FORT WAYNE, Ind. – TinCaps catcher Luis Campusano and left-handed pitchers Aaron Leasher, Nick Margevicius, and Travis Radke have been selected as Midwest League All-Stars, the league announced on Wednesday.
The four Fort Wayne players will represent the TinCaps at the 54th Midwest League All-Star Classic on Tuesday, June 19, at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, Mich. Midwest League All-Stars are nominated and selected by the league’s field managers.
“For how hard these guys work, it’s great to see them recognized like this,” said third-year TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras. “The TinCaps and Padres are very proud of their accomplishments.”
Campusano is a 19-year-old from Augusta, Ga., who was the first catcher selected in the 2017 MLB Draft (second round, 39th overall). Through 38 games as a catcher and designated hitter, “Campy” is batting a team-leading .297, with a .359 on-base percentage and a .391 slugging percentage. Campusano has three home runs, four doubles, and 22 RBIs. Despite being two years younger than the average age for a hitter in the league, he’s been one of the toughest hitters to strike out. Campusano has struck out in only 13% of his plate appearances, the ninth lowest K% in the MWL. Defensively, he’s impressed with his blocking skills a strong arm behind the plate, throwing out six attempted base stealers and only committing one error. MLB.com rates Campusano as the No. 22 prospect for the Padres.
Leasher (rhymes with “glacier”) is a 22-year-old from Mount Pleasant, Mich., who the Padres took in the sixth round last year out of Morehead State University (Morehead, Ky.). Opponents have hit .246 against him, the lowest average against any TinCaps starter. He’s second on the team in strikeouts with 54 in 52 2/3 innings as he’s started nine games and twice worked in relief. At the same time, he’s only walked 19 batters. Among qualifying pitchers currently in the league, Leasher’s 3.08 ERA ranks seventh best. Looking to “advanced stats,” FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is similar to ERA but focuses solely on the events a pitcher has the most control over – strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by pitches, and home runs. It entirely removes results on balls hit into the field of play. Leasher is second in the league with a 3.00 FIP. With a fastball-slider-changeup combination, he also ranks eighth in strikeout rate, K-ing 24% of the batters he’s faced, and averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings. Batters have swung and missed at 13% of his pitches—the fourth highest SwStr% in the league. He’s kept the ball in the park, too, allowing only one home run.
Margevicius (Mar-GAV-itchus) is a 21-year-old from North Royalton, Ohio. The Padres drafted him a year ago out of Rider University (Lawrenceville, N.J.) in the seventh round. Across nine starts, Margevicius leads the Midwest League in strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB) at 7.22. His 2.27 FIP is also the best in the league. Throwing a fastball, curveball, and changeup, Margevicius has struck out 65 batters in 51 innings against nine walks. That strikeout total ranks third in the league. His 11.47 K/9 and 1.59 BB/9 are both second in the circuit. He’s struck out 30% of the batters he’s faced, while walking just 4%. Those numbers ranks second best in the Midwest as well.
Meanwhile, Radke has been the team’s bullpen ace. If the Midwest League had a “Comeback Player of the Year Award,” he’d be a deserving candidate. At 25, Radke is on his second go-around in Fort Wayne. He pitched for the TinCaps in 2015 and progressed to High-A Lake Elsinore in San Diego’s system, but later tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and underwent Tommy John Surgery in March 2016.
Radke, a 2014 Padres draft pick out of the University of Portland, has recorded eight of the TinCaps’ 14 saves this season. That individual save total is third most in the MWL. For pitchers in the league who’ve worked 30-plus innings, his 1.69 FIP is the lowest, while his 1.97 ERA ranks sixth best. Radke has struck out 50 batters in 32 innings, with only six walks. For those who’ve worked a minimum of 30 innings, his 8.33 K/BB ratio leads the league. Nicknamed “The Scientist” by Contreras for his cerebral approach to pitching, Radke has mixed a fastball, curveball, and changeup to strike out 38% of the hitters he’s faced (second best rate in the league) and only walked 4% (eighth). No pitcher has gotten more swings and misses (19% of pitches). His 14.06 K/9 is third. The league has hit a paltry 1.74 against him (fourth). Radke allowed a homer in his season debut on April 10 and none since.
For more on the Midwest League All-Star Classic, including the rosters for both the East Division and the West Division, click here.
Campusano, Leasher, Margevicius, Radke, and the rest of the TinCaps are currently on the road in South Bend, continuing a three-game series with games on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The team will return to action at Parkview Field on Friday night to begin a four-game set against the All-Star Game hosts, the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays). Click here to see the rundown of promotional events at the ballpark and to purchase tickets.