The Columbus Clippers are sending three players to the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game. First basemen Jesus Aguilar, outfielder Tyler Holt, and reliever Shawn Armstrong will represent Columbus on the International League team that faces the Pacific League All-Stars on July 15 at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
Aguilar, who has hit 30 home runs over the last two seasons, is an All-Star for the second year in a row. He’ll also be back in the home run derby, where he bashed four homers last year.
Holt and Armstrong are first time All-Stars. In fact, this will be Holt’s first All-Star game, ever. That’s right, the 26-year-old from Marion, Indiana has never played in an All-Star game at any level.
“Nope. There was no high school or college all-star game,” Holt said. “This is the first one so I really don’t know what to expect but I’ve heard it’s a good time.”
Holt ranks fifth in the International League with a .376 on-base percentage. He’s hitting .290 with 19 RBI and his 17 stolen bases rank ninth in the International League.
Omaha is a familiar site for Holt, who played there as a member of the Florida State Seminoles in the 2010 College World Series.
“I’m excited,” Holt said. “Been there (Omaha) before with the College World Series, but not this field. It’s going to be exciting to participate in an all-star game for the first time.”
“Aggie (Jesus Aguilar) and Shawn are coming so I’ll get to have a little more fun with those guys,” Holt said. “I’m excited. Can’t beat this experience.”
Aguilar is hitting .257 with 11 homers and a league-best 58 RBI. He leads the Clippers in games played, at bats, hits, and doubles.
Armstrong, Cleveland’s 18th round selection in 2011, is striking out 14 batters per nine innings and has a 36.1 strikeout rate. In 32 appearances, he is 1-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 10 saves. Opponents are batting just .195 against Armstrong.
The Clippers toppled the Indianapolis Indians 10-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the West Division leaders. Columbus also extended their winning streak to six games as they head into the break. At 50-41, Columbus trails Indianapolis by just two games. The Clippers return to action in Buffalo on Thursday before returning home on July 20 for two games with Louisville.
Michael Martinez Continues Offensive Surge
Utility man Michael Martinez went 2-5 and scored a run in Sunday’s win, raising his season average to .269. After a slow start, Martinez has come on strong at the plate over the past two months. Since May 14, he is batting .340 with two home runs, 17 RBI, 24 runs, 11 doubles, and two triples. The Indians signed Martinez to a minor league contract this year after he spent the 2014 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Photo credit: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer