What is quickly becoming one of the favorite events of the year for the die hard baseball fan, the MLB Futures Game, which features the top prospects in baseball separated into two teams, will take place on July 13 in Minnesota, and the Baltimore Orioles will be sending both Hunter Harvey and Dariel Alvarez to the Twin Cities.
Harvey will pitch for the USA Team, while Alvarez will play for the World Team.
Now in its 16th year, the Futures Game is played the Sunday prior to the MLB All Star Game at the same location as the All Star Game and has featured some of the game's most premier talents. Current Orioles such as JJ Hardy, Nelson Cruz, Zach Britton and Manny Machado once participated in the Futures Game and both Harvey and Alvarez will add their names to the list.
Both players are well deserving of the nod as they have had fantastic first halves to the 2014 season.
Harvey, the Orioles 2013 First Round Selection in the MLB Draft, has pitched all season for the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds and has been mostly dominating, with a few outlier performances. Enter this past Wednesday, Harvey was 5-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 starts spanning 71 2/3 innings. He had allowed 51 hits and 29 walks with 85 strikeouts over those 71 2/3 innings with a 1.12 WHIP.
Entering this past Wednesday, Harvey was sixth among all Orioles relievers in ERA, and tied for third in strikeouts.
Alvarez, who was signed last summer out of Cuba, has been one of the most impressive players in the Orioles organization this season. Entering this past Wednesday, he was hitting .312 with 12 home runs, 58 RBI and 19 doubles in 321 at bats. While he doesn't walk a lot, he also does not strikeout a lot either as he has only been rung up 31 times in 81 games. He has performed very well in the outfield as well after making the transition to center field from the corner outfield spots.
If you look at the entire minor league system for the Orioles, Alvarez ranks seventh in average, third in home runs, and second in RBI (Entering this past Wednesday).
Both guys will get the opportunity to showcase their talents on a National Stage and while Harvey is a couple years away from showing his stuff in Baltimore, Alvarez is much closer and who knows, if he continues hitting the way he has, there is an outside chance Orioles fans may even get to see him at the end of this season.
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