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Five Aeros Named To All-Star Team

July 1, 2009
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Five Aeros were named to the Eastern League All-Star team today, as first baseman Beau Mills, catcher Carlos Santana, outfielder Nick Weglarz, starting pitcher Hector Rondon and closer Vinnie Pestano will represent the Southern Division roster. The All-Star Game will take place Wednesday, July 15th at Waterfront Park in Trenton, and Akron was one of three teams with five players named to the squad.

Mills has been one of the most consistent players on the team this season, starting 71 of a possible 76 games at first base and leading the team with 21 multi-hit outings. He is now batting .256 with six home runs and 40 RBI, while ranking fourth in the Eastern League with 289 at-bats. Mills was Cleveland’s first-round pick in the 2007 June Draft and was named the 2008 Carolina League MVP with the Class A Kinston Indians, hitting .293 with 21 homers and 90 RBI.

The top-ranked prospect in the Indians organization according to Baseball America, Santana is batting .269 in 71 games and ranks in the top-ten in the Eastern League in runs scored (52), home runs (12), RBI (47), on-base percentage (.403) and slugging percentage (.498). He also leads the Eastern League with 53 walks and is currently on pace for 99 on the season, which would shatter the franchise record of 82 set by Ken Ramos in 1992. Acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last July, Santana won the 2008 California League MVP award despite playing only 99 games for Class A Inland Empire.

One of the hottest players on the planet, Weglarz saw his 23-game on-base streak end Tuesday night against the Bowie Baysox. After collecting just five hits in April, the 2008 Olympian for Canada has been carrying the Aeros offensively for the past two months. Since May 1st he is batting .305 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 49 runs batted in. His .598 slugging percentage during this time would lead the entire Eastern League, and he entered the season rated as the third-best prospect in the organization by Baseball America.

Rondon, a 21-year-old Venezuelan native who started the year 5-0 in his first five starts, remains among the league leaders in several different categories. He is one of only five pitchers to accumulate seven wins or more, and currently ranks sixth with a 2.59 ERA in 14 games (12 starts). His 65 strikeouts lead the team and are tied for eighth in the EL, and he has not allowed a run in his past three starts (14.1 innings pitched).

Pestano has been almost automatic at the back end of contests this season, going 2-3 with a 326 ERA and racking up an astonishing 21 saves in 24 chances. The 21 saves are the most in the Eastern League by a wide margin (no one else has more than 15), and Pestano has allowed just two runs and seven hits in his last 11 appearances. He ranked second in the Indians chain with 24 saves last season, and is on pace to break Randy Newsom’s single-season franchise record of 29 saves set just last year.

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