|Red Sox at the All-Star Futures Game||07.08.12 at 6:48 pm ET|
KANSAS CITY — The Red Sox have a noteworthy contingent at this year’s All-Star Futures Game, a showcase for top talent that is typically close to making a significant impact at the major league level. Recent Red Sox participants in the Futures Game have included Will Middlebrooks (2011), Jacoby Ellsbury (2007), Clay Buchholz (2007) and Hanley Ramirez (2005).
This year, the Red Sox have three members of the organization taking part in the contest:
– Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who is tearing up the Carolina League. On the year, he’s hitting .286/.364/.478/.842 with 12 homers, and he was just named Player of the Month in June for the High-A Carolina League after hitting .337/.433/.624/1.057 with eight homers. Bogaerts is serving as the designated hitter for the World Team in the contest.
Bogaerts is viewed as the toolsiest Red Sox position prospect since Ramirez. For more on his prospect path, including the fascinating story of his signing, click here.
The 19-year-old said that being named to the Futures Game represented a goal of his entering 2012.
“I worked in my offseason really hard thinking on, if I would have been a part of this one this year,” said the native of Aruba. “I’m really happy I achieved my goal.
“It’s a really big accomplishment for me. All the hard work I put into this whole season, all season last year has been showing up for me this year.”
– Right-hander Matt Barnes, who had the best ERA in the minors for most of the year before a recent three-game skid; still, between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem, the Red Sox’ top pick in the 2011 draft (No. 19 overall) has a 7-2 record and 2.44 ERA along with 101 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 81 innings. Barnes is available out of the bullpen.
– PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler is a coach for the World Team. He’s in his sixth year as a manager in the Red Sox organization, having spent 2007-10 with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs before his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket for the 2011 season. He also managed a remarkable squad in the Arizona Fall League this past offseason that included Will Middlebrooks, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
We’ll have plenty from all three of them a bit later, but for now, an artfully (cough) rendered photo of Beyeler and Bogaerts by the cage during batting practice will have to suffice.
Also, here’s some video of Bogaerts taking batting practice:
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