Five Lake Monsters Honored

In their first season as the Oakland A's short-season A ball affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters are off to a solid start. The Lake Monsters currently are first in the Stedler Division. This week, it was announced that five Lake Monsters will be representing the A's organization at the New York-Penn League All-Star game next Tuesday.

The Lake Monsters will be sending two pitchers and three position players to Lowell, Massachusetts, for the August 16th game. The pitchers are right-hander Tanner Peters and left-hander Jeff Urlaub and the position players are catcher Nick Rickles and middle infielders Sean Jamieson and Zhi Fang Pan. The league divides the All-Star game rosters by whether a team is affiliated with a major league team in the American or National League. The Lake Monsters have the most representatives of any team on the American League squad.

Peters and Urlaub have shared the closer role for the Lake Monsters this season and both have dominated. Peters leads the team with nine saves (and is second in the league in that category) and has a 1.45 ERA in 18.2 innings. He has 22 strike-outs against only five walks and he has allowed only 11 hits. Peters was the A's 16th-round pick this season out of UNLV.

Urlaub ranks fourth in the league among relievers in strike-outs with 39 in only 25.2 innings pitched. The southpaw has a 1.75 ERA and four saves. He has allowed 19 hits and has walked only three batters. Urlaub was the A's 30th-round pick out of Grand Canyon State University last season. He began the year with the Low-A Burlington Bees and had a 3.93 ERA and a 23:6 K:BB ratio in 18.1 innings for Burlington.

Rickles doesn't have enough at-bats to qualify for the league title yet, but if he did, his .342 mark would put him in third place. The A's 14th-round pick this season out of Stetson has a .405 OBP and an 884 OPS in 22 games (73 at-bats). He began his pro career with the A's Rookie League team in Arizona, batting .304 in six games before heading to Sacramento for a week. Rickles didn't appear in a game with the River Cats during that week, however. Rickles has been very consistent at the plate for Vermont, hitting safely in 18 of his 20 starts.

Jamieson, a smooth-fielding shortstop, is tied for second in the league with 18 stolen bases. He has been caught only twice. He has made only seven errors in 45 games, mostly at shortstop. He is batting only .253 but he has a solid .371 OBP thanks to 28 walks, good for fourth-most in the league. Jamieson was the A's 19th-round pick out of Canisius this season. He is originally from Simcoe, Ontario.

Pan became a part of A's history last season when he signed. He was the first amateur free agent signing made by Oakland out of Taiwan. Pan excelled in his first pro season with the AZL A's, batting .331 with an 825 OPS in 43 games. Hampered early this year by an elbow problem, the A's kept Pan in extended spring training until the start of the New York-Penn League season. Since joining the Lake Monsters, he has been a force near the top of the line-up despite missing time with an injured thumb, batting .328 in 29 games. He is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak.

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