Thursday, June 23, 2011

Local prospects set to shine in Futures Game

The rosters have been announced for the MLB Futures Game, the showcase of top-rated prospects held during Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities, which will be played this year in Phoenix, Arizona at Chase Field. Both the US and World teams have a bevy of premier talent, including four players from New England based squads.

Portland’s Will Middlebrooks is the only local representation for the U.S. Team. The third baseman from Texas has been consistent in his first season with the Double-A Sea Dogs, putting up a .294 batting average with 8 home runs, 20 extra base hits, 32 RBI and 27 runs scored.

New Hampshire’s Henderson Alvarez and New Britain’s Liam Hendriks join a stacked pitching staff on the World team. Alvarez, a native of Venezuela, has been phenominal since joining the Fisher Cats after he was promoted from Class-A back in May. Overall this season, between New Hampshire and Dunedin, Alvarez has a 4-3 record, with a 2.98 ERA and has only walked 10 batters over 51 1/3 innings.

Hendriks, a native of Australia, is a Futures Games selection for the second straight season, but was forced out of last year’s outing because of an appendectomy. This season Hendriks has been one of the best pitchers in the Eastern League with a 7-2 record, 2.81 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and he has struck out 70 and only walked 16 in 77 innings of work.

Portland outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang joins Alvarez and Hendriks on the World squad. He has put up some solid numbers in his second season with the Sea Dogs, including a .307 batting average with 11 home runs and 41 RBI. Chiang, from Taiwan, was Eastern League Player of the Week for the period of June 6th – 12th.

Other notables for the U.S. include Rochester pitcher Kyle Gibson (who pitched in New Britain last season and is a favorite of our own Thomas Saucke), Harrisburg pitcher Brad Peacock, Indianapolis shortstop Chase d’Arnaud (brother of New Hampshire catcher Travis) and last year’s overall #1 draft pick, Hagerstown outfielder Bryce Harper.

On the World side, some names to note include Gwinnett pitcher Julio Teheran, Altoona outfielder Sterling Marte and former Boston Red Sox prospect Reymond Fuentes an outfielder for Lake Elsinore.

The Futures Game will be played on July 10th and you can check out the full rosters below, with comments on each player, courtesy of Baseball America.

United States Roster

World Roster

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