07/01/2002 6:41 pm ET
Futures Game bios: U.S. Team
By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com
The All-Star Futures Game, created in 1999, features the top U.S. and international minor league prospects competing against each other as part of All-Star Sunday, July 7 at Miller Park in Milwaukee. MLB.com scouts the U.S. team:
John Buck, C, HOU, Round Rock/AA
2002 stats (56 games): .271, 6 HR, 50 RBIs
The Astros' power-hitting catching prospect is handling the jump to Double-A quite well, especially considering he's making the leap after a couple of years in low A ball. Buck, Houston's seventh round pick in 1998, will turn 22 on July 7, the day of the Futures Game. Although his home run total is a bit behind last year's output, he is well ahead of pace to set a career high in RBIs.
Lyle Overbay, 1B, ARI, Tucson/AAA
2002 stats (64 games): .341, 10 HR, 52 RBIs
Overbay made a brief appearance with the Diamondbacks in 2001, going 1-for-2 after getting called up from Double-A El Paso. He's been tearing up the PCL in his first Triple-A season, keeping up with his .346 career average heading into the season. But the biggest leap forward has been in his power. The 25-year-old's career high in home runs is 13, but he's turning last year's 49 doubles into homers this season.
Jason Stokes, 1B, FLA, Kane County/A
2002 stats (54 games): .354, 13 HR, 39 RBIs
The Marlins' second-round pick of the 2000 draft, the 20-year-old Stokes is in just his first full season of professional ball. After playing in the New York-Penn League in 2001, the Coppell, Texas native has been making mincemeat of the Midwest League, but up an eye-popping 1.022 OPS (.621 SLG + .401 OBP).
Orlando Hudson, 2B, TOR, Syracuse/AAA
2002 stats (67 games): .296, 7 HR, 30 RBIs, 6 SB
Hudson competed for the Blue Jays' second base job this spring, but didn't allow his demotion to hurt his play. He made the switch from third to second last year, and the 1997 43rd-round pick should be pushing for playing time with the big club soon. The 2001 Southern League All-Star is on pace to easily set a career high in home runs this season.
Brandon Phillips, SS, MON, Ottawa/AAA
2002 stats (60 games, Harrisburgh): .327, 9 HR, 35 RBIs, 6 SB
Phillips was a player often asked about when Montreal GM Omar Minaya was contacted about trades. Minaya finally said yes, sending Phillips to the Cleveland Indians in the Bartolo Colon deal. The Expos' second-round pick in 1999 has skyrocketed through the minors, recently getting promoted to Triple-A after tearing up the Eastern League. Turing 21 at the end of June, he's now one of the youngest position players in the International League and could crack someone's starting lineup in 2003.
Bill Hall, MI, MIL, Indianapolis/AAA
2002 stats (68 games): .233, 3 HR, 18 RBIs, 9 SB
Slated by many to be the Brewers' starting shortstop next year, Hall has made the jump from the California League to Triple-A in just one year. Hall was named the Calfornia League's Most Exciting Player and the Arizona Fall League's top prospect last year.
Drew Henson, 3B, NYY, Columbus/AAA
2002 stats (63 games): .271, 9 HR, 32 RBIs
While Henson's coronation as the Yankees' starting third baseman was a bit premature, but he has rebounded somewhat from a poor start with the Clippers. He's even improved his plate discipline lately, putting up a much more respectable 13/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This is his first full baseball-only season, after agreeing to give up his other job as the University of Michigan's quarterback.
Chad Tracy, 3B, ARI, El Paso/AA
2002 stats (64 games): .383, 4 HR, 42 RBIs
Arizona's seventh-round pick in last year's draft is moving up the charts quickly. The East Carolina University product hit .331 between the Northwest and Midwest Leagues in his first year of pro ball last year. He's flirted with the .400 for much of the 2002 season in the pitching-friendly Texas League.
Joe Borchard, OF, CWS, Charlotte/AAA
2002 stats (47 games): .278, 9 HR, 26 RBIs
Borchard missed the first month of the season due to a broken foot he suffered in Spring Training. But the 2000 first-round pick is beginning to pick up where he left off last year, when he destroyed Southern League pitching (.295, 27, 98). If he cuts down on his strikeouts (158 last year, 49 in 47 games in 2002), the White Sox won't be able to keep him in the minors for much longer.
Marlon Byrd, OF, PHI, Scranton-Wilkes Barre/AAA
2002 stats (68 games): .290, 10 HR, 37 RBIs, 10 SB
A toolsy player, Byrd is the heir apparent to the Phillies' center field job. Drafted back in 1999, Byrd has moved up the ladder quickly, never spending more than a season at any level. The Eastern League MVP and rookie of the year in 2001, Byrd could push Doug Glanville out of a job in Philadelphia before season's end.
Carl Crawford, OF, TB, Durham/AAA
2002 stats (56 games): .322, 6 HR, 37 RBIs, 18 SB
It seems just a matter of time before Crawford gets a regular job in the Devil Rays' outfield. Crawford can flat out fly, as evidenced by his 126 steals over three and half season in the minors. He appears to be adding a little more power and plate discipline, and could supplant Greg Vaughn in left field soon. And remember, he's only 20 years old.
Michael Restovich, OF, MIN, Edmonton/AAA
2002 stats (67 games): .308, 14 HR, 48 RBIs, 6 SB
Restovich has always had a ton of raw talent at the plate; it was only a matter of what he would do with it. So far this year, he's used it to batter PCL pitching during his first season of Triple-A ball. The Twins seem to have an eembarrassmentof riches at the corner outfield positions, and Restovich could force the issue if he continues to hit at this pace.
Corey Hart, UTIL, MIL, High Desert/A
2002 stats (63 games): .328, 19 HR, 66 RBIs, 16 SB
Hart, a 20-year-old who was taken in the 11th round of the 2000 draft by the Brewers, has been making a mockery of California League pitching after making the jump from the rookie Pioneer League (where he spent two seasons) to High-A ball. He plays first and third, a move he made recently, perhaps to make room for fellow prospect, Brad Nelson (low-A Beloit), at first.
Sean Burnett, LHP, PIT, Lynchburg/A
2002 stats (14 starts): 9-1, 1.54 ERA
Burnett, who is just 19 and pitching at High-A, won't blow you away with a blazing fastball, but he won't get hurt by walks, either. He does have a nifty 43/17 strikeout-to-walk ratio and he's seemed to get better as he's moved up the ladder a little. The Pirates' first-round pick in 2000 has people in Pittsburgh dreaming about a Kris Benson, Bobby Bradley and Burnett rotation (and maybe Bryan Bullinger) forming a Killer B's rotation by 2004.
Aaron Cook, RHP, COL, Colorado Spr./AAA
2002 stats (14 starts with Carolina): 7-2, 1.42 ERA
Cook recently earned a promotion to Triple-A after pitching exceptionally well in the Southern League. His fastball reaches 98 mph on the radar gun, and the Rockies have been cautious with Cook, moving him slowly through their system. Now, he's just one jump away from joining young and promising starters Jason Jennings and Shawn Chacon in the big leagues.
Brett Evert, RHP, ATL, Greenville/AA
2002 stats (13 G, 12 starts): 5-6, 4.50 ERA
Evert started the season, his first in Double-A, by going 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA. He struggled a bit after that, but the 21-year-old fflamethroweris still a work in progress. He was named the Carolina League's top pitching prospect last year after going 7-2 with a 2.24 ERA, striking out 75 in 72 innings pitched and seems to be fine this year after his season ended in July with some shoulder problems.
Jimmy Journell, RHP, STL, New Haven/AA
2002 stats (9 starts): 2-3, 2.44 ERA
Now another season removed from Tommy John surgery, Journell is turning an experimentation with starting into a full-time gig. He's made a fairly seamless transition from sidearmer to a pitcher who comes at you from three-quarters. He strikes out nearly a batter an inning, without walking too many, and at age 24, might be ready to help the Cardinals straight from Double-A soon.
Brett Myers, RHP, PHI, Scranton-Wilkes Barre/AAA
2002 stats (13 starts): 5-5, 4.23 ERA
Myers raised plenty of eyebrows in Florida this spring, almost making the Phillies rotation when the team broke camp. There has been recent talk of promoting him and moving Terry Adams into the rotation, so Myers' days as a top prospect might be numbered. When he gets to the bigs, he'll bring his devastating curve and plus fastball (recently changed from a four-seamer to a two-seamer to induce more ground balls) with him.
Billy Traber, LHP, CLE, Akron/AA
2002 stats (14 starts): 9-2, 3.00 ERA
The way Traber has played this year, it might end up being called the "Billy Traber" trade instead of the "Roberto Alomar" trade. The lefty was part of the package that sent Alomar to the Mets, and Traber has responded by pitching exceptionally well in Double-A. It's only his second year of professional ball, but Traber looks like he'll be carrying his four-pitch arsenal to the big leagues soon enough.
Adam Wainwright, RHP, ATL, Myrtle Beach/A
2002 stats (14 starts): 5-1, 2.88 ERA
Only 20 years old and pitching in High A, the Braves can afford to be careful with their 2000 first-round pick. Wainwright is 6-6 and has averaged a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his brief professional career. He possesses a fastball in the low 90s and also brings a good curve and change to the table.
Jason Young, RHP, COL, Carolina/AA
2002 stats (14 starts): 7-4, 2.64 ERA
It may seem strange to be talking about another Rockies pitching prospect, but get used to it. Young, a 2000 second-round draft choice, is in just his second season of pro ball, but the Stanford product seems to be making the jump from the Carolina League to the Southern League without too much difficulty. Young throws hard, with a fastball in the mid-90s and mixes in a good curve and good command of the strike zone.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.