Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Four Fightins honored as Eastern League All-Stars

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Mickey Moniak, image- Jay Floyd
The Double-A Eastern League All-Star rosters were announced on Monday and four Reading Fightin Phils have been honored and will represent the Eastern division.

Righty pitchers Adonis Medina and Addison Russ will be joined by slugging first baseman Darick Hall and outfielder Mickey Moniak when the game takes place on Wednesday, July 10th in Richmond, VA.

Medina, 22, has been on a roll of late and closed out the first half of the season with five straight wins, notching a 1.24 ERA over that stretch.  In 12 starts for Reading, the Domincan Republic native sports a 5-3 record with a 4.05 ERA and a .235 batting average against.

Russ, 24, has been consistent as the team's closer this year, tallying a 1-3 record with 10 saves, a 1.57 ERA and a 12.9 K/9 mark in 28 appearances.  He was the Phils' 19th round draft choice in 2017.  Russ was an All-Star last season for Class A Lakewood.

Hall, a lefty batting 23-year-old, leads the league in RBI with 51 through 69 games.  The Phils' 14th round pick in 2016 is batting .234 and is one homer shy of a tie for the league lead in that category as well with 14.  Hall was also named as an All-Star last year with Clearwater in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. 

Moniak, 21, is batting .264 with 18 doubles, a league leading eight triples, four homers and 36 RBI in 69 games.  Moniak was the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.

I spoke with Reading manager Shawn Williams on Monday about each of his All-Stars.  Read ahead for those exclusive quotes.


Williams on Moniak...

Yeah, he just keeps getting better.  Every year he keeps getting better.  His ceiling is extremely high.  And you're seeing a lot of it with how he finished last year in Clearwater and he's progressed into this year, doing the same thing.  Just having really good at bats.  He's extremely dangerous in there hitting and he's having a good year.

Williams sharing thoughts on Medina...

He's been really aggressive the past month and the numbers are showing it.  He's pitching deep into games.  He's picking up big wins.  All three pitches, he's throwing them for strikes and when that is happening, you're not going to hit him.  And he's been doing really well.

The skipper with remarks about Russ...

With Russ, he's been very consistent in the back end of our bullpen, closing games out, pitching big innings, 'cause we've played a lot of tight games.  He's been a main reason why we're at where we're at.

I asked Williams if having Russ as his closer makes the jobs of the coaching staff a little easier...

It just helps your team period.  And we have a bunch of guys in the bullpen that are like that, but he's definitely one of them to go with the others ones, but yeah that's always great when you have a bullpen that's been pitching like our's has.

 I asked if Williams was excited for Hall to be named an All-Star...

Absolutely.  He's very well deserved, had a great year.  He's really put up some big numbers here recently and is driving in a bunch of runs. I think he's leading the league in RBI's.  Hitting some big homers and more importantly, he's becoming a hitter and hitting really well.

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