The Billings Mustangs are out to a hot start in the second half of the season, sitting at 5-1 currently. They are out to that second half start thanks to several players performing well, and three of those guys were named to the Pioneer League All-Star team.
None of the three Mustangs that made the team will start the game against the Northwest League All-Stars on Tuesday August 6th. Catcher Eric Yang and pitchers Miguel Medrano and Jake Stevenson were all named to the team and will be reserves for the Pioneer League in the match up between the two Advanced-Rookie leagues.
Eric Yang was the Reds 7th round draft pick out of UC Santa Barbara this season. The catcher has come into pro ball blowing peoples minds like he’s Shawn Spencer at the Santa Barbara Comic Con. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but Yang has hit the cover off of the ball since the draft. Through 25 games played for the Mustangs he’s hit .375/.460/.563 with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, and 9 walks. If he had a few more at-bats to qualify for the leaderboard he’d rank second in average, third in on-base percentage, and sixth in OPS.
Starting pitcher Miguel Medrano will also represent Billings and the Pioneer League in the All-Star game. The right-handed pitcher was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in a trade with the Texas Rangers after the 2017 season when he was still pitching in the Dominican Summer League. After having some struggles in 2018 with the Greeneville Reds, he’s breaking out for the Mustangs this year. The righty has made nine starts and currently sports a 2.97 ERA. In his 36.1 innings pitched he’s walked just 10 batters and he’s racked up 43 strikeouts. That’s a 29.6% strikeout rate for the 21-year-old pitcher. His ERA is tops in the league among qualifiers. So is his 0.99 WHIP.
Like Eric Yang, reliever Jake Stevenson was also a 2019 draft pick. As a reliever in short-season ball, the innings have been rather limited. The right-handed pitcher has thrown just 12.2 innings since the draft. But, those innings have been quite good. Stevenson has an ERA of 2.13, allowing just 7 hits along with 6 walks and 19 strikeouts. He’s struck out 37.3% of the hitters he’s faced thus far on the year.