The 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game is less than two hours from Parkview Field at Four Winds Field in South Bend, meaning three TinCaps all-stars will not have far to go to take their place among the league's best June 18.
Fort Wayne second baseman Xavier Edwards, starting pitcher Ryan Weathers and reliever Henry Henry learned Wednesday that they will represent the TinCaps in South Bend. Edwards, the league's leading hitter, will start.
“We're really proud of and happy for these guys,” manager Anthony Contreras said in a statement. “This is a credit to the hard work they put in during the offseason and spring training to set themselves up for the success they've had so far this year.”
Edwards was an obvious choice for a starting infield spot. He entered Wednesday's game against Lake County batting .354. No other player in the league is hitting better than .322, meaning the distance between Edwards and second-place is the same 32 percentage points as the difference between second and 17th place.
The 19-year-old top prospect is also second in the league in on-base percentage at .411 and first in hits with 69. He's stolen 14 bases and his defense at second has been superb, especially for a player who has spent most of his baseball life playing shortstop.
“I wasn't expecting anything else from him,” Weathers said of Edwards' starting nod. “He's that good of a player. Any guy that's hitting like .360 should be able to do whatever they want to.
“Awesome guy, real team player and just looking forward to having fun with him.”
Weathers might have earned the starting pitcher slot had he remained healthy throughout the first half of season. When he's been on the mound, the 19-year-old left-hander has been dominant at nearly all times, posting a 3.00 ERA and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings. His 1.36 walks per nine would rank second in the league if he had enough innings to qualify.
He's struggled with a tired arm and had a stint on the injured list but said Wednesday that he is “100%” healthy.
Henry, a 20-year-old right-hander, has posted a 2.57 ERA in 35 innings over 16 appearances, all out of the bullpen. He's been efficient with those appearances, earning a league-leading six victories and he's also picked up four saves.
Henry has been motivated this season by his young son and he said he does everything for his family.
“I feel proud of myself and I thank God and thank the organization,” Henry said through a translator. “Just the support my team has given me, we're going to keep doing well so we can reach the playoffs, too.”