The Boston Red Sox's Double-A team in Portland, Maine, will play host to the Eastern League All-Star Game July 13.
The Eastern League chose a good year to grant the Sea Dogs the game - Portland set a franchise record by placing six players on the Northern Division squad. More than half of those players are former Augusta GreenJackets.
Pitcher Jon Lester, infielders Kenny Perez and Hanley Ramirez and outfielder Brandon Moss are the former GreenJackets in the mid-season game, while pitcher Jon Papelbon - who skipped Augusta and went to high-A Sarasota, Fla., last season - and infielder Jared Sandberg - who the Red Sox signed as a minor league free agent in the off-season - round out the Sea Dogs' all-stars.
Perez played for Augusta in 2001, batting .248. He's leading the Sea Dogs this season at .297. Lester was 6-9 with a 3.65 ERA for the 2003 GreenJackets. The left-handed starter is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 84Q innings this season in Portland.
Ramirez, Boston's top prospect, batted .275 as Lester's teammate in Augusta, and is hitting .267 with 10 doubles and 23 RBI this season. Ramirez was also selected to participate in the Major League All-Star Futures Game on July 10 in Detroit.
Moss set GreenJackets records last year by batting .339 with 101 RBI en route to winning the South Atlantic League batting title and MVP award. He hit .422 in 83 at bats to finish the season in high-A last year before jumping to Double-A to start this season. The No. 2 Red Sox prospect batted .209 in April only to turn it around and hit .304 in May and .311 in June to earn a spot on the all-star team. For the season, Moss is batting .284 with 22 doubles, 11 homers and 41 RBI.
AREA ALERT: Former Augusta State University pitcher Stephen Spragg was a second-round draft pick in the independent Frontier League. Spragg is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and one save in 13 appearances with the Washington Wild Things. The reliever went 3-3 with a 3.30 ERA and seven saves for the Jaguars last season.
- Recent Cross Creek High School graduate Jon Egan made his professional debut June 26 for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. The second-round pick went 0-for-7 in a 17-inning game with the Pirates that ended in a 1-1 tie. The hard-hitting catcher rebounded the next night with a 2-for-3, one RBI performance.
- Another former second-round pick from the area, Burke County's Jonathan Broxton, is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 10 strikeouts in eight innings since the Los Angeles Dodgers moved him to the bullpen June 15. Broxton plays for the Double-A Jacksonville (Fla.) Suns.
- Another Suns player from this area, Evans' Tydus Meadows, is hitting .291. The left fielder also has 10 home runs and 50 RBI.
- North Augusta's Kevin Lynn gave up seven runs on nine hits in 4Q innings in suffering a loss June 20 in his debut for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' high-A Visalia Oaks team. The Devil Rays purchased Lynn's contract from the independent Fort Worth Cats.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.