The Major League Baseball All-Star Futures game will take place on July 13th in Minnesota as a part of All-Star weekend. Each team gets two players from their organization named to the team, with the host of the game being allowed three (which will come into play for the Reds next year). The event is basically a talent showcase for Major League Baseball’s top minor league players.
Here is a breakdown of the Cincinnati Reds minor leaguers who have participated in the game dating back to the 2001 season, which was the last year I could track down rosters for (the game has only been around since 1999):
|2013||Billy Hamilton||Carlos Contreras|
|2012||Billy Hamilton||Kyle Lotzkar|
|2011||Devin Mesoraco||Yonder Alonso|
|2010||Yonder Alonso||Phillippe Valiquette|
|2009||Chris Heisey||J.C. Sulbaran|
|2008||Chris Valaika||Juan Francisco|
|2007||Joey Votto||Jay Bruce|
|2006||Joey Votto||Homer Bailey|
|2005||Edwin Encarnacion||William Bergolla|
|2004||Edwin Encarnacion||Tony Blanco|
|2003||Edwin Encarnacion||Stephen Smitherman|
|2002||Wily Mo Pena|
|2001||Wily Mo Pena||Adam Dunn|
There are a few “who is that guy” guys on the list, but most of the guys have gone on to successful big league careers. This year, the Reds are sending their top two prospects in the system to the Futures Game to represent them. Both will be on Team USA, as the game pits the USA vs World in this format.
Jesse Winker will be one of the Team USA outfielders. He has spent most of his season in Advanced-A Bakersfield but was promoted midseason and is now playing in Double-A Pensacola. On the season he is hitting .304/.420/.545 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs, 51 RBI, 47 walks and 52 strikeouts in 224 at-bats. He has spent his season playing in left field.
Robert Stephenson will be one of the pitchers on Team USA. The right hander has spent his entire season in Double-A Pensacola. The 21-year-old is just one of three pitchers in the Southern League under the age of 22 with more than one appearance. He has posted a 3.97 ERA in 77.0 innings while allowing 59 hits and 39 walks to go along with 80 strikeouts.