Five Springfield Cardinals players have been selected to participate in the 2011 Texas League All-Star Game, the Double-A league announced on Monday.
First baseman Matt Adams and outfielder Alex Castellanos were elected starters for the North team. Shortstop Ryan Jackson was selected as a reserve infielder and starting pitchers Maikel Cleto and Mike Blazek anchor the North’s pitching staff.
The five Cardinals will join nineteen of their divisional peers as they take on the South Division All-Stars in the 75th Texas League All-Star Game on Wednesday, June 29, in San Antonio, Texas.
Despite being on the disabled list and missing most of the time since suffering an oblique strain since late May, Adams is still among the Texas League leaders in virtually every offensive category. The 22-year-old’s batting average of .354 is second as are his 15 home runs. Adams’ 47 RBIs are third in the league. He was The Cardinal Nation’s 33rd-ranked prospect during the off-season after being named a mid- and post-season Midwest League All-Star in 2010.
Also in the starting lineup is 24-year-old outfielder Alex Castellanos. His 14 home run total is third best in the league. The Cardinal Nation April Player of the Month carries a .308 average and many of his 41 RBI have been big ones for the Cardinals. The 24-year-old was the Texas League Player of the Week once in both April and May.
The Cardinals position player All-Stars include shortstop Ryan Jackson, selected as a reserve. Jackson’s stellar glove work sets the 23-year-old apart from other infielders. After a hot start which led the Cardinals to name him their April Player of the Month, Jackson has cooled to a .265 average overall. He was The Cardinal Nation’s 34th-ranked prospect coming into the season.
Blazek is the current Texas League leader in wins with seven, against just two losses. His 64 innings pitched is best on the staff as are his 52 strikeouts. Blazek was the Cardinals’ 35th round selection in the 2007 draft.
Cleto was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in trade for former Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan on Dec. 12, 2010. Possessing a plus fastball, Cleto has harnessed his potential into impressive results. In just five starts after his May 6 promotion from Palm Beach, Cleto is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 34 strikeouts. He made his MLB debut in emergency duty earlier this month.
Balloting was conducted among the league’s managers, broadcasters, media relations directors and selected media members.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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