Near the bottom rung of the minor leagues, a long path separates players on the Boise Hawks from the MLB All-Star Game.
But the Mid-Summer Classic will have a decidedly Boise feel to it this year.
Two former Hawks will compete in the home run derby at 6 p.m. Monday (ESPN), and three were elected to the all-star game at 6 p.m. Tuesday (Fox).
Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber (a 2014 Boise Hawk) and second baseman Javier Baez (2011) will tee off in the home run derby Monday. Baez and Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras (2011-12) will then start for the National League in the all-star game Tuesday.
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Yankees rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres (2014) was selected for the American League team as a reserve. But a hip injury will keep him from competing in the game.
Neither Baez, Contreras nor Torres had ever made the MLB All-Star Game before.
Contreras beat out Giants catcher Buster Posey in the final week of the fan vote for the starting spot on the National League team, surpassing Posey by more than 250,000 votes. It’s the first time since 2014 Posey has not started for the National League.
Contreras is hitting .279 with seven home runs, 34 RBIs for the Cubs this season. His OPS (.818) is second among all catcher in the majors.
Baez also made a late surge to nab a spot in the starting lineup, surpassing Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies by 132,000 votes. Baez is hitting .292 with 19 home runs and a National League-leading 72 RBIs.
Torres is an early contender for the rookie of the year award in the American League, hitting .294 with a .350 on-base percentage and a .555 slugging percentage. He ranks second among all rookies with 15 home runs and third with 42 RBIs but is on the disabled list with a right hip strain.
Schwarber is hitting .249 for the Cubs but continues to showcase his power with 18 home runs. He will only compete in the home run derby and not the all-star game.
One former Boise Hawk made the All-Star game last season, Pirates utilityman Josh Harrison.