||Belnome, Martin and Yates Named to IL All-Star Team
Versatile Infielder and Veteran Starter Elected to Team; Closer Selected by League
The International League recently announced the members of its 2013 All-Star Team, which will face the Pacific Coast League’s best in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno on July 17. The first-place Durham Bulls will be represented by third baseman Vince Belnome, starting pitcher J.D. Martin and reliever Kirby Yates.
Belnome and Martin were both elected to the squad, having received the most votes from ballots submitted by club’s field managers and general managers (1/3), media members (1/3) and online fan voting (1/3). Yates was selected to the team by the International League office. Durham’s three representatives are second only to Indianapolis’ four.
Infielder Vince Belnome, quietly acquired in a December trade with San Diego, has anchored first-place Durham’s offense with steady production. The 25-year-old Coatesville, PA native paces the International League with a staggering .440 On Base Percentage and ranks among the top ten in runs, hits, doubles, walks, slugging percentage and OPS. He is currently the league’s second leading hitter (.342) and his 18-game hitting streak and 30-game on base streak are both season-highs for the Bulls. The IL’s starting third baseman was named a Texas League All-Star in 2011.
Veteran J.D. Martin has been the stalwart of a vaunted Durham rotation, ranking among the IL’s wins leaders all season. Currently tied for second in the league in victories, the 30-year-old is 9-4 with a 3.22 ERA (10th). He was named the IL Pitcher of the Week on June 17 and as one of two elected starters, Martin is eligible to start the Triple-A All-Star Game. This will be Martin’s second Triple-A All-Star Game, as he was named to the IL squad in 2009 as a member of the Syracuse Chiefs. He is a two-time Eastern League All-Star (2005, 2008).
26-year-old Kirby Yates was selected to the IL All-Star Team by the league office. Boasting a microscopic 1.13 ERA that is lowest among IL All-Stars, the native Hawaiian has split time as Durham’s closer with Josh Lueke. Both relievers have tallied nine saves, but Yates has been Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo’s go-to stopper, appearing in 33 games this season (tied for 2nd in IL). This is Yates’ first All-Star selection as a professional.
Vince Belnome, J.D. Martin, Kirby Yates and the rest of this year’s All-Stars can be seen live from Aces Ballpark as MLB Network broadcasts the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 17 at 9:00pm Eastern. The game can be heard on the American Forces Network and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network.
Thanks to DBBC’s Scott Carter for this capcom story & graphic.