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Towles Selected to Futures Game

Catcher JR Towles, who is currently hitting .300 with a .400 OBP at AA Corpus Christi, was named the Astro organization's only representative in the upcoming Futures Game earlier today.

Towles, who began the year at High A Salem, then was promoted to AA Corpus on May 14 after Lou Santangelo was suspended and Kevin Davidson was summoned to Round Rock, is perhaps the organization's brightest catching prospect from an offensive standpoint. Cynics might say the only catching prospect from an offensive standpoint.

He wasn't so great at Salem, but he's been very good at Corpus, compiling a .402/.458/.860 line in the month he's been in the Texas League, bringing his yearly numbers up to .368/.364/.732

You may recall that Towles won last year's South Atlantic League Home Run Derby.

Now might also be a good time to call out the names of our midseason minor league All-Stars.

Strangely, Towles did not make the Texas League All-Star team, whose North and South squads will face off at Corpus Christi's Whataburger Field on June 26th.

Troy Patton did, however, and it must be said he is carving up the Texas League. It's very possible that Patton could be the Hooks' third straight Texas League Pitcher of the Year after Jason Hirsh and Matt Albers.

Douglass is 6 - 0 in his past eight starts, with 41 k's and just 13 walks over 57 innings.

Texas League All-Stars From Corpus
OF/1B Todd Self .405 .482 .313 .887
DH Noochie Varner .348 .446 .303 .794
OF Beau Torbert .342 .327 .265 .669
Troy Patton 90.2 4 - 6 2.68 1.17
Chance Douglass 80.2 6 - 2 3.12 1.13

The Carolina League plays their midseason All-Star Game against a squad from the California League, and the game was played June 19th. Several representatives of our own Salem Avalanche team played, although none, unfortunately, very well.

Still, though Salem did not win its first-half division race, they had a 12-game win streak and finished 41 - 28, unquestionably the organization's strongest team through the first half of the year.

Brad James is second in the Carolina League among qualifiers in both ERA and WHIP, while Samuel Gervacio, of such impeccable control, is second in the league in saves.

Einertson was Appalachian League MVP in 2004, and is having another up year. After his big year at Rookie ball, he struggled for two years at Lexington, and I remain skeptical. Josh Flores IS a legitimate power/speed prospect we should be pleased to see doing well, and Manzella, well, Manzella must be having a hell of the year with the glove.

Carolina League All-Stars From Salem
Player OBP SLG AVG OPS A/S Game Line
OF Mitch Einertson .382 .523 .318 .905 0 for 3, run
OF Josh Flores .387 .500 .321 .887 0 for 3
SS Tommy Manzella .305 .296 .238 .601 0 for 2
Pitcher IP W/L ERA WHIP A/S Game Line
Brad James 74.1 8 - 1 1.82 1.09 1 IP, 2 H 3 R, L
Sam Gervacio 31.1 1 - 1 2.30 1.02 1 IP, 2H, 1R

The South Atlantic League has also played its All-Star game, but unfortunately, our Legends placed only one member on the team. David Qualben--a midseason New York Penn League All-Star last year--pitched a scoreless inning.

South Atlantic League All-Stars From Lexington
Pitcher IP W/L ERA WHIP A/S Game Line
David Qualben 73.1 6-4 3.44 1.49 1IP, 2 H, 1BB

All-Star voting for the AAA game is ongoing and that game will be played July 11.

Congratulations to all All-Stars in the organization, and especially to Towles, who has been given a spotlight previously given to future Astros like Chris Burke and Hunter Pence.