The Pittsburgh Pirates will have a pair of players on opposing rosters at the 17th Annual All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati. The event will be held Sunday, July 12 at the Great American Ball Park.
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Pirates’ propsect Josh Bell, currently playing for the Double-A Altoona Curve in the Eastern League, will be part of the U.S. squad in Cincy. On the other side of the diamond on the World team roster will be Elias Diaz, who is with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians of the International League.
Bell, who will turn 23 in August, is hitting .325/.395/.444 in 69 games with 34 runs, 11 doubles, three home runs and 44 RBI. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound switch-hitting first baseman played in the 2014 Futures Game at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.
The Irving, Texas native was drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft, and is the No. 3-rated prospect in the Pirates organization, according to MLB.com. Tim Williams at piratesprospects.com has Bell rated fourth overall.
Diaz, 24, is batting .276/.339/.387 in 58 contests with 22 runs, 11 doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI. It is the 6-foot, 210-pound catcher’s first trip to the Futures Game. He has been splitting the starting assignments in Indy with Tony Sanchez.
The Maracaibo, Venezuela native is the No. 11-ranked prospect in the Bucs farm system, according to MLB.com. Tim Williams at piratesprospects.com has Diaz at No. 10 in his Top 20 Countdown. Diaz entered the Bucs farm system in 2009 with the VSL Pirates of the Venezuelan Summer League.
The Pirates will also be represented at the event by Altoona manager Tom Prince, who will serve on the U.S. Team’s coaching staff.
Among players who have partaken in the Futures Game from the Pittsburgh organization include Gregory Polanco and Dilson Herrera in 2013, Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in 2012.
The contest is set for 3 p.m. ET, and it can be viewed live on the MLB Network and MLB.com. Fans will be able to listen on SiriusXM Radio as they will carry the game live on MLB Network Radio, located at XM channel 89; Sirius channel 209.
From The Clipboard: Hall of Famer Tony Perez will be in charge of the World dugout, while Ken Griffey Sr. will be the man at the helm of the U.S. squad…Major League Baseball, in partnership with the MLB Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and all 30 Major League clubs, chose the 25-man rosters for both teams…Every organization has at least one player participating…Fans will also be able to stay updated by following @FuturesGame on Twitter…The Most Valuable Player of the contest receives the Larry Doby Award.