Peoria Sends Five to MWL All-Star Game

Mitch Atkins was no surprise

Earlier this week, five Peoria players were named to the 2006 mid-season Midwest League all-star team. They are: first baseman Ryan Norwood, and pitchers Mitch Atkins, Matt Avery, Ed Campusano and Jeff Teasley.

Through 58 games, Norwood is batting .298 with six home runs and 29 RBIs. He has 16 doubles, one behind Robinson Chirinos for the team lead. The 23-year-old Norwood missed all of 2005 with an ankle injury. He was drafted by the Cubs from East Carolina in the ninth round in 2004.

Atkins, meanwhile, continues to show signs of a breakout year after a rough stint with short-season, Class Low A Boise a year ago. The 20-year-old right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 60 1/3 innings as the team's ace starter this year. In four of his 11 starts, the 2004 seventh-round Cubs draft pick has not allowed a run.

"It's really exciting," said Atkins of being selected. "It's my first really good year and I started off here really well. I was hoping I would be selected and knew I had a pretty good chance. We have a great staff here and it shows."

For his part, Avery has the lowest ERA on the Chiefs' staff at 1.34 in 19 relief appearances. The 22-year-old right-hander was taken by the Cubs in the ninth round of last year's draft as a starter from Virginia in the ACC and has a .169 average against in 33 2/3 innings this season.

Campusano, a non-drafted free agent signed from the Dominican Republic in 2001, leads the league with 17 saves and has a 1.42 ERA. In 25 1/3 innings, the 23-year-old southpaw has 40 strikeouts to only eight walks and a .165 average against.

Teasley, selected by the Cubs in Round 38 of the 2001 draft from San Diego State, got off to a strong start from the Chiefs' bullpen and has a 4.03 ERA through 29 innings pitched. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed one run through his first 14 1/3 innings this season.

The 2006 Midwest League All-Star Game will be June 20 in Davenport, Iowa.

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