On Friday, catcher Charles Cutler was named the Quad Cities River Bandits’ sole 2009 Midwest League All-Star. The 22-year-old received the honor one day after going 2-for-4 at the plate to improve his league-leading batting average to .381.
Over his last 16 games, the 22-year-old from San Francisco is hitting .468 (29-for-62) with 10 multi-hit contests, 13 RBI, nine runs scored and four doubles.
The Cardinals’ 14th-round pick from Cal-Berkeley in last June’s draft batted .410 last month and hit safely in 22 of his 26 games to earn both the Scout.com and Cardinals organization Minor League Player of the Month honors in May.
The smooth-swinging lefty also has nearly as many walks (15) as strikeouts (17) this season to go along with a .432 on-base percentage, good for third in the Class-A
While Cutler’s bat seems to have been ready for a promotion to A-Advanced for some time, Quad Cities manager Steve Dillard told me that he is looking for Cutler to improve his work behind the plate, especially in release times of his throws.
Dillard expects he would have had two other All-Stars had outfielder Chris Swauger and reliever Casey Mulligan had not been promoted to Palm Beach. Friday’s starter for the Bandits, Archimedes Nieto, is another player Dillard hoped would receive all-star recognition.
Last season, the Bandits had three all-stars, shortstop Pete Kozma, outfielder Charlie Kingrey and pitcher Mark Diapoules.
The Clinton LumberKings will play host to the 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game at Alliant Energy Field on June 23.
Footnote: In less than two hours after I posted this article, Cutler smashed a two-run home run out to right field on this swing. Quite a celebration!
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at his blog, The Cardinal Nation.
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