Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SOUTHERN LEAGUE NOTEBOOK; Suns Dominate Postseason All-Star Team

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SOUTHERN LEAGUE NOTEBOOK; Suns Dominate Postseason All-Star Team

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

Jacksonville Suns manager Tim Leiper was glad to see his team's dominance of the Southern League postseason all-star team that was announced last week.

Five Suns players were honored, including pitcher Tom Koehler, who was named the league's Most Outstanding Pitcher. Four other players were named to the 15-man all-star team, including shortstop Ozzie Martinez, third baseman Matt Dominguez, right-handed pitcher Elih Villanueva and infielder/outfielder/catcher Vinny Rottino.

"They're all great character guys and great leaders in addition to being outstanding players," Leiper said of the five Suns' players. "They make my job tremendously easy. The neatest thing is that they are five totally different, unique individuals who come from different backgrounds. Those guys are as different as you can get in personality and upbringing and their background, but they all mesh together so well."

If the five players do have one common trait, it's that they all struggled with their averages or records a year ago. Dominguez hit .262 with Jupiter but only .186 during his time with the Suns in 2009. Martinez and Rottino were no better than average as Martinez hit .254 at Jupiter while Rottino batted .249 in 98 games with Huntsville.

Villanueva was 9-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 26 starts at Jupiter before he joined the Suns in late August 2009, while Koehler was a combined 9-6 with a 3.26 ERA in Class A.

Leiper praised the five for the work they put in this year as the reason they turned an average season one year into all-star seasons in 2010.

"All five have kind of come out of nowhere," the Suns manager said. "In terms of development and moving forward, they really worked hard at becoming better players. They all had the best year of their career at the highest level they've ever played. You can't ask for more than that. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.