Pair of former Spartans add to strong summers

Solari took a look at former Michigan State baseball players and their paths to the majors in his piece last month about the challenges the minors have presented to some of them.

Two of the players he mentioned as bright spots have continued their strong seasons and earned recognition Monday.

First baseman Jeff Holm, the 2011 Big Ten player of the year and a 12th round selection of the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 draft, was named the Midwest League player of the week on Monday. Pitcher A.J. Achter, a 46th round selection of the Minnesota Twins in 2010, earned a promotion to Triple-A Rochester on Monday.

Holm, who has spent his entire season playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps, hit .385 (10-for-26) with two home runs, five RBIs and six runs scored last week to earn the Midwest League weekly honor. He is hitting .308 this season and leads West Michigan with eight home runs and 54 RBIs. Holm, who started for the Eastern Division in last month’s All-Star game, was hitting .438 in the second half of the Midwest League season entering Monday.

Achter, who was named to the Eastern League Eastern Division All-Star team last week for a game scheduled to be played July 10, was 2-0 with three saves and a 2.24 ERA in 24 appearances at Double-A New Britain prior to his promotion. He struck out 35 and walked 19 in 35 2/3 innings.

This year marks the second straight that Achter has been selected an All-Star. He was a Midwest League All-Star last season while playing for Beloit.

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