On July 14th the biggest names in Minor League Baseball will join to play on the national stage in New York City. Among these are pitcher Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco, two budding prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. The Phillies aren’t exactly known for their minor league system, which hasn’t seen much depth in talent in years, the All-Star Futures Game is a great opportunity for the Phillies to show off the talent that they do have.
Jesse Biddle, a left-handed starter, is widely recognized as the top prospect in the organization and was ranked the 54th best prospect (and No. 4 among lefty pitchers) in the whole league by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. He has pitched well this season, his fourth since being the Phillies’ first-round draft choice in 2010, playing for Double-A Reading. While his ERA, 3.21, and record, 3-7, aren’t flashy, his punch-out rate is off the charts. He striking out more than ten batters per nine innings and has racked up an Eastern League-leading 91 strikeouts.
The Phillies’ second selection is Maikel Franco. Franco, who was recently promoted to Double-A Reading, has been one of the top bats in the Phillies’ farm system. Ranked the tenth-best prospect for the Phillies, the third baseman is hitting .483 in 29 at bats since being promoted. His 19 homeruns this season is four more than anyone else in the Phillies system, and his 59 RBI are 12 more than any other Phillies minor leaguer. He is also riding a 14-game hitting streak.
Biddle and Franco, current teammates in Reading, will not be teammates, however, on July 14th, as Biddle is set to represent the US and Franco to represent the World.
The game will be held at Citi Field, home of the Mets and site of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.