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updated: 9/12/2013 11:02 PM

Baseball America honors pair of White Sox

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Starting pitcher Erik Johnson and infielder Marcus Semien always seem to be linked.

They played baseball together at Cal-Berkeley and helped lead the Golden Bears to the 2011 College World Series. In June 2011, both were drafted by the White Sox -- Johnson in the second round and Semien in the sixth.

This season the duo started out at Class AA Birmingham, moved up to AAA Charlotte, and the Sox purchased both of their contracts Sept. 3.

On Thursday, Johnson and Semien were back together again, this time as Baseball America first-team minor-league all stars.

Johnson was one of five starters selected; the 23-year-old right-hander was a combined 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 24 starts with Birmingham and Charlotte. In 2 starts with the Sox, Johnson is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA.

Semien got the Baseball America nod at second base, but he made his fourth start at third base for the White Sox on Thursday night against Cleveland.

The Southern League MVP, Semien batted .284 with 32 doubles, 6 triples, 19 home runs, 66 RBI, 110 runs scored and 24 stolen bases with Birmingham and Charlotte.

Mr. Versatile:

Leury Garcia, acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Alex Rios trade, is making a good impression on the White Sox for next season.

Garcia has made 4 starts at second base, 2 at shortstop and 1 in center field. Against Detroit on Wednesday, he played second and had 3 hits and 2 stolen bases.

"I've waited for this moment," Garcia said through a translator. "I want to show what I've got and (Wednesday) was the day that I showed flashes of what I can do."

Batting .214 in 13 games with the Sox, Garcia's questionable bat still pegs him as a utility player in the future.

"Defense has never been really an issue for him," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's an exciting player all the way around. Hitting-wise, it's a bit of a work in progress for him, but you kind of understand that and get better at it. Defensively he fits into a lot of different spots."

Running man:

Second baseman Micah Johnson has played for Class A Kannapolis, A Winston-Salem and AA Birmingham this season, and his combined 84 stolen bases were the most by any minor-league player.

"A lot of it is confidence," said Johnson, a ninth-round draft pick out of Indiana in 2012. "A lot of players will steal and get thrown out a few times and give up on it. That's the heart of it. There are a lot of fast guys. You just can't be scared when you are stealing bases."

Johnson was caught stealing 26 times.

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