Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs second baseman Matt Antonelli began the season with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and played just four games before being promoted. He has not missed a beat at the next level, batting .308 at Triple-A.
This week, Antonelli was named to the International League All-Star squad alongside teammate and pitcher Tom Milone in Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game from Salt Lake City, Utah. The pair are the lone Syracuse players so honored this season.
Antonelli's overall numbers have people around minor league baseball talking about the Wake Forest product again. He has been consistent at the plate, hitting .310 with 10 doubles, three triples, three homers and 13 RBI in 49 games. Antonelli connected with his third homer of the season Sunday versus Lehigh Valley.
Shortstop Steve Lombardozzi, paired with Antonelli, gives the Chiefs their own version of the Ian Desmond-Danny Espinosa infield tandem at the Triple-A level. Both players started the season at Harrisburg, exemplifying the organizational depth that was once a weakness at those spots is starting to build into a welcomed strength. Of course, Lombardozzi has played shortstop only twice, but it is good to see the Nationals getting results from the infield, regardless of position.
Antonelli has been added as a replacement to the International League roster for the July 13 game. The former first-round pick was also an All-Star in 2007 in the California League and has played second base, third base, shortstop and left field with the Chiefs.