Six Keys lead Carolina League All-Stars

The Single-A Frederick Keys will be well represented for the 2009 California/Carolina League All-Star Game in Lake Elsinore, Calif., on June 23.

Frederick matched a franchise record with six selections for the midseason event, which pits the Carolina League's best players against the top stars from the California League.


Keys starting pitcher Brian Matusz, the Orioles' first-round pick in the 2008 MLB draft, headlines the selections.

The 22-year-old left-hander will be joined in California by starting pitcher Zach Britton, relief pitcher Luis Lebron, catcher Caleb Joseph, shortstop Pedro Florimon Jr. and first baseman Brandon Waring.


Matusz leads the Carolina League with 74 strikeouts, and he is also first in the league with 66 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound pitcher hasn't allowed a run in 23 consecutive innings.Britton, who was selected by the Orioles in the third round in 2006, is third in the Carolina League with a 2.35 ERA. The 21-year-old left-hander held opponents to two earned runs or less in eight of his 10 appearances so far this season.

In 20 appearances in 2009, Lebron is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA and nine saves. The 24-year-old right-hander has 41 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings, and opponents are only batting .138 against him.

Joseph, who played for the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds in 2008, leads the Carolina League with a .340 batting average. The 22-year-old catcher has four home runs and 28 RBIs in 40 games this season. He is batting .366 at Harry Grove Stadium in 2009.

When looking at career numbers, Florimon's selection for the game is probably the most surprising. The 22-year-old shortstop batted .197 with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 111 games for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds in 2007, and he hit .223 with no home runs and 19 RBIs in 81 games for the Shorebirds last season. Still, Florimon is batting .309 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 45 games for the Keys in 2009.

In his first season in the Orioles' minor league system, Waring is batting .281 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs in 55 games. The 23-year-old first baseman, who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in the deal for catcher Ramon Hernandez, has 13 doubles and 26 runs scored in 2009.

Despite being in last place in the league's Northern Division, the Keys were honored with the most selections for one team in the Carolina League this season. The six players ties the franchise record that was set in 1998.

This year's California/Carolina League All-Star Game will be played at The Diamond, home of the Lake Elsinore Storm.