Sept. 27, 2006
Durham, North Carolina - Former Cal State Fullerton baseball standouts Kurt Suzuki, Sergio Pedroza and Justin Turner were named Minor League All-Stars by the staff at Baseball America Monday morning for their performances throughout the 2006 season.
Suzuki, a catcher at AA Midland (Oakland), hit .285 with seven home runs, 26 doubles and 55 RBI in 99 games in the Texas League for the RockHounds. In addidion, the Hawaiiian-native was selected to participate with the USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying Team that went 9-1 to earn the Gold Medal, qualifying for one of eight spots in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He hit .455 (10-for-22) with a pair of home runs and four RBI in seven games in Cuba for the US.
An All-American catcher for the Titans, Suzuki was a three-year letterman from 2002-04 who might be most remembered for his two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh inning at 2004 College World Series. His single brought home the game-winning run and the fourth national title for the Titans. "Zuk," the Big West Conference's Player of the year in 2004, was a career .390-hitter for the Titans, blasting 19 home runs while driving in 123 over his three years in pinstripes.
The left-handed hitting Pedroza finished the season hitting .277 with 28 home runs and 93 RBI for three different teams, wrapping up the season with the Visalia Oaks (Tampa Bay) in Single-A. Pedroza, drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005, hit .281 with 21 homers and 75 RBI for the Columbus Catfish in Single-A before being promoted to Vero Beach, the Dodgers High-A affiliate. The outfielder was then traded to the Tampa Bay organization in the trade that brought major leaguer Julio Lugo to the Dodgers. He hit .313 with four home runs in 29 games with the Oaks.
The slugger form Covina, Calif. patrolled right field for the Titans from 2003-05 hitting a career .328 with 27 home runs and 121 RBI. His best season came in 2005 when he earned All-American and Co-Big West Conference Player of the Year honors, hitting .324 with 16 round-trippers and 58 RBI to lead the team to within a run of the College World Series.
The infielder and sometimes outfielder, Turner, posted the Pioneer League's fourth-best batting average at .338 (former Titan outfielder and Current teammate Danny Dorn led the league at .354), connecting for six home runs and 41 RBI in 60 games for the Billings Mustangs (Cincinnati). He also tallied 16 doubles, three triples and 12 stolen bases, good for second on the team.
"Red," who started as a bat boy at Cal State Fullerton, started for four years at second base for Head Coach George Horton's Titans from 2003-2006, earned Co-Big West Conference Player of the Year honors as well as an All-American nod in 2006. Turner was a career .328 hitter, placing in the top ten of eight major statistical offensive categories over his career. Also know for his defensive prowess, the Lakewood, Calif. native finished his collegiate career with a .985 fielding percentage, the best of any Cal State Fullerton infielder in a career.