The Southern League of Professional Baseball has announced the Southern League North Division All-Star roster. The Huntsville Stars are represented by five players including first baseman and Huntsville native Hunter Morris, second baseman Scooter Gennett and pitchers Tyler Thornburg, Evan Anundsen and Jesus Sanchez.
The 23-year-old Morris is currently hitting .292 with a Southern League-leading 21 doubles. He's hit two triples and six home runs. In the last five games, Morris has hit three long balls and has seven RBIs while going 4-for-16 (.250) at the plate. The lefty ranks second in the league in hits (62) and extra-base hits (29) and third in total bases (105). Defensively, he leads the Southern League in fielding percentage at first base with a .998. He's made just one error in 56 games. In 2011, he set a single-season franchise record with 19 home runs at Class-A Brevard County. The former Auburn Tiger is rated as the Best Power Hitter in the Brewers organization, according to Baseball America.
Second baseman Gennett is batting .308 on the season with 12 doubles, two triples and three home runs. He's also knocked in 19 runs. The 22-year-old is the only player on the Stars roster, and one of three in the Southern League, to have started every game this season. He leads the league in hits (73), in front of teammate Morris. Gennett currently ranks fourth in the league in batting average. He was named the Southern League Player of the Week for April 16-23. According to Baseball America, Gennett is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Brewers organization. In 2011, the second baseman set a single-season record for hits (167) at Brevard County. This is his third All-Star selection, having been selected to the Florida State League mid- and postseason rosters (2011) and the Midwest League mid- and postseason rosters (2010).
RHP Thornburg is 8-0 with a 2.69 ERA (52er/70.1ip) in 12 starts with the Stars this season, good for sixth in the Southern League for pitching. He leads the league in wins (8) and is fourth in strikeouts (66) and innings pitched (70.1). He's kept opponents to a .210 average, fourth best in the league. He's also allowed the second fewest baserunners per nine innings in the league with a ratio of 9.60. On April 16, he took a perfect game into the eighth inning before giving up a single to Tennessee. He ended the night with 7.1ip, 1h, 1r, 1er and 11 strikeouts. Thornburg is currently ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Brewers organization, according to Baseball America. This is his second All-Star honor, having been named to the Midwest League All-Star team in 2011.
RHP Anundsen currently ranks third in the Southern League for pitching with a 4-2 record (11 starts) and a 2.32 ERA (14er/54.1ip). He's allowed just 19 walks while striking out 28. The Colorado native threw a seven-inning complete game in his last start on June 3. He allowed just two hits in the shutout over Mississippi. That was the first shutout by an individual pitcher this season in the Southern League. He's kept opponents to a .245 average, second lowest on the team for a starter. The 24-year-old went 5-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 games for Brevard County last season. This is the second time Anundsen has made an All-Star team. He was named a Florida State League All-Star in 2009.
Reliever Jesus Sanchez is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA (4er/37.1ip) in 23 appearances for Huntsville this season. He's converted five of five save opportunities while holding opponents to a .175 batting average. The former catcher ranks fifth in the Southern League for relievers with fewest baserunners per nine innings pitched. He's allowed just 36 batters to get on base in 37.1 innings (8.68). This is the first All-Star team for the 24-year-old. Sanchez went 4-7 with a 4.91 ERA in 30 games (14 starts) for the Stars last season.
The rest of the North Division roster includes Damaso Espino (C – Birmingham Barons), Jesus Sucre (C – Jackson Generals), Pedro Baez (3B – Chattanooga Lookouts), Nick Franklin (SS – Jackson Generals), Jim Adduci (OF – Tennessee Smokies), Denny Almonte (OF – Jackson Generals), Jared Mitchell (OF – Birmingham Barons), Blake Smith (OF – Chattanooga Lookouts), Justin Bour (DH – Tennessee Smokies), J.T. Wise (Utility INF – Chattanooga Lookouts), Joe Dunigan (Utility OF – Jackson Generals), Frank Batista (P – Tennessee Smokies), Carter Capps (P – Jackson Generals), Pedro Hernandez (P – Birmingham Barons), Danny Hultzen (P – Jackson Generals), Matt Magill (P – Chattanooga Lookouts), Jose Quintana (P – Birmingham Barons), Kevin Rhoderick (P – Tennessee Smokies), and Taijuan Walker (P – Jackson Generals).
The Southern League South Division roster will be announced tomorrow. An updated roster for both divisions, if necessary, will be released on Friday, June 8.