The Florida State League All-Star Game takes place today in Bradenton, Florida. The Toronto Blue Jays will be well represented at the event with seven players from Dunedin being named to the squad (five are scheduled to be active).
Dunedin had a terrific first half and recently clinched the first half division title. Here is a brief overview of the player’s named to this year’s showcase.
Chung, 26, batted .320/.395/.438 and walked (19) nearly as many times as he struck out (20). Although he was named an organizational all-star last year in many ways it’s been a breakthrough season for Chung who was drafted in the 31st round of the 2012 draft. His OPS last year with Dunedin was .677 while this year’s it’s been .833.
K.C. Hobson INF
Hobson, 23, batted .239/.317/.388 and led the FSL with 57 RBIs. Another player who was repeating this year, Hobson shows a good approach at the plate with nearly as many walks (28) as strikeouts (30). He finished the first half on a tear with an 1.496 OPS over his last 10 games and batted .364/.451/.795 during 12 games in June. He was also able to come through in the clutch and had a .305 batting average for the season with runner’s in scoring position.
Pompey, 21, turned into an absolute stud this year in Dunedin and has arguably become the Toronto Blue Jays best position prospect. He showed a little bit of everything this year – hit for a high average, showed power at the plate, stole bases at an insanely efficient clip, and played plus-plus defense in center field. I have yet to confirm this with any FSL observers but he probably the league’s MVP during the first half. There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the young Canadian and there could be a call-up in the cards for Pompey in the second half.
Dwight Smith Jr. OF
Smith, 21, started off the season on fire and batted .330/.405/.464 in April but started to slowly cool off as the season progressed. He makes good contact, takes a good approach at the plate and has hit for a bit more power than in year’s past. I’m not sure if pitchers started to figure him out as the season has progressed but he’s been slumping with a .521 OPS in June.
Cole, 24, has been magnificent for the D-Jays and pitched to a 2.19 ERA and 1.00 WHIP during the first half. He racked up 95 strikeouts in 78 innings and walked only 16 batters, good for 11 K/9 and a 5.94 K/BB ratio. He’s a bit old for the league (approximately 0.8 years older than average according to Baseball-Reference) but he took some time off for a Mormon mission so according to this piece at MiLB.com is strength may just be returning.
Norris, 21, won’t pitch in the all-star game as he just threw two days ago but his inclusion in the game was a given. He’s lit up the FSL with league best 1.22 ERA and struck out 76 batters in 66 innings. After a dominating first half from the Tennessee native everyone seems to be waiting to see when the Blue Jays will take the next step with Norris by calling him up to Double-A.
Sikula, 25, was promoted from Dunedin to New Hampshire at the end of May so also won’t be playing in today’s game. The ice-veined closer allowed only two earned runs in 20 games and hasn’t been too shabby in New Hampshire either with a 1.86 ERA. His K/BB while in Dunedin was a ridiculous 10.33 and he earned 15 saves.