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MURPHY HEADS LOCAL SNUBS.

Byline: CHRIS COCOLES The Minors

Bill Murphy threw a no-hitter, pitched the Kane County Cougars to a first-half division title and has produced the kind of numbers (7-4, 2.25 ERA, 61 hits and 87 strikeouts in 92 innings) that tends to catapult a prospect's status higher.

But when the Midwest League's managers cast their All-Star game votes, Murphy (Cal State Northridge) wasn't included. He's not the only area player left off his league's version of the mid-summer classic. So here are some other locals with Murphy-like success who made our All-Snub team:

--Yaron Peters, Rome (Ga.) first baseman (Single-A South Atlantic League): Just as Peters (Taft High) went from anonymity to Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, he's not considered much of a prospect in the Atlanta Braves' system.

But he's rebounded from a mediocre professional debut last summer to hit .295 with six homers and 30 RBI. And the Braves rewarded his efforts with a promotion to high Single-A Myrtle Beach (Fla.).

--Kurt Airoso, Frisco (Texas) outfielder (Double-A Texas League): His age (28) works against him. As does five previous seasons at mostly the Double-A level. But Airoso's (CSUN) 10 homers and 28 RBI deserved a look.

--Jorge Piedra, Tulsa (Okla.) outfielder (Texas League): Just three position players were named to the team as reserves, so even productive offensive numbers (.290, 10 homers, 33 RBI) put Piedra (Notre Dame) on a bubble that eventually burst.

--J.T. Stotts, Modesto shortstop (Single-A California League): There wasn't much for Modesto fans to get excited about during a losing first half. But one reason to attend the A's John Thurman Field was the promising Stotts (Hart/CSUN). Any shortstop with a .300 average, 35 RBI and 11 steals is worthy of our vote.

--Richard Cartier, Asheville (N.C.) pitcher (South Atlantic League): Cartier (Simi Valley) is Exhibit A why spot starters and long relievers are largely ignored and forgotten heroes. He's 6-1 with 43 hits allowed in 55 innings but stayed home.

--Kyle Nichols, JetHawks first baseman (California League): The Cal League's absurd scheduling (the JetHawks didn't see Stockton or San Jose once in the first half) seemingly made some managers unaware Nichols is making run at the Triple Crown (fifth in average, first in home runs, second in RBI).

CAPTION(S):

5 photos, 2 boxes

Photo:

(1) Joel Hanrahan

Double-A Jacksonville, P

(2) Quan Cosby

Single-A Cedar Rapids, OF

(3) BYRNES

(4) FICK

(5) KARROS

Box:

(1) DODGERS

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

(2) ANGELS

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Jun 22, 2003
Words:414
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