Five former members of the Double-A Red Sox affiliate Portland Sea Dogs have been voted to the 2015 Major League All-Star Game which will take place on July 14th at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The former Sea Dogs include Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Iglesias and A.J. Burnett.
Adrian Gonzalez played in 138 games for Portland in 2002, hitting .266/.344/.437 with 17 home runs and 96 RBI. He is currently in his fourth season as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has hit .291 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs to this point in the season. This is Gonzalez’s fifth All-Star appearance (his first as a Dodger), who has also appeared in the home run derby twice — 2009 (San Diego) and 2011 (Boston). Gonzalez was inducted into the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame in 2012.
Anthony Rizzo, currently in his fourth season as the Chicago Cubs first basemen, is making his second consecutive All-Star appearance as a member of the Cubbies. In 80 games, Rizzo is hitting .295/.408/.550 with 24 doubles, 16 home runs and 47 RBIs. The 25-year old spent most of his 2010 season with Portland where he hit .263/.334/.481 with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs, before being traded to the San Diego Padres in a deal that would bring Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox following the season.
Jonathan Papelbon is making his sixth All-Star game appearance this month and his second as member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Before becoming arguably one of the best closers in MLB history, Papelbon began his career as a starter in the minors. He spent first half of his 2005 season with the Sea Dogs posting a 5-2 record with a 2.48 ERA over 14 starts. This year, Papelbon has converted all 14 of his save opportunities while going 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA and striking out just over a batter per inning.
Jose Iglesias, 25, is making his first appearance on a Major League All-Star roster, representing the Detroit Tigers who acquired him from the Boston Red Sox in 2013 trade. Iglesias missed the entire 2014 season with a shun injury, but has rebounded better than anyone could have anticipated in 2015 .323/.372/.383 with nine extra-base hits and 14 RBIs over 71 games while providing Gold Glove caliber defense. The Cuba native spent part of the 2010 season with the Sea Dogs where he hit .285 with 13 extra-base hits and runs batted in, respectively, over 57 games.
A.J Burnett is the only player on this list to have not played in the Boston Red Sox organization at some point in his career, and is making his first ever All-Star appearance this season at 38 years old as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 17 starts for Pittsburgh Burnett owns a 7-2 record with 1.99 ERA and has struck out 94 batters over 113 innings. He spent part of his 1999 season with Portland before being called up to the majors, and went 6-12 with a 5.52 ERA over 120 2/3 innings.