Mike Ekstrom, 22, has a 2.36 ERA, good for fourth in the Cal League, and has struck out 62 hitters in 76.1 innings while walking 20. He has averaged nearly seven innings a start and has yielded just two homers on the season. He got off to a hot start in the Midwest League last season as well, earning an all-star birth with a 9-1 record before the break.
Third baseman Chase Headley, the Padres' second-round pick in last year's draft, got off to a slow start this season, but now leads the Storm with eight homeruns and has a .277 overall average. After playing just four games for Fort Wayne at the end of last season, Headley made the jump to High-A this year.
Closer Neil Jamison began the year at Fort Wayne, but has shined since his promotion in Mid-April. The righty from Ramona, Calif., has converted 13 saves and has given up just 17 hits in 26 innings of work while striking out 22.
Teams from the Cal League and Carolina League have squared off against each other in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Last year, Jared Wells was the lone representative of the Storm on the team. This season, the side is managed by Lenn Sakata, who will have four of his own San Jose Giants players on the roster.