Thursday, June 28, 2012

Six R-Phils to Rep Baseballtown in EL All-Star Game

In a statement released in conjunction with the Eastern League, the Double-A Reading Phillies announced that six of the club's players have been named mid-season All-Stars.

Among the Eastern division's representatives will be righty pitchers Justin Friend and Julio Rodriguez, along with shortstop Troy Hanzawa, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, catcher Sebastian Valle and first baseman Darin Ruf.

Reading's skipper Dusty Wathan will join his six players as the Eastern All-Stars' manager.

The Baseballtown All-Star Classic is set to be played at Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday, July 11 at 7:05 PM.

Friend, a reliever that was acquired by the Phillies from the Oakland organization in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, has been tremendous this season. The 26-year-old sports a 2-0 record with a 0.33 ERA and 14 saves as Reading's closer.

Rodriguez, an 8th round draft selection in 2008 by the Phils, has continued to develop this year. Following a season in which he led the Class A Advanced Florida State League in wins (16) and finished second in strike outs (168) and ERA (2.76), the 21-year-old Rodriguez has tallied a 5-1 record and a 3.23 ERA with 85 strike outs in 83 2/3 innings pitched.

Hanzawa, a 16th round draft pick in 2008 out of San Diego St., has seen a surge in his offensive production a year after he posted a lowly .567 OPS in 120 combined games between Clearwater and Reading last year. This season, in 69 games, the 5-foot-9-inch 155-pounder has posted a .279 batting average with 12 doubles, 5 triples and 29 RBI. Additionally, the 26-year-old's OPS sits at .712 for the R-Phils.

Hernandez, a switch-hitting 22-year-old Venezuela native, has a .315 batting average with 19 doubles, 8 triples, 1 homer and 34 RBI through 73 games this season.

Valle, a 21-year-old Mexico native, has a .251 average with 8 home runs and 31 RBI through 58 games this season. Valle was ranked as the Phillies' top positional prospect this year by PhilliesNation.com.

Ruf, a 20th draft pick by the Phillies in 2009 out of Creighton University, has a .319 batting average with 12 homers and 49 RBI and is among the league leaders in OPS with a .939 mark. Ruf is roughly a month shy of his 26th birthday.

Friend and Ruf were selected to the team via Eastern League Fan Balloting.

Tickets for the Baseballtown All-Star Classic and its events can be purchased online at RPhils.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in person at the R-Phils' ticket office at FirstEnergy Stadium.
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