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MINOR LEAGUE NOTES: North’s Hawkins off to all-star start in ‘12

The rookie-level Appalachian League doesn’t have an all-star game, so Chris Hawkins had to be content with just being a post-season all-star pick last season.

This year, the former North Gwinnett standout could be a dual all-star selection with Class A Lansing.

Hawkins, a third-round draft choice in 2010, was an Eastern Division pick for the Midwest League all-star game, scheduled for June 19 at Kane County outside Chicago.

The 20-year-old outfielder went into the weekend batting .315 with 13 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs in 53 games. He had also stolen six bases without being caught.

Hawkins, rated as the Blue Jays’ No. 13 prospect by MLB.com, hit .318 in 68 games for Bluefield in the Appalachian League last year. The left-handed batter drove in 52 runs, had 26 extra-base hits and stole 14 bases.

A shortstop at North Gwinnett, Hawkins played third base to start his pro career in the rookie Gulf Coast League and moved to the outfield full time last year.

Bluefield won a division title last year and Lansing has a commanding lead for a first-half division title this season.

Kang is AA all-star pick

K.D. Kang, who tied a Montgomery record with homers in three straight games during May, was named to the South team for the Class AA Southern League all-star Game on June 19 at Tennessee.

The Parkview graduate ranks among the league leaders with nine homers and was batting .242 with 29 RBIs in 49 games going into the weekend after a recent slump.

Kang, 24, was a 15th-round draft choice by Tampa Bay in 2006 and is in his second season with Montgomery. The outfielder hit 11 homers with the Biscuits last year.

This is Kang’s second all-star game. He played in the New York-Penn League event in 2009.

Jacobs comes off DL

Parkview graduate Brandon Jacobs came back strong after spending nearly two weeks on the disabled list with Salem of the Class A Advanced Carolina League. The outfielder hit safely in six of his first eight games back and was batting .296 going into the weekend.

Jacobs, ranked as Boston’s No. 7 prospect by MLB.com, hit .351 in the first half of May before going on the DL and he has 16 doubles, two homers and 28 RBIs in 41 games this season. He also has nine stolen bases.

The only negative for the 21-year-old former Auburn football recruit was 46 strikeouts in 169 at-bats and just nine walks.

Green hot at

New Orleans

Veteran infielder Nick Green hit .333 in his first six games for Class AAA New Orleans after coming off the disabled list in late May and was batting .326 in 13 games going into the weekend.

The Duluth graduate missed nearly six weeks with a foot injury after doubling in his first at-bat of the season. He had struck out just three times in 43 at-bats and had six doubles among his 14 hits.

Green, 33, signed with Miami during the winter. He has played in the majors with the Braves, Rays, Yankees, Mariners, Red Sox, Dodgers and Blue Jays.


Reds promote Gustafson

Tim Gustafson, originally drafted by the Braves after pitching for Parkview and Georgia Tech, was moved up to Class AAA Louisville by Cincinnati after going 2-2 with a 5.04 ERA in 14 games (seven starts) for Class AA Pensacola.

Gustafson, 27, lost his first game for Louisville, giving up five hits and three runs in four innings against Syracuse.

The right-hander was released by Atlanta last season and signed by the Reds. He was 7-6 with Gwinnett in 2010.

Garvin goes on DL

Wesleyan graduate Grayson Garvin was put on the disabled list after going 2-4 with a 4.87 ERA in 10 starts for Charlotte in the Class A Advanced Florida State League.

The left-hander was a supplemental first-round draft choice of the Rays last June after a standout junior season at Vanderbilt and didn’t sign until the mid-August deadline to return to school.

Garvin was 13-2 with a 2.48 ERA for Vanderbilt last season and was named SEC pitcher of the year.