WAUSAU, WI (PRESS RELEASE)- July 6th, 2009 - Former Wisconsin Woodchuck Ben Zobrist (2003) was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday. Zobrist, a utility man for the Tampa Bay Rays, became the first ever Wisconsin Woodchuck to receive this honor.
Zobrist, 28, is experiencing a spectacular season for the Rays. The 6'3" switch-hitter is batting .281 and has an on-base percentage of .400. He leads the Rays in slugging percentage (.598) and is tied for second in home runs with 16. His slugging percentage ranks second overall in the American League, behind Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau. Zobrist's versatility has been a huge plus for the Rays this season as he has started games at second base, third base, shortstop, and in the outfield.
Zobrist was the starting shortstop for the 2003 Northwoods League Champion Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Houston Astros drafted him in the 6th round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. In July 2006 he was involved in a trade that sent him to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, where he made his Major League debut on August 1st, 2006.
George Sherrill (Kenosha, 1997-98) became the first Northwoods League alum to be selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2008. Another alum joining Zobrist in this year's classic will be Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson (Mankato, 2001). The MLB All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 14th at St. Louis's Busch Stadium. ‘Chucks fans can catch the game on FOX Sports starting at 7:00 PM.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Media Relations