June 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM
|Xander Bogaerts (Kelly O'Connor)|
A pair of High A Salem Red Sox teammates have been named to the 2012 Futures Game, a part of the annual festivities surrounding the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be part of the World Team while right-handed starter Matt Barnes will be on the U.S. squad. This year's contest will be played on July 8 at 5 PM from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Bogaerts, 19, was originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2009. In his third season in the Red Sox system, Bogaerts has hit .293/.368/.483 with nine home runs and 42 RBI this season for Salem. Ranked the 65th best prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com and finding himself ranked third overall in the Red Sox system by SoxProspects, Bogaerts was a 2012 Carolina League All-Star despite being one of the youngest players in the league.
Barnes, 22, was a first round selection of the Red Sox in last years amateur draft. After spending his collegiate career at the University of Connecticut, Barnes has burst onto the prospect scene in 2012. Splitting time between Low-A Greenville and High A Salem, Barnes is 7-1 with a 0.99 ERA with 95 strikeouts in just 72.2 innings pitched. Barnes is currently ranked the 95th best prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, and finds himself ranked second overall on in the Red Sox system by SoxProspects.
The Futures game, now in its 14th season, has seen a wide array of Red Sox prospects and stars participate over the years. Last season, current Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks participated in the contest along with former Red Sox prospect Chih-Hsien Chiang. Recent participants have included pitchers Stolmy Pimentel, Junichi Tazawa and Casey Kelly, now a member of the San Diego system. Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin won Futures Game MVP award honors in 2008 and current Boston stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz participated in the 2007 game.
Other notable participants from Boston have included Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez in 2005, Kevin Youkilis in 2003.