Eight members of the St. Joseph Mustangs will represent the team tonight at the MINK League All-Star Game in Joplin.
Seven players, along with manager Johnny Coy, help make up the North Division team.
Coy, in his first year as the Mustangs manager, was picked to manage the North squad.
“All the coaches in the north sent me their players and I got to choose which ones I thought should be in the all-star game and which ones didn’t,” Coy said. “I went strictly off of numbers. Numbers wise, the north is pretty stacked. It’s going to be a lot of fun to be able to coach those guys.”
The position players for the Mustangs that will head to Joplin include first baseman Alex Phillips, second baseman Josh Lincoln, third baseman Terrence Spurlin and outfielder Zach Smith.
“I think it’s going to be pretty cool,” Lincoln said. “I know some of the guys who went last year and they said that it’s a really cool experience meeting the other players from the other teams and hanging out.”
All five batters are hitting have batting averages above .300, with Phillips leading the team with a .384 batting average. Phillips leads the MINK League with 29 hits.
Phillips also will participate in the home run derby before the game.
The St. Joseph slugger leads the MINK League with seven home runs. Phillips’ officially tally is five. He will have his two additional home runs credited on Thursday when the Mustangs finish a game that was delayed against the Jefferson City Renegades on Thursday.
Phillips, who plays his college baseball at Missouri Southern, will feel right at home during tonight’s event in Joplin.
“I’m super excited, I know a couple of my college coaches will be there and some of my family is driving up,” Phillips said. “It’s always nice to see your hard work pay off and have fun in something like the home run derby and the all-star game.”
As the league’s leading power hitter, Phillips’ teammates and coaches are expecting him to take home the title of the league-best hitter in the home run derby.
“I told him, hey man you have to win it,” Coy said. “You go to school in Joplin, you’ll have a lot of fans down there, trying to put a little extra pressure on him.”
The three pitchers who will travel to Joplin for the Mustangs will be Matt Mulhearn, Nick Houzenga and Jon Lynch.
Lynch has led the group of pitchers with a 2.37 earned run average.
Action will begin at 10 a.m. for the MINK League players with a pro scout day. The home run derby will begin at 5:10 p.m. followed by the all-star game that is set to begin at 7:05 p.m.