Numerous All-Stars have ties to Augusta area

All-Star baseball will take over the sports world's attention this week with the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

 

Players from the Pacific Coast and International leagues will be on display at the Triple-A All-Star Game, as will players from teams in the non-affiliated Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

The All-Star festivities for all three contests will include representatives from Augusta.

Augusta GreenJackets first baseman Angel Villalona and former GreenJacket Kevin Pucetas will play in the MLB's All-Star Futures Game today at Yankee Stadium.

The game can be seen on ESPN2, with coverage starting at 12:30 p.m.

Five former GreenJackets, Aramis Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Brian Wilson , earned spots in the 79th MLB All-Star Game, which will be played Tuesday night.

In the Triple-A ranks, former Westside High pitcher Jason Childers , now with the Charlotte Knights, was selected as an All-Star for the first time.

The 6-foot, 160-pound reliever is 3-1 this season with a 1.47 ERA and six saves. He'll represent the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday in Louisville, Ky.

The Atlantic League's independent teams will send their top talent to Bridgewater, N.J., for their All-Star Game.

Former Hephzibah High star Lloyd Turner will represent the Lancaster Barnstormers in the game scheduled for Wednesday.

Turner was one of five Barnstomers named to the team, thanks to fan voting. The 28-year-old infielder entered the weekend hitting .284 with 17 doubles and 26 RBI in 71 games.

RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Childers isn't the only member of his family who's had an impressive summer.

His brother and fellow Westside product, Matt Childers , has been on a hot streak, establishing a long series of scoreless innings. As a reliever for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Matt hasn't given up an earned run in his past 13 outings, dating back to June 1.

The scoreless streak spans 15w innings and includes only seven hits and 20 strikeouts.

SUCCESS AT THE DISH: Another Augusta native has a strong streak of his own going.

Former South Aiken High star Phil Disher entered Saturday with an eight-game hitting streak on the line. Childers, drafted by Houston in June, is playing for the TriCity ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League.

The 6-2, 215-pound first baseman is 12-for-29 in his past seven games, including two homers and five RBI.

SIGNED: The Atlanta Braves signed their top draft pick last week. Brett DeVall , a right-handed pitcher from Niceville High in Florida, signed Monday.

The deal closed a weekend during which three of the team's top picks were signed. Left-handed pitcher Robert Stovall and outfielder Adam Milligan , Atlanta's second and seventh selections, respectively, in June's First-Year Player Draft, also signed deals.

"We're just delighted to have all of these guys signed," Braves director of scouting Roy Clark told MLB.com. "We're looking forward to getting them into camp and then getting a chance to watch them play."

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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