Five Former Hoppers Named to Double-A All-Stars…..

Double-A Southern League All-Star Game to Feature Some of Grasshoppers’ Former Finest

Greensboro, N.C. – Five former Greensboro Grasshoppers will be on display at the 2008 Southern League All-Start Game on July 14 at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C.

The Double-A event will include former Hoppers and current Carolina Mudcats Chris Coghlan, Chris Mobley, John Raynor, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Volstad. Mobley was with the Grasshoppers during their inaugural 2005 campaign while Sanchez and Volstad carried the 2006 Greensboro squad; Coghlan and Raylor put their talents on display at NewBridge Bank Park last season.

Sanchez was a 2006 South Atlantic League all-star selection and finished the season with a .317 batting average, 14 home runs and a .603 slugging percentage. This season, Sanchez leads the Mudcats with a .314 batting average, which ranks seventh in the league entering Monday’s action. Sanchez is fifth in hits (88) and tied for second in doubles (26).

Coghlan, who played in both the 2007 XM Satellite Radio Futures Game in San Francisco and the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, is second on the Mudcats roster in hitting with a .302 average, while he sits fourth in the league with 92 hits. Coghlan has also swiped 18 bases and leads the club with 45 RBI. Last season with Greensboro, Coghlan recorded a .325 average in 81 games and hit 10 home runs while stealing 19 bases.

Raynor, the South Atlantic League MVP last season, leads a Mudcats’ running attack, which is on pace to shatter team records. Raynor is tops in the loop with 29 stolen bases and third in the league with 60 runs scored. Carolina has 120 stolen bases through the first 82 games, 88 shy of the club record. With the Hoppers, Raynor stole 54 bases and posted a .333 average in 116 games. Raynor hit 13 home runs and finished the year with a .519 slugging percentage for Greensboro en route to being named the Florida Marlins’ Minor League Player of the Year.

Volstad, who nearly made the Florida pitching staff out of spring training, is 4-3 and has been a fixture in the league’s top-10 in ERA for practically the entire first half. Volstad has an ERA of 3.28 over 85 innings, and has not permitted a home run since last August in Montgomery, spanning nearly 95 frames. In 2006, while suiting up for the Grasshoppers, Volstand made 26 starts and posted an 11-8 record with a 3.08 ERA. His earned run average was the seventh best in the 16-team South Atlantic League.

Mobley played in a career-high, 54 games with Greensboro in 2005 and struck out 74 batters in only 60 2/3 innings of work while collecting a 2.33 ERA. He recently overtook the closer’s role for the Mudcats when an injury opened up the position. Mobley, currently third in the league in saves, has not disappointed, converting 13-of-17 saves for the Mudcats, while his ERA rests at a paltry 2.88.

Along with the five former Hoppers, the Mudcats’ Cameron Maybin has also been selected to play participate in the all-star festivities. Maybin, a two-time Futures Game star who is widely regarded as one of the premier minor leaguers in the game, leads the Mudcats in triples (6) and in home runs (12), with a .266 average.

*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****
Some information courtesy of the Carolina Mudcats Media Relations Department