MIDLAND, Mich. – The Great Lakes Loons will be represented by two members of this year’s team in the 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game to be held at Dow Diamond on June 19-20. Catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Dustin May will be on the Eastern Division Roster for the two-day event.
Ruiz, 18, is the No. 20 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system according to Baseball America and has been a mainstay in the Loons lineup hitting .291 with nine doubles and 14 RBI. The teenager has received rave reviews regarding is defensive prowess behind the dish, but Ruiz has heated up at the plate over the last month now ranking second among MWL catchers in batting average.
Drafted in the 3rd round by the Dodgers last summer, May has enjoyed a successful start to his affiliated professional career making 11 starts for the Loons going 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA. Tabbed as the Dodgers’ No. 11 prospect by Baseball America, the right-hander has an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio with 54 K and just eight walks.
Other notable Loons all-stars from past years include: Clayton Kershaw (2007), Kenley Jansen (2008), Dee Gordon (2009), Jerry Sands (2010), Carlos Frias (2013), Jharel Cotton (2013), Kyle Farmer (2014) and Grant Holmes (2015). The largest number of all-stars the Loons have had in a game is seven in both 2009 and 2010.
Leading the league with seven all-star selections is the Dayton Dragons (Reds), followed by six from the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins) and Kane County Cougars (Diamondbacks). Seven all-stars rank in their organization’s Top 10 prospects, while 28 players are in the Top 30 for their team, according to Baseball America.
Highly-touted players like Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. (No. 1, Blue Jays), Bo Bichette (No. 9, Blue Jays), Dylan Cease (No. 4, Cubs) Anfernee Grier (No. 6, Diamondbacks), Jesus Sanchez (No. 7, Rays) and Fernando Tatis, Jr. (No. 17, Padres) have all been named MWL All-Stars this year.
The festivities in Midland begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 19 with a tailgate held on the front lawn of Dow Diamond. It’s open to the general public and will not require a ticket. Inflatables, promotional games and other activities will be available for kids, as well as a beer garden with drinks available for purchase for attendees 21 years of age or older.
(Story courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons)
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