Three Hot Rods named to Post-Season All-Star Team
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Richard A. Nussbaum II, President of the Midwest League of Baseball Clubs, has announced Caleb Sampen, Chris Betts, and Wander Franco were named to the Midwest League Post-Season All-Star Team on Friday. Franco earned Prospect of the Year honors while all three players earned their second All-Star nod in the Midwest League this season. The team was selected by the Field Managers of the sixteen Midwest League member clubs.
Franco, Minor League Baseball’s top-rated prospect, played in 62 games with the Hot Rods this season prior to his promotion to A-Advanced Charlotte. The switch hitter batted .318 while hitting six home runs while leading the team with five triples. Franco scored 42 runs while driving in 29 RBIs, all while walking 30 times with just 20 strikeouts. The shortstop’s .390 OBP is one of the highest marks in the league. Franco, just 18-years-old, becomes a three-time All-Star while also having played in the Futures Game this season after joining the Stone Crabs.
Sampen earned his second All-Star nod of the season after posting a 9-4 record with a 2.75 ERA through 21 starts for the Hot Rods. Sampen was traded to the Rays in the offseason and has been an anchor in the Hot Rods staff in 2019, currently leading the league with a 2.75 ERA. He’s tied for second in wins while logging 118.0 innings this season, the fourth-most in the league. The righty is also tied for first in batting average allowed, holding opposing offenses to a .209 batting average with a 1.03 WHIP, good for second in the league.
The Hot Rods catcher, Betts, earned DH honors in the Post-Season All-Star voting. The lefty is tied for second in home runs this season with fellow All-Star Will Benson (Lake County) at 18 which is also the fourth-best mark for a single season in Hot Rods history. Betts’ 68 RBIs lead the Eastern Division and has the third-most walks in the league with 66, a number that ties him for fifth-most in a single season for the Hot Rods.