Catcher Colt Morton was named to the starting line-up for the Eastern Division squad. He is the first Wizards position player to be in the starting line-up since former outfielder Kennard Jones was picked to start in the 2003 Midwest League All-Star game. Morton leads the Wizards offense with a team-best .304 average and 34 runs batted in, along with eight doubles and eight home runs. He was named the Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week between April 18-April 24.
Left fielder Chris Kolkhorst and shortstop Matt Bush were selected as reserves and right-handed starters Michael Ekstrom and Clayton Hamilton, along with Matt Varner were picked for the pitching staff.
Bush was the overall number on pick in last year’s draft, the first shortstop taken number one since Alex Rodriguez by the Seattle Mariners in 1994. Kolkhorst won a NCAA College World Series title with Rice University during the 2003 season.
Ekstrom, who is 8-1 on the season with a 2.31 earned run average, is second in the league in wins and is seventh in ERA. He was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week between May 14-May 22. Ekstrom is second in the league with 74 innings pitched and is tied for first with one shutout.
Hamilton, 7-2 this year, is tied for third in wins. Varner leads the Midwest League with 17 saves, four better than Matthew Elliot of the South Bend Silverhawks (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate). South Bend led the Eastern Division squad with 11 picks to the All-Star team.
The Wizards set a franchise record for All-Star selections last season when seven players were picked for the All-Star game. The 2003 Wizards team had six players selected and the 2000 team landed four players on the Midwest League All-Star team.
All-Stars for the Midwest League are nominated and selected by the 14 managers in the league. The 2005 Midwest League All-Star game will be played on Tuesday, June 21 at O’Brien Field in Peoria, Illinois.