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Varsho, Thomas tabbed to play in Futures Game

@goodforball
June 28, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two members of the D-backs’ stable of young talent were named Friday to participate in the 2019 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, scheduled for July 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Catcher Daulton Varsho and outfielder Alek Thomas, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the club's Nos. 4 and

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two members of the D-backs’ stable of young talent were named Friday to participate in the 2019 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, scheduled for July 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Catcher Daulton Varsho and outfielder Alek Thomas, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the club's Nos. 4 and 7 prospects, will join the National League squad for the Futures Game, which will be conducted in an American League vs. National League format for the first time after previously featuring U.S. and World teams.

“We’re really proud of those guys,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s a part of our future. It’s a part of our foundation. It speaks volumes about where this organization is heading. We have two players on a very small roster who are going to represent the National League; huge congrats to them.”

Varsho, 22, possesses a legitimate baseball pedigree. He’s the son of Gary Varsho, who spent eight seasons (1988-95) in the Major Leagues as a reserve outfielder. He was named for Darren Daulton, a teammate of Gary’s in Philadelphia.

Lovullo described Varsho as a fiery performer, much like Daulton was.

“What I remember about Daulton [Varsho] was a competitive streak, something he brings every single day he comes to the ballpark," Lovullo said. "He wants to learn, and he’s on a quest to be great.”

Through 61 games this year for Double-A Jackson in the Southern League, Varsho batted .267/.346/.444 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs.

Thomas, born April 28, 2000, is the third-youngest player to earn a spot on a Futures Game roster. Playing his first full Minor League season, he batted .296/.385/.470 in his first 65 games with Class A Kane County of the Midwest League.

“I’m excited to see what his first year of pro ball will bring,” Lovullo said.

It already has produced a family treasure. On March 20, Thomas homered against the White Sox in a Cactus League exhibition game. Thomas’ father, Allen, is Chicago’s director of strength and conditioning. Television cameras caught the hilarious non-verbal communication that transpired between father and son, who were in their respective teams’ dugouts, after the homer.

The afternoon began with the Thomas and his dad representing their teams in the pregame lineup-card exchange at home pIate.

“That was one of those great baseball days that you don’t get very often,” Lovullo said. “I think if we could all go back to that place in our own childhood where if we had an opportunity to do that with our father, it would be spectacular., But to do something even more special by hitting a home run and making his dad feel as proud as I’m sure he did, that day was amazing.”

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.