Clearwater Well Represented In FSL All-Star Game

It's that time of year already. The first half of the schedule is over in the Florida State League and it's time for the annual FSL All-Star Game. This year's contest will be played in Ft.Myers, home of the Ft.Myers Miracle, the FSL affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Clearwater Phillies finished the first-half at 37-31, six games out of first in the league's Western Division. The Phillies placed six players on the original all-star roster, with another added later.

The first-half of the season wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't bad for Clearwater. Six games over .500 shows solid play and might have put them closer to the first-half division title if not for the powerhouse Ft.Myers Miracle. The Miracle set a franchise record for wins in the first-half of a season, going 44-26 and keeping Clearwater six games off the pace.

Three of the Clearwater selections were pitchers. Keith Bucktrot, Layne Dawson and Gavin Floyd all made the squad. For Bucktrot, 2003 has been a microcosm of the Clearwater season – not great, but not bad – for the 22 year old right-hander. Bucktrot put together an impressive 3.71 ERA, but worked to just a 4-6 record. Bucktrot has struck out 44 and walked 23 in 80 innings of work. In his 13 games, Bucktrot is averaging just over six innings per outing. Dawson has been a pleasant surprise. Drafted in the 26th round of the 2001 Draft, Dawson is a prime example of some of the solid right-handed pitching that can come in the later rounds of the draft. On the season, Dawson is 6-3, 3.34 with one complete game shutout to his credit. Dawson also recorded a save for Clearwater in one of his three relief appearances. The 23 year old pitched well at Lakewood in 2002, going 7-4, 2.76 for the BlueClaws. In his third minor league season, Dawson is 16-10, 2.78 at three different levels. Floyd, number one on the Top 40 Prospects, is 6-4, 2.82 in 13 games and has thrown one complete game shutout this season.

While all three Clearwater pitchers are solid choices, there were a couple of obvious omissions. Ezequiel Astacio is 8-4, 3.24 with a complete game shutout to his record. Reliever Bobby Korecky has notched 12 saves and a 2.40 ERA, while striking out 21 hitters in 30 innings.

The position players on the all-star roster include Juan Camilo, Danny Gonzalez, Ryan Howard and Trent Pratt. Howard has received a lot of press this season, hitting 13 homeruns to lead Clearwater, while pulling his average to the .300 mark. Outfielder Juan Camilo has bounced around the minors in other organizations, getting as high as AA in 2001 and 2002. With the Phillies, he's hitting .262 with four homeruns and leads Clearwater with seven stolen bases. Not exactly giant stats, but good enough to put himself among the FLS all-stars. Shortstop Danny Gonzalez is hitting .280 and also has somewhat unremarkable stats for an all-star. The choice of Gonzalez was also interesting because he has committed 13 errors. Trent Pratt made the team as an alternate. Pratt, taken in the 12th round of the 2002 Draft is hitting .240 on the season.

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