A's have two Futures picks in Russell, Ynoa
Addison Russell spent his first year with the A's racing through three levels of the Minor League system. Oakland's 2012 first-round pick will make a detour next month as a member of the U.S. Team for the upcoming Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on July 14.
Russell and Michael Ynoa, who will play for the World Team, will represent the A's after their selections were unveiled on Wednesday. Oakland is one of 20 teams to send two players to the showcase, with every other team sending just one representative.
The 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 11 a.m. PT on All-Star Sunday at Citi Field in New York and can be seen live on MLB.com, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Also, for the first time, fans determined the final player on the U.S. and World Team rosters by casting their votes in the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists ballot. There were five candidates for each team, with voting ending on Sunday at 8:59 p.m.
One of the five Futures Finalists for the World Team was third baseman Renato Nunez, the A's No. 7 prospect.
Nunez, a native of Venezuela, is making his full-season debut this season at Class A Beloit. After a breakout season in the Arizona Rookie League a year ago, Nunez has continued his success at the plate this year. The 19-year old is hitting .283 with a .491 slugging percentage. His 13 home runs in 69 games rank second in the Midwest League.
Russell's remarkable bat speed and approach at the plate helped guide him to one of the best debuts of any 2012 draftee, finishing his summer in the full-season Midwest League. The A's No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com is batting .259 with a .840 OPS for the Class A Advanced Stockton Ports, belting nine home runs and seven triples along the way in 247 at-bats, though he's struck out 71 times compared to 28 walks.
Ynoa, a 21-year-old Venezuelan, has been clouded by injuries, including one that resulted in Tommy John surgery in 2010, since commanding a then-club record $4.25 million from the A's as a 16-year-old in '08. When he's on, the potential frontline starter's 6-foot-7 frame allows him to throw in the low-90s, and he also possesses a sharp curveball and changeup.
The right-hander has averaged a little less than four innings in 14 outings this season as a starter with the Class A Beloit Snappers, earning a 2-1 record with a 1.95 ERA and 46 strikeouts compared to 17 walks.
Members of the A's who have played in the game are Brett Anderson (2008), Grant Balfour ('01), Jarrod Parker ('09) and Chris Young ('05).
Major League Baseball, along with the MLB Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters.