The first half of the Midwest League is wrapping up this week and teams are getting set for a week long All-Star game break.
Most of the Great Lakes Loons will be spending a few days back home with their families, but three have been chosen to represent their team on the Eastern Division in Tuesday night's game in Geneva, Illinois.
Those three players are starting pitcher Jarret Martin, infielder/outfielder Joe Winker and designated hitter O'Koyea Dickson.
"Jarett Martin is leading the league in strikeouts and has done a nice job, Joe Winker played really well for us and was forced to go to the outfield recently," said manager John Shoemaker. "O'Koyea Dickson was a replacement but if he had full season he would have been the No. 1 guy at his position."
The ace of the staff Martin has been consistent this season despite his 3-4 record and 4.09 ERA, but the most impressive thing about Martin is his strikeouts.
Martin's 71 strikeouts are second in the MWL, just two behind Peoria starting pitcher Jose Rosario.
"It's a great honor being amongst the best players in the league," Martin said. "My season is going like a minor league season should, some ups and downs but definitely a learning experience."
Winker was originally name with Martin to the All-Star team. He has quickly become the Loons fan favorite for his consistent hitting and his walkup music (Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen).
"I'll be having a bad game and come up in the ninth inning and that song comes on, how do you not smile," Winker said. "It keeps you in perspective."
Winker is batting .250 and leading the team in home runs with six, doubles with 21 and second in RBIs with 36 while playing the bulk of the season at first base before moving to the outfield after the addition of Angelo Songco.
"It's an honor, I show up and work hard every day and it feels good to get rewarded," Winker said. "I just try and stay consistent day in and day out, if you play every day you'll have good days and bad and it's about refocusing."
Dickson is the team's slugger and was a late addition due to an injury. He missed the first month of the season with his own injury and looking at his stats, if not for the injury he would've been on the team in the first place.
Dickson has the highest batting average (.333), slugging percentage (.574), on-base percentage (.436) and home runs (6) on the team and if not for missing the first half he could be a top the league with those stats as well.
"I'm excited to go out and share the opportunity with everyone who made it," Dickson said. "Baseball is baseball, I'm not trying to make up for lost time just try and help the team in any way."