Beckham, a shortstop, has advanced to the Class AA Southern League’s Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays), where he’s batting .299 in 55 games with 66 hits, 44 runs scored, 13 doubles, two triples and four home runs. He has amassed 34 runs batted in and has an on-base percentage of .354 and a slugging percentage of .430.
In the Biscuits’ 7-4 win over the Mississippi Braves Tuesday, Beckham had a pretty good day, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. He also stole third base (his 5th steal of the season) for the 26-33 Biscuits, which are fourth in the five-team Southern League South division.
Head, a first baseman for the Class A Greenville (S.C.) Drive (Boston Red Sox), has had a monster year so far in the South Atlantic League. He’s currently batting .343 with 13 home runs, 19 doubles and 39 RBIs, with a .407 OBP and a .623 slugging percentage. Head was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for May 30-June 5, 2011
And hey now, he’s an All-Star: Head was one of four Drive players to be named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which will be played on Tuesday, June 21. Head will be the starter at first base in the All-Star Game, currently leading all hitters in the 14-team SAL in runs scored (48), extra-base hits (32) and total bases (127), while also ranking among the league’s best in batting average (7th, .343), home runs (T-3rd, 13), hits (2nd, 69), doubles (T-2nd, 19), slugging percentage (3rd, .623) and home run/at-bat ratio (5th, 1/15.62).
Head hit .366 (34-for-93) during the month of May, the third highest total in the league.
“It’s an awesome feeling to know that the SAL sees me as an All-Star. It’s a great opportunity for me,” Head said. “The hard work I put in the offseason last year is really paying off.”
Head is the second first baseman in the Drive’s franchise history to be named the starter at his position, joining Anthony Rizzo (2009).
"I didn't know about that. Wow, that's awesome," Head said. "I'm excited and nervous about playing in the All-Star Game. It should be fun."
Head said he lifted weights hard in the offseason to get stronger and he also worked on his defensive footwork and his mental focus.
He was determined to do well in 2011.
"I knew I had to come out stronger this year and more polished defensively. Over the offseason, I must have fielded nearly 200 grounders every day," he said.
Nash, who plays first and left field for the Class A Lexington (Ky.) Legends of the SAL (Houston Astros), is recovering from a broken left wrist he suffered a month ago when he was hit by a pitch. He said he didn’t realize it was broken until the next day.
“I tried to swing through a pitch in a game the day after and I was in serious pain,” Nash said. “I knew something was wrong.”
Nash went to Houston for surgery and rehabbed his wrist in Orlando. He’s headed back to Orlando for more rehab and will join the Legends on June 23.
“I’m ready to get back out there — I’m already hitting off a tee,” said Nash, who was hitting .310 with 18 hits, five homers and 11 RBIs before getting hurt. "I've been hitting line drives lately. I'll have to play with a brace on my hand for the rest of the year."
Strickland, a pitcher for the Class A (Advanced) Bradenton Marauders of the Florida State League (Pittsburgh Pirates), said he is rehabbing a muscle strain in the back of his shoulder he suffered in early April.
“I’m trying to do what I can to get back out there and get back into action,” Strickland said. “It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the game.”
Strickland said he was happy to hear about his former high school baseball team's foray into the state baseball finals this year.
"That was awesome that Pike County made it to the state finals. It was the furthest we have ever been and the guys played well," he said. "I'm very proud of them. They're a great group of guys."