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Altoona trio earn All-Star status

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Cabrera, Cumpton, Holy will represent Altoona in this year’s showcase at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium

Curve catcher Ramon Cabrera, starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton, and shortstop Brock Holt are headed to the 2012 Eastern League All-Star Game on July 11th at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium, the league announced today. Holt will be making his second consecutive trip to the EL’s showcase event after having been named the Most Valuable Player of last year’s contest.
The Curve’s starting shortstop virtually every day this season, Holt has caught fire since the middle of May. Over a 37-game span from May 18 through Wednesday at Harrisburg, the Rice University product has batted .345—the seventh-best mark in all of Double-A—with hits in 32 of those 37 contests. Holt has posted a .937 OPS over that span, with 22 runs batted in, another 19 runs scored, and 11 walks versus 14 strikeouts. Since May 18, when the now-24-year-old was a .281 hitter, the shortstop’s average has climbed 35 points into the Eastern League leaderboard at .316 entering play on Thursday night. To that, he’s added 17 doubles, four triples, a homer, 28 runs batted in, 34 scored, and an .802 OPS overall this year.
Last season, Holt was tabbed All-Star Game MVP for his performance in New Hampshire where he went 1-for-2 with a home run, two runs batted in, and a run scored to lead the Western Division to an 8-3 win over their Eastern Division counterparts.
Cabrera has earned his second consecutive All-Star selection as well, albeit at two different levels. Last year, en route to winning the Class A Advanced Florida State League’s batting title, Cabrera was named an FSL All-Star selection for the Bradenton Marauders. This season, the Curve’s backstop has seized his starting role since the promotion of former starting catcher Tony Sanchez. Cabrera has made just one error behind the plate this season while erasing nearly a quarter of potential basestealers against him. Additionally, the Caracas, Venezuela native is batting .241 with two home runs and 31 runs batted in, tied for the second-best mark on Altoona’s roster. Cabrera has struck out just 23 times in 195 at bats this season and averages just one strikeout per 9.30 plate appearances, the second-best rate in the Eastern League.
Representing the Curve’s pitching staff, starter Cumpton raced out to a team-best seven victories in his first eleven starts and has been Altoona’s most consistent starter in 2012. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has made a staff-leading 14 starts this season and gone 7-6 with a 3.43 earned run average. The righty’s 86.2 innings pitched are by far the most on the staff, and Cumpton also paces the Curve in strikeouts (55) and WHIP (1.11) while leading Curve starters in batting average against (.236).
Altoona’s All-Star trio will join their fellow Western Division selections at FirstEnergy Stadium on July 11th. Cabrera, Cumpton, Holt, and the rest of the Curve have one more homestand before the All-Star Break, returning home to Peoples Natural Gas Field from July 4th through the 9th. For tickets and more information, contact the Curve by calling 877.99.CURVE, checking out AltoonaCurve.com, or stopping by the ballpark.

Neil Walker’s contract expires after the 2016 season. The Pirates second baseman is due for a big raise in arbitration this offseason—likely to $10 million—and signing him to a long-term extension will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$15 million annually.
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