 record with two games left on the schedule.

Here is the complete team…

2008 Arizona League All-Star Team
Robert Lara C Peoria Padres
Franklin Hernandez 1B Phoenix Athletics
Deivy Batista 2B Surprise Royals
Terrell Alliman 3B Tempe Angels
Jharmidy DeJesus 3B Peoria Mariners
Nino Leyja SS Phoenix Athletics
Jaff Decker OF Peoria Padres
Jericho Jones OF Mesa Cubs
Alexi Amarista OF Tempe Angels
John Contreras DH Mesa Cubs
Manuel Flores LHSP Tempe Angels
Stiven Osuna RHSP Peoria Padres
Julio Ramos LHRP Phoenix Athletics
Cody Eppley RHRP Arizona Rangers
Jaff Decker MVP Peoria Padres
Tyrone Boykin Manager Tempe Angels