Belnome, Martin, Yates selected as IL All-Stars
Third baseman Vince Belnome, starting pitcher J.D. Martin and reliever Kirby Yates will represent the Durham Bulls in the Triple-A All-Star Game, the International League announced on Wednesday.
The South Division-leading Bulls have the second-best record in the league and the second-biggest representation on the IL All-Star team, which will face stars from the Pacific Coast League on July 17 in Reno. Indianapolis, which has the IL’s best record, had four players selected.
Belnome, who had an 18-game hitting streak and a 30-game on-base streak earlier this season, is second in the IL with a .342 average and leads the league with a .440 on-base percentage. He also ranks in the top 10 in RBIs (48) and slugging percentage (.515).
Belnome, a 25-year-old Coatesville, Pa., native who played for West Virginia, was an all-star in the Double-A Texas League in 2011. He was traded from the San Diego Padres organization to Tampa in December for pitcher Chris Rearick.
Martin, a 30-year-old from Ridgecrest, Calif., also is in his first year in the Tampa organization. He previously spent time with the Washington Nationals, where he made the 2009 IL All-Star team with Syracuse and has made 24 starts in the majors.
Martin (9-4, 3.22) currently is tied for second in the league in wins and 10th in ERA. He will start for the Bulls today at 6:05 p.m. against Norfolk at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Yates (3-1, 1.13) was signed by Tampa in 2009 as a non-drafted free agent and has worked his way up through the minors. This season he has the lowest ERA among IL All-Stars, and his 33 appearances are second in the league. The 26-year-old from Lihue, Hawaii, will be making his first all-star appearance as a professional.
Belnome and Martin were elected to the squad after receiving the most support from three distinct groups that each received one-third of the final vote — online fan voting, media members and managers/general managers. Yates was selected by the IL office.
Since Martin was one of two pitchers elected, he is eligible to start the game. The other candidate is Lousiville’s Greg Reynolds (10-0, 2.44), who leads the IL in wins.
The IL has an 8-7 edge over the PCL since the current format was introduced. The winning league will be designated as the home team in the Triple-A Championship Game on Sept. 17 in Allentown, Pa.
Durham will host the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game.