Northwest Arkansas’ Naturals are having a good season with the best record in the Texas League, 37-24, as of Monday, and they’ve been rewarded. Nine players will be on the North Division roster for the league’s all-star game on June 30 at Midland, Texas.
Five Naturals were voted into the starting lineup: second baseman Johnny Giavotella, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielders Paulo Orlando and Derrick Robinson, and designated hitter Clint Robinson. Also on the squad are pitchers Mike Montgomery, Edgar Osuna and Mario Santiago and outfielder Tim Smith.
The Naturals’ manager, Brian Poldberg, will skipper the North squad. Hitting coach Terry Bradshaw and trainer Tony Medina also will be on the staff.
The 24-man rosters in the North and South divisions were selected by a voting panel that included league officials, managers, coaches, radio broadcasters and beat writers.
Worth noting: For a while on Friday, reporters thought that Wilson Betemit was starting at shortstop in the series opener against the Reds. It made some sense because Betemit had pounded two home runs including the game-decider in a 9-8 win over the Twins the previous night at Minneapolis. Turned out that a Reds’ employee got the wrong “Bet” when copying down the Royals’ lineup. Yuniesky Betancourt was at shortstop as usual and Betemit was back on the bench. . . . More Betemit: He was just the third Royals player to hit two home runs in the first game he started for them. The others were Mark Quinn on Sept. 14, 1999, against the Angels and Calvin Pickering on Aug. 22, 2004, against the Rangers. . . . . Three players from the Royals’ Wilmington club are on the Single-A Carolina League’s All-Star team. Eric Hosmer, who leads the league with a .361 average, is the starting first baseman. Also selected were catcher Salvador Perez, who is batting .284, and pitcher Alex Caldera, 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA. Hosmer has just two homers but has 22 doubles and 37 RBIs. The Carolina League will oppose the California League All-Stars on June 22 at Myrtle Beach.
Worth noting: Outfielder Rick Ankiel, in his first rehab game with Triple-A Omaha, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in a 6-0 loss to Oklahoma City. Alex Gordon, who had one hit, is batting .416 in his last 16 games. . . . Catcher Wil Myers, leading Single-A Burlington with eight homers and 37 RBIs, was named starting catcher for the Western Division in the Midwest League All-Star game on June 22 at Fort Wayne. Also named was pitcher Bryan Paukovits, the Bees’ top winner at 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA. Bees manager Jim Gabella will manage the Western All-Stars. . . . Right fielder Jamie Romak’s hitting streak for Single-A Wilmington reached 16 games (27-for-60, .450). . . The Royals’ draft choices included infielder Michael Liberto of the University of Missouri, their 21st pick. . . . If the Nationals’ rotation holds, the Royals are likely to face Stephen Strasburg when they visit Washington on June 21-23.