2014 American Association All-Stars Announced

2014 American Association All-Stars Announced

Catcher – Chris McMurray (Wichita) – On a team stocked with power, McMurray more than pulled his weight. The catcher sits third on the Wingnuts with 60 RBI. That total is also the most among all American Association catchers. In addition, McMurray has belted seven homers and smacked 19 doubles.

First Base – Casey Haerther (Winnipeg) – First basemen are often noted for their power numbers, but few hit for both power and average. Haerther did just that in 2014 with the third-best batting average in the American Association at .360 and the third-most home runs on the Winnipeg Goldeyes with 12. Haerther has also tallied 29 doubles to place him in a tie for fourth in the league.

Second Base – Travis Denker (Laredo/Pictured) – Denker does not seem to buy into the idea that second basemen do not hit for power. He has driven in the most runs in the American Association with 85. Denker has also slugged 25 long balls for the Lemurs this season and sits in second place, just two behind the league-leader.

Third Base – Abel Nieves (Grand Prairie/Wichita) – Not much has changed for Nieves since 2013, as he has been named the league’s top third baseman for the second straight season. As hard as it is to fathom, last year’s batting king is close to duplicating his remarkable season with Wichita from last year. In 2014 with the AirHogs and Wingnuts, Nieves has hit .354, which places him just three points below his league-best mark from a season ago.

Shortstop – Tyler Kuhn (Winnipeg) – Kuhn was one of the most consistent hitters in the American Association in 2014. He has hit for a .361 average, which places him second in the league. Kuhn has also been a reliable glove at shortstop for the Goldeyes. The West Virginia University product has only committed 12 errors in 99 games for a .975 fielding percentage.

Outfield – Drew Martinez (Gary SouthShore) – Martinez has been one of the most valuable cogs in the RailCats’ offense with a team-best .359 batting average, which is also good for fourth in the American Association. Martinez has also been a speed demon. The Collierville, Tenn. native has swiped 25 bases and has only been caught four times. That stolen bases total places Martinez at the top of his team and sixth in the league.

Outfield – Brent Clevlen (Wichita) – For the second consecutive season, Clevlen has been heralded as one of the American Association’s top outfielders and with good reason. The Wingnuts’ center fielder is atop the league with an astonishing .370 batting average. Clevlen has also hit for tremendous power and productivity with the fourth-most home runs (19) and the second-most RBI (78).

Outfield – Nick Van Stratten (Laredo) – Even with a change of scenery, Van Stratten has flourished in the American Association. One year ago, the outfielder was named an All-Star as a member of the Sioux Falls Canaries. This season, with the Laredo Lemurs, Van Stratten was at it again with a team-high .352 batting average. That mark also puts him eighth in the league.

Designated Hitter – Ian Gac (Lincoln) – Gac has tortured American Association pitchers with the long ball this season. He leads the league with 27 home runs and he has done so despite having only played in 81 games. The next-best home run hitter in the American Association is two homers behind Gac and has played in 17 more games. Gac also leads Lincoln with a .353 average and sits fourth in the league with 77 RBI.

Pitcher – Nick Hermandez (Winnipeg) – The Winnipeg Goldeyes had to feel pretty good every time Hernandez took the ball in 2014. The left-hander led the American Association with 12 wins and only suffered two losses. Hernandez also has the second-lowest ERA in the league (3.11) and the 10th-most strikeouts (92). Hernandez is only 13 strikeouts behind the league-leader, despite having pitched in 28.1 fewer innings.

Relief Pitcher – Marshall Schuler (Lincoln) – Schuler is at the top of the American Association in saves and it is not even close. The Saltdogs’ closer has tallied 34 saves, which is 11 more than the man behind him on the leaderboard. Schuler has also struck out nearly a batter per inning with 49 K’s in 49.2 innings pitched.

Defensive Player – Ryan Khoury (Wichita) – Khoury has been a steady presence for the Wingnuts at shortstop. In 99 games this season, Khoury has made just 12 errors. His .976 fielding percentage is the best among the American Association’s starting shortstops.