At least the KC Royals will be well represented at the Futures Game as part of the All-Star festivities at Kauffman Stadium this July. The Royals are the only team with three representatives. The Futures Game will be held on Sunday July 8th at 5pm ET on ESPN2.
Right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, a key piece in the Zack Greinke deal, will be a member of the US roster. He began the season with Double-A NW Arkansas, but has been with Triple-A Omaha for his last five starts (six appearances). Overall, Odorizzi is 8-2 with a 2.89 ERA. He has allowed 59 hits over 71.2 innings and has struck out 81. Opponents are hitting just .219 against him.
Outfielder Wil Myers will be joining him on the US roster, with this being his second time. He will surely receive a LARGE ovation when his name is announced (if he is still in the minors at that point). He began the season with NW Arkansas, hit .343 over 35 games, and was promoted to Omaha. In 33 games, he has hit .328 with 11 homeruns and 32 RBIS. Overall, Myers has 24 homeruns, 62 RBIs, and 60 runs scored.
Nearly half of the Top 100 prospects (23) will be in Kansas City. The top four picks in the 2011 draft are on the US roster (Gerrit Cole of Pittsburgh, Danny Hultzen of Seattle, Trevor Bauer of Arizona, and Dylan Bundy of Baltimore). Former Royals great George Brett will be managing the US Team.
The World roster features players from 11 different countries and territories outside the fifty states. The Dominican Republic is represented by eight players. Venezuela is represented by six players. There are two from Cuba and two players from Puerto Rico. There are also players representing Aruba, Canada, Curacao, England, Panama, Taiwan and South Korea. Former NY Yankee great Bernie Williams will be managing the World Team.
One of those DR representatives will be fire-throwing right-hander Yordano Ventura. Fresh off a Carolina League All-Star appearance, Ventura has been good all season for High-A Wilmington. Currently he is 3-5 with a 3.10 ERA over 13 starts. He has struck out 78 over 61 innings and opponents are hitting just .227 against him.
*Last season, I had a chance to see Christian Bethancourt catch for Lynchburg (Atlanta), Manny Machado play shortstop for Frederick (Baltimore), Mike Olt play third base for Myrtle Beach (Texas), and Anthony Gose and Travis d’Arnaud with New Hampshire (Toronto). This season, I unfortunately have missed Bundy and Matt Barnes (Boston) pitch so far, but have seen Xander Bogaerts play shortstop for Salem, Tommy Joseph catch for Richmond (SF), Jesus Aguilar play for Kinston (Cleveland), and Julio Rodriguez pitch for Reading (Philadelphia). Check out the full rosters HERE.
**Stay updated on the Futures Game by following them on Twitter (@MLBFutures).