Pair of Former Cougars to Play in MLB All-Star Futures GameJune 21, 2012 - Midwest League (MWL) Kane County Cougars
Pitcher Yordano Ventura, a prospect in the Kansas City Royals' minor league system, will be part of the 25-man World roster, which will match up against the U.S. squad on Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m. CDT at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The Royals, with whom the Cougars have been affiliated with since 2011, are the only organization in baseball to place three players in the game (Ventura, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi).
Ventura, 21, worked a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout at the Carolina-California League All-Star Game on Tuesday. The 5-foot-11 right-hander is 3-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts for Class-A Advanced Wilmington, posting 78 strikeouts in 61.0 innings. Born and raised in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on October 8, 2008 and started 19 games for the Cougars last season.
Outfielder Michael Choice, who played with the Cougars in 2010, was named to the U.S. team. Choice is currently at Double-A Midland, an Oakland Athletics affiliate, and is batting .264 with 6 home runs and 43 RBI.
A total of 88 players have competed in both the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game - five of whom are former Cougars. The list includes Boston pitcher Josh Beckett, Boston infielder Adrian Gonzalez, Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera, Arizona pitcher Trevor Cahill and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz.
The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game can be viewed live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and MLB.TV on Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m. CDT.
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