When 50 of the best players in the minor leagues suit up for the 2010 XM Futures Game in Anaheim on July 11, the Royals will be well-represented. On Tuesday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced the game’s rosters, and both Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas were selected to play on the United States’ team.
The Futures Game is played every year on the Sunday prior to the All-Star game, pitting a team of United States-born prospects against a squad of foreign-born talent. Last season, the Royals had a lone representative in the game – southpaw Danny Duffy.
Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have been two of the best hitters in the minor leagues this season, so their selections come as little surprise. On the season, Moustakas is hitting .355/.421/.704 with 17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 63 RBIs. The 21-year-old third baseman leads the Texas League in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs, and RBIs, and he ranks second in the circuit in on-base percentage and doubles.
Hosmer, 20, has rebounded from a rough 2009 full season debut and excelled in the Carolina League this year. The Royals’ 2008 first rounder is hitting .356/.425/.529 with three homers, 24 doubles, six triples, and 42 RBIs. Hosmer leads the Carolina League in batting average, OPS, and doubles, and he ranks second in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and total bases.
Both Hosmer and Moustakas will play for a U.S. team that has lost each of the last three Futures Games to the World squad. Indeed, the U.S. hasn’t won since Futures MVP Billy Butler led his country to victory in 2006.
Recent Royals Futures Game selections:
2009: Danny Duffy (U.S.)
2008: Julio Pimentel (World)
2007: Luke Hochevar (U.S.)
2006: Billy Butler*(U.S.), Alex Gordon (U.S.)
2005: Justin Huber*(World)
2004: Andres Blanco (World), Ruben Gotay (World)
2003: Zack Greinke (U.S.), Alexis Gomez (World)
*-Denotes Futures Game MVP