Four Cougars named Midwest League All-Stars

Gerard Hall

The Midwest League on Friday announced its 2011 All-Star teams, and four Kane County Cougars were selected to represent the Western Division. Second baseman Gerard Hall and pitchers Sugar Ray Marimon, Leonel Santiago, and Greg Billo will all be present as the Western Division All-Stars battle the East on June 21 at Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities (IA) River Bandits.

Gerard Hall was selected as a reserve infielder. The 22-year-old shortstop has arguably been the Cougars' most consistent hitter this year, batting .280/.367/.420 with 14 doubles and four triples in 157 at bats. Originally signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2009, Hall has played a solid shortstop while often anchoring the top of the Cougars' lineup. He ranks among the Midwest League's Top 10 in doubles and triples during his second tour of the loop.

Leonel Santiago makes the squad after posting a 3.09 ERA with a 4-5 record in 11 starts with the Cougars this season. Between April 17 and May 26, The 21-year-old right-hander made eight consecutive "quality" starts, a streak that finally ended when he surrendered six earned runs in 5.1 innings against Lake County on Tuesday. On the season, Santiago has fanned 56 batters and walked just 14 in 67.0 innings pitched. The Midwest League is hitting just .230 against him this year.

As good as Santiago has been, Greg Billo has been even better. The 20-year-old right-hander was named to the All-Star team after posting a 3-1 record and 1.50 ERA. In 10 appearances this year (including five starts), Billo has fanned 49 batters and walked just 11 in 48.0 innings pitched while holding his opponents to a .240 batting average.

Sugar Ray Marimon rounds out the Cougars' All-Star selections. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, Marimon this year is enjoying his best season as a professional. The 22-year-old right-hander is 3-4 with a 2.98 ERA, and he has struck out 48 batters (against 19 walks) in 57.1 innings pitched. The league is hitting just .196 against him this year.

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