Hillsboro's hot start yields a slew of picks for Tuesday's game

Eight is pretty great.

That’s the number of Hops who landed on this year’s Northwest League All-Star team for the South Division squad, which was announced last week. This year’s game is scheduled for next Tuesday at PK Park in Eugene.

Five Hillsboro pitchers made the team, including starter Ben Eckels and reliever Cody Geyer.

The inclusion was somewhat bittersweet for Eckels, who will have to sit out while dealing with an ailing shoulder.

“It’s something that you work for every year, so it’s an accomplishment,” said Eckels, who hopes to be back in action soon, about the award.

Geyer, who will fill in for his injured teammate, learned about his inclusion Tuesday.

“We had more than anybody else in our division, I think, so that’s kind of cool,” he said about the team’s strength this season.

Here is a brief look at the Hops’ eight all-stars:


• Baker, 21, a 29th-round draft pick this year out of Chico State, is 3-0 in nine appearances. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has given up 43 hits and just 14 runs in 41.1 innings while striking out 27. His ERA is 2.61.

• Curtis, 22 (sixth round, Middle Tennessee State, 2014), has been electric out of the bullpen for Hillsboro. Somewhat slightly built at 5-10 and 179 pounds — and sporting a Jimmie Sherfy-esque hairstyle — the lefty has gone 1-1 in decisions but has been at his best in a closing role. He leads the NWL with 11 saves and has given up 10 hits and four runs in 17 innings while striking out 26. His ERA is 1.06.

• Doran, 23 (nondrafted free agent, San Diego State, 2013), has been steady all season, often working deep into his starting outings. He is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA. Over 56.2 innings, the 6-1 right-hander has allowed 62 hits and 23 runs while striking out 40.

• Eckels, 20 (11th round, Davis High, 2012), earned his spot by going 3-1 in eight starts after beginning the year at Class A South Bend. A 6-0 right-hander, he has yielded 36 hits and 14 runs over 42.1 innings for a 2.98 ERA.

• Geyer, 22 (14th round, Walters State Community College, 2011), has shined coming out of the bullpen. He is 3-1 and has picked up three saves. Over 19.1 innings, the 5-11 right-hander has given up 13 hits and eight runs for a 1.86 ERA.

Field players

• Soto, 22 (16th round, Pittsburgh, 2013), has been a rock behind the plate at catcher. He is hitting .254 in 32 appearances and has supplied 31 hits, 14 RBIs and 12 runs.

• Heyman, 20 (eighth round, Southern Nevada, 2014) has adapted quickly to pro ball. Impressively built at 6-4 and 209, the outfielder has been perhaps the Hops’ best hitter this season, batting .307 to go along with 50 hits, 25 runs and 29 RBIs.

• Parr, 23 (15th round, Illinois, 2013), has been much improved in his second season in Hillsboro. He is batting .281 with 34 hits, 18 runs and 10 RBIs, and he leads the team with 19 walks.

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