Eastern League Announces 2018 All-Star Rosters
With the Texas League in the books, the last minor league all-star game is in the offing. The Eastern League's version, which will be played on July 11 at Trenton's Arm & Hammer Park, will feature some of the best prospects in the minors. And that's even without the inclusion of New Hampshire third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was voted into the game but won't play due to a knee injury.
Two of his infield-mates on the Fisher Cats, shortstop Bo Bichette and second baseman Cavan Biggio, however, are healthy and will play in the game. Biggio, who entered the year without as much fanfare as Guerrero and Bichette, is tied for the EL lead with 16 home runs. His .948 OPS is fifth on the circuit as well.
Hartford shortstop Brendan Rodgers is not far behind Biggio with 14 home runs, which helped him earn a spot on the Western Division's infield. Rodgers checked in at No. 15 on BA's most recent Top 100 Prospects list. He'll be joined by Bowie third baseman Ryan Mountcastle, No. 66 on the list, who, at 21 years old has done nothing to disprove his reputation as one of the minors' best pure bats.
The Tigers will send a pair of intriguing arms to the game in righthanders Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser. Funkhouser, whom the Tigers selected with their fourth-round pick two years ago, is fifth in the league with 80 strikeouts in 80.2 innings. Burrows has 65 whiffs—including 11 in his last start—in 75.2 innings this year after impressing with his fastball-curveball combo in last year's Futures Game. Both righties are part of a revamped Tigers' system that is stuffed with high-end mound talent.
The league's top five strikeout artists—Bowie's Keegan Akin, Portland's Shaun Anderson, Binghamton's Nabil Crismatt, Altoona's Taylor Hearn and Funkhouser—all were named to the midsummer classic.
But the most popular name on the list is probably Binghamton outfielder Tim Tebow. Perhaps you've heard of him? While his overall numbers don't jump off the page, Tebow came on in June and has hit well this month. Entering Friday, his .318 average in June was the second-best in the Mets' organization among players with full-season affiliates.
Nabil Crismatt — RHP, Binghamton
Caleb Frare — LHP, Trenton
Edgar Garcia(^) — RHP, Reading
Kyle Hart — LHP, Portland
Mitch Horacek — LHP, Hartford
Matt Kent — LHP, Portland
Peter Lambert — RHP, Hartford
Matt Pierpont — RHP, Hartford
Jordan Romano — RHP, New Hampshire
Dillon Tate — RHP, Trenton
Daniel Zamora — LHP, Binghamton
T.J. Zeuch — RHP, New Hampshire
Abiatal Avelino — Trenton
Bo Bichette — New Hampshire
Cavan Biggio — New Hampshire
Zach Green — Reading
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — New Hampshire
Levi Michael — Binghamton
Josh Ockimey — Portland
Brendan Rodgers — Hartford
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Keegan Akin — LHP, Bowie
Shaun Anderson — RHP, Portland
Beau Burrows — RHP, Erie
Kyle Funkhouser — RHP, Erie
Luis Gonzalez — LHP, Bowie
Taylor Hearn — LHP, Altoona
Sean Keselica — LHP, Altoona
Kyle McGowin — RHP, Harrisburg
Jake Paulson — RHP, Akron
Derek Self — RHP, Harrisburg
Caleb Simpson — RHP, Richmond
Austen Williams — RHP, Harrisburg