Former Crowder and current Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Aaron Ashby has been selected to his first professional all-star game.
The Midwest League named its all stars on Wednesday and Ashby was one of six Timber Rattlers selected to the West squad. Ashby’s joined by shortstop Brice Turang, catcher David Fry, outfielder Jesus Lugano, and fellow pitchers Adam Hill and Logan Gillaspie.
On the season, Ashby owns a 3-3 overall record with a 3.40 ERA and 67 strikeouts and 23 walks over 53 innings. He’s pitched 10 games with nine starts.
Ashby ranks third in the Midwest League in strikeouts, behind Clinton LumberKings (Miami) pitcher Chris Vallimont at 70 and Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay) hurler Shane McClanahan at 69.
Ashby led NJCAA Division I in strikeouts his sophomore season.
Opponents are hitting .214 this season against the 6-foot-2, 181-pound southpaw.
The Brewers selected Ashby in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Draft and he’s already the No. 9 ranked prospect in the Brewers system. He’s got the highest graded curveball in the system at 65 — the highest ranked pitch overall, for that matter, beating out Braden Webb, Adrian Houser, and Bobby Wahl at 60 fastball, Marcos Diplan, Trey Supak, and Adam Hill at 55 slider, and Supak, Webb, Houser, and Diplan at 55 changeup. A 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.
Ashby is not the only former Crowder player named an all-star this season. Also, outfielder Sam Hilliard and pitcher Mike Kickham are both on the ballot in Triple-A.
West meets East in the Midwest League midseason classic on June 18 at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana.
Matson named South Atlantic League all-star
Though he was not on their Opening Day roster, former Crowder standout Zach Matson has definitely made an impact on the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore).
On Tuesday, Matson was named to the South Atlantic League all-star game and he will be joined by seven teammates, fellow pitchers Grayson Rodriguez, Drew Rom, and Ofelky Peralta and catcher Daniel Fajardo, shortstop Adam Hall, outfielder Doran Turchin, and designated hitter Seamus Carran.
Entering the day Wednesday, Delmarva owned the best record in the South Atlantic with a 43-14 mark. The Shorebirds are five games ahead of the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pittsburgh).
On the season, Matson owns a 4-0 record with a 1.57 ERA and three saves in three opportunities out of the Delmarva bullpen. He’s made 14 appearances this season with 48 strikeouts and 14 walks over 28 2/3 innings. Matson struck out nine during a four-inning effort against Greensboro, one of Matson’s three saves.
Opponents are hitting .125 this season against the 6-foot-3, 225-pound southpaw from Fayetteville, Missouri, as they have namely struggled with Matson’s curveball.
The Orioles selected Matson in the 24th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, not long after Matson completed his career at Crowder.
In recent seasons, multiple former Crowder players have earned all-star honors in the South Atlantic.
In 2015, Mark Reyes earned postseason all-star recognition for a season that saw him go 9-6 overall with a 2.13 ERA for the Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco).
In 2016, Andrew Schwaab and Sam Hilliard picked up midseason all-star honors, Schwaab playing for the Charleston RiverDogs (New York Yankees) and Hilliard for the Asheville Tourists (Colorado).
This year’s South Atlantic showcase is slated for June 18 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia.