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5 Smokies named to All-Star squad

(Tennessee Smokies press release) The Southern League has announced that five Tennessee Smokies players have been named Southern League Mid-Season All-Stars for the 2019 Southern League All-Star Game. The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, June 18 at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. Representing the Smokies are pitcher Cory Abbott, pitcher Craig Brooks, pitcher Tyson Miller, catcher P.J. Higgins, and infielder Vimael Machin. 

Cory Abbott has been off to a great start to his 2019 campaign with Tennessee, compiling a 4-2 record and a 3.39 ERA (25 ER in 66.1 IP) in 12 starts. The 23-year-old has struck out 69 and walked just 16 in 66.1 innings. The San Diego, CA native has held opposing hitters to a .260 batting average during the 2019 season. Abbott was selected in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft by the Chicago Cubs. 

Craig Brooks earns Mid-Season All-Star honors in his third season with the Smokies. Brooks has been stellar in his third year with the team, putting together a 1-0 record with a 0.76 ERA. Brooks has 7 saves in 17 appearances for the club this season. The right-handed pitcher has struck out 38 batters while holding hitters to an impressive .123 batting average. Brooks was selected in the 7th round of the 2015 draft by the Chicago Cubs. 

Smokies’ pitcher Tyson Miller also earns himself a spot on the 2019 Southern League All-Star Team in his first year with the team. Miller has jumped off to a strong start during the 2019 season for the Smokies. Miller has posted a 3-3 record with a 2.26 ERA in 11 appearances. The pitcher has held hitters to just a .205 batting average, and has tallied 61 strikeouts thus far in the 2019 season. Miller has allowed only 3 homeruns so far this season, and just 16 earned runs. The 23-year-old was selected in round 4 of the 2016 draft by the Chicago Cubs.  

Cubs Minor League Player of the Month and Southern League Player of the Month for May, Vimael Machin, has also earned honors as a Southern League All-Star for 2019. The infielder has had an impressive start to the 2019 campaign posting a .313 batting average in 150 plate appearances for Tennessee. Machin has hit 15 doubles, and tallied 22 RBI’s. Machin also averaged .316 during 10 games for AAA Iowa during the 2019 season. Vimael Machin was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th round during the 2015 draft. 

P.J. Higgins makes an appearance as a Southern League All-Star for the 2019 season during his second year with the club. Higgins has posted a .258 batting average in 49 games this season. Higgins has also hit 7 doubles, 4 homeruns, and has 24 RBI’s. The 26-year-old catcher was drafted in the 12th round of the 2015 draft by the Chicago Cubs.  

The 2019 edition of the Southern League All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday, June 18 at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. Players were selected by a vote of League field managers, radio broadcasters, and general managers from all 10 Southern League Clubs. 

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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