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ThunderBolts Send Six All Stars to Florence

The Windy City ThunderBolts had six players selected to the 2016 Frontier League all-star game. Corey Bass and Coco Johnson have been elected starters and Taylor Smart, Tim Zier, Clay Chapman and Cody Keefer were also picked to participate in the game that will be played July 13 in Florence.

Bass is the team’s leader in almost every offensive category, hitting .315 with six homers and 25 RBIs and is second in the Frontier League with 15 doubles. He has also been strong defensively, throwing out 34 percent of attempted base stealers, third best in the league. Bass will be the East Division’s starting catcher.

Johnson will join him in the East’s starting lineup. The Bolts’ starting left fielder is hitting .286 with four home runs and leads the league with 19 stolen bases. He is the only ThunderBolt to start every game so far this year. This will be his first all-star appearance in his second year with the Bolts.

Smart is in his first season with the ThunderBolts and is batting .282 with 19 RBIs. He is second on the team and ninth in the league with 53 hits. Smart has played great defense all season at third base and has also started four games at shortstop and two at second base.

Zier will also be a reserve infielder in Florence next week. After getting off to a slow start, he has come on strong, hitting .328 since June 1 and .288 overall with a .346 on-base percentage. Zier also ranks second on the team with 12 stolen bases.

Chapman has assumed the role of staff ace and will represent the ThunderBolts’ pitchers. He is 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA. Chapman has pitched at least six innings in eight of his nine starts and has allowed three or fewer runs seven times. He threw a complete game two-hitter on June 22 against Joliet.

Keefer is the most recent ThunderBolt selected to appear in the game. He was added to the East roster by Joliet manager Jeff Isom. The ThunderBolts’ outfielder/DH is batting .280 with seven doubles and three home runs. From May 28 through June 16, he had a 15-game hitting streak, the second longest in the league this year.

The six all-stars this year are the most for a Windy City team since they had six in 2012. All six players will be making their first all-star appearances.



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