Four players from the Durham Bulls have been named to the International League team that will appear in the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game next Wednesday in Durham.
Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo will lead the IL team that will face the Pacific Coast League’s best. Joining him in the All-Star game in the DBAP will be outfielder Mikie Mahtook, designated hitter Wilson Betemit, right-handed pitcher Merrill Kelly and lefthander Mike Montgomery.
Mahtook, who is in just his third professional season, led the IL with 25 doubles and 37 extra-base hits through July 1, while ranking fifth in the league with a .316 batting average. The 31st overall pick in the 2011 draft has now been named to his league’s midseason All-Star team every season of his professional career, after earning Florida State League honors in 2012 as a member of the Advanced-A Charlotte Stone Crabs and Southern League honors in 2013 when he roamed the outfield for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits.
The 32-year-old Betemit makes his first IL All-Star team after appearing in the league from 2002-2004 and 2008-2009. Through June, the 2001 Futures Game selection led the Bulls with 12 home runs, and reached base safely in 58 of the 68 games he’s appeared in this season; he ranked second on the team with 33 walks.
Kelly, who has bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen this season, was 6-2 up to July 2 with a 3.16 ERA in 17 games, 11 of which were starts. Of those 11 starts, he allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of them, while the Bulls posted an 8-3 record when he was on the mound. The 25-year-old’s selection to the All-Star team is the first of his professional career.
Montgomery makes his league’s All-Star team after a three-year hiatus, last earning All-Star honors in 2010 with Double-A Northwest Arkansas in the Kansas City minor league system. This season the southpaw is tied for third in the league with eight wins, already setting a personal career-high for wins in a single season. His most notable outing came back on April 26 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when he tossed the first 8 1/3 innings of a combined no-hitter with reliever Brad Boxberger in front of a sellout crowd at the DBAP.
The reigning IL Manager of the Year, Montoyo will lead the IL squad for the second time in his career after piloting the 2010 All-Star team to a 2-1 victory. The eighth-year skipper of the Bulls is just nine wins shy of tying Bill Evers for the most managerial wins in Durham Bulls history.
Individual tickets for the Triple-A Home Run Derby on July 14 and Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16 are now on sale at durhambulls.com, by phone at 919-956-2866 or at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park box office.