Josh Vitters (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the Midwest League have announced that six Chiefs have been selected as Midwest League All-Stars. Josh Vitters, Kyler Burke and Josh Harrison were named starters for the MWL East Division squad while Rebel Ridling, Chris Carpenter and Ryan Buchter were listed as reserves.
The six All-Stars from the Chiefs matches the most for a team representing the East, along with Great Lakes and West Michigan.
Vitters, ranked as the Cubs number one overall prospect, is third in the MWL with a .348 average, second with 13 home runs and first with a .610 slugging percentage. A 2007 first-round draft pick out of Anaheim, Ca., Vitters set a Chiefs franchise record for home runs hit in a calendar month, clubbing 12 in the month of May. He will start at third base for the East, as the Chiefs switch divisions for the 2009 All-Star game.
Burke, a second-year Chief, is tops in the league with 20 doubles to go along with a .281 average and four homers in 48 games. The left-handed hitting outfielder has also driven in 24 runs this season hitting mostly in the cleanup spot in the order for Peoria. Burke was acquired by the Cubs along with catcher Rob Bowen in the June 2007 trade that sent catcher Michael Barrett to San Diego.
Harrison, who has played all over for the field for the Chiefs, will start for the East as the designated hitter. He has spent the majority of his time in left field and at second base while also playing third base and DHing. He has stabilized the top portion of the Chiefs order with a league-high 68 hits and .349 average. The 2008 sixth-round pick from the University of Cincinnati has belted three home runs and recorded 23 RBIs with a team-best eight stolen bases.
Ridling, a 2008 25th round draft selection out of Oklahoma State, is hitting .267 while blasting six home runs and driving in a team-high 35. Last season with Peoria, Ridling played in 45 games and hit 10 homers and drove in 35 runs.
Carpenter’s 10 starts matches a team-high and his 45 1/3 innings ranks second on the club. Listed as the 18th best prospect in the Cubs organization, the right-hander is 1-3 with a solid 3.38 ERA this season. He has struck out a batter per inning with 45 punch outs and has limited opponents to a measly .198 batting clip. Carpenter attended Kent State University and was the Cubs third-round draft pick in 2008.
Buchter has anchored the Chiefs bullpen with a 1-0 record with four saves and a 2.57 ERA. In 15 appearances this season, the left-handed reliever has fired 21 innings with a high strikeout total of 26. The Blackwood, N.J. resident was obtained by the Cubs in November 2008 from Washington for 2006 Chiefs All-Star reliever Matt Avery.
Peoria, Great Lakes and West Michigan each have three starters for the East and six total All-Stars. Fort Wayne is right behind with five players selected while South Bend had four players named to the East squad. Dayton and Lansing have two players apiece representing them.
For the West, Kane County leads all teams in the MWL with four All-Star starters, and host Clinton has a league-best eight players participating. The Midwest League All-Star game takes place on Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00 PM at Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Iowa.