It has been a rough year for the Burlington Bees, who at 20-39 occupy the basement of the Midwest League's Western Division. Nevertheless, on Tuesday the Midwest League recognized two Bees who have had excellent seasons thus far. Wil Myers and Bryan Paukovits were chosen to play for the Western Division All-Stars when the East and West meet in the Midwest League's midseason classic at Fort Wayne's Parkview Field on June 22.
Myers, the Royals' third round selection in the 2009 draft, was selected to his first professional All-Star game, and he was named as the Western Division's starting catcher. The 19-year-old catcher has been the Bees' best hitter this season, and he is currently hitting .280/.395/.487 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 193 at bats.
Myers tops the league in RBIs, and he ranks among the circuit's leaders in several other important offensive categories, such as home runs (4th), walks (6th), slugging percentage (9th), and OPS (9th). All this despite being one of the youngest players in the league.
Paukovits has been one of the Midwest League's most unhittable pitchers this season. The 22-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA, and the league is hitting him at just a .187 clip. In 54.1 innings pitched, Paukovits has surrendered just 37 hits and 16 walks while fanning 59 batters. He ranks fourth in the circuit in WHIP (0.98), and he is just outside the top 10 in a number of other categories, including ERA and strikeouts.
The 6-foot-7 hurler signed with the Royals in 2007 as the club's last draft-and-follow signee (44th round – 2006) before Major League Baseball changed the signing deadline. This too is Paukovits' first professional All-Star selection.
Myers and Paukovits will both be in good hands. Because the Bees advanced to the Midwest League championship series in 2009, the Western Division team will be headed by Burlington manager Jim Gabella and the rest of his coaching staff.
Paukovits, Myers named MWL All-Stars
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