Former Burlington Bees first baseman Eric Hosmer was named the Most Valuable Player of this year’s MLB All-Star Game, which was won 4-2 by the American League.
The Kansas City Royals star hit a solo homer and singled home another run in the game, which was played Tuesday at San Diego’s Petco Park. The A.L.’s other two runs came on a two-run homer by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who also is a former Bees player.
Hosmer batted .254 with 5 HR and 49 RBI in 79 games with the 2009 Bees. Perez also played for Burlington in 2009, batting .189 with seven RBI in 36 games.
Cleveland Indians RHP Corey Kluber — the second pitcher of the game for the A.L. — got the win after striking out one batter in a perfect inning. He pitched for the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2008, going 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 13 walks in 56 innings (10 starts).
The National League’s starting pitcher, San Francisco Giants RHP Johnny Cueto, took the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in 1.2 innings. He pitched for the Dayton Dragons in 2006, going 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA, two shutouts, 82 strikeouts and 15 walks in 76.1 innings (14 starts). He also made two rehab starts for Dayton in 2013, going 1-0 with a 1.12 ERA, eight strikeouts and no walks in eight innings.
The MLB All-Star Game MVP Award has been won by a former Midwest League player in five of the last six years. Besides Hosmer, the others are Mike Trout (2014 and 2015), Melky Cabrera (2012) and Prince Fielder (2011).
Trout was the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2010, when he batted .362 with 6 HR, 39 RBI and 45 SB in 81 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Cabrera played in the Midwest League in 2004, when he hit .333 with 16 RBI in 42 games with the Battle Creek Yankees.
Fielder played 169 games with the 2002-03 Beloit Snappers, cumulatively batting .300 with 30 HR and 123 RBI. He was named the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2003.
One of Fielder’s teammates on the 2003 Snappers squad was Tony Gwynn Jr., who batted .280 with 1 HR, 33 RBI and 14 SB in 61 games with Beloit. Prior to the start of Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Major League Baseball announced that the winner of the N.L. batting crown henceforth will be known as the Tony Gwynn National League batting champion in honor of Tony Gwynn Jr.’s father, who won eight batting titles during his 20-year MLB career.