star-studded Cedar Rapids Kernels will have their presence felt at
the 49th annual MWL All-Star Game in Dayton, Ohio, and so will Perfect Game.
Cedar Rapids is sending eight players, including four starters, to
the summer classic. Four starters is the most by any team represented
in the contest. Of the eight Kernels all-stars, seven are Perfect
the way is five-tool center fielder Byron Buxton. Buxton leads the
league in runs (59), on-base percentage (.439), slugging percentage
(.562), OPS (1.001), and batting average (.342).
feels good to be announced to the All-Star team,” said Buxton. “God
blessed me with the ability to play the game, so all praises go to
the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, continues to excel at
the plate and is likely to get a call-up soon. He is the 18th ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and the No. 1 prospect in the
Minnesota Twins organization according to Baseball Prospectus. Buxton participated in numerous Perfect
Game tournaments as an amateur.
Hicks, the first baseman for the Kernels, was also named a starter to
the MWL West All-Star team. Hicks is leading the league in RBI (51), is second in doubles (20), and third in total bases (113).
an honor to be selected for things like that,” Hicks said when
asked about being selected to the All-Star team. “It helps having
guys like Buxton and J.D. (Williams) in front of me. They get on (base) and it makes my job a lot easier.”
a Perfect Game alumnus, Hicks played in several tournaments,
including two WWBA World Championships. Hicks played for Elizabethton
in the Appalachian League last year after being drafted by the
Minnesota Twins out of the University of Central Florida. He has been
a member of the Cedar Rapids Kernels since the start of this season.
fielder Adam Brett Walker will be occupying the outfield alongside
Buxton. Walker has been the power in the Kernels lineup to this point
in the season, leading the team with 10 home runs, good for
fourth most in the league. He is also second in the league with RBI (50),
trailing only Hicks, and is third in the league in slugging
a privilege just to be out there,” Walker said, talking about his
a starter isn’t enough for Walker, though. “We could all do a
little better. We just have to keep working hard and coming out
trying our best.”
was a third round selection by the Twins in last year’s draft and
started in Elizabethton with current teammate, Dalton Hicks. Walker
is the No. 19 prospect in the Twins minor-league system.
Polanco will anchor the shortstop position in the All-Star game.
Polanco is tied for second in he league in triples, with seven. The
shortstop from the Dominican Republic has been in the Twins
organization since he was 16-years old. He is second on the team in
runs (37), and third in batting average (.292).
now 19 years old, appreciates the recognition his play has gotten
from the rest of the league. “It means a lot to me,” said
Polanco. “I just gotta keep working hard and improve on my
hitting.” He is the No. 18 prospect in the Twins organization.
include third baseman Travis Harrison, infielder Niko Goodrum, and
pitchers Tyler Duffey and Jose Berrios. All three are Perfect Game
eight Kernels selected will surround themselves with the best talent
in the Midwest League when they will all gather at Fifth Third Field
in Dayton, Ohio on June 18th.
a great opportunity to play with the guys we’ve played against,”