Rays' Snell, Shaffer picked for Futures Game
The first two members to represent the Rays during the All-Star break have been revealed.
Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Thursday, and left-handed pitcher Blake Snell and third baseman Richie Shaffer have been chosen to participate for the U.S. team on July 12 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Snell, the organization's No. 9 prospect, was drafted in 2011 with the 52nd overall pick in Compensation Round A. He made headlines earlier this season by beginning his campaign with 46 consecutive scoreless innings.
The stretch of shutout ball began at Class A Advanced Port Charlotte, but after going 21 innings without giving up a run en route to a 3-0 record in two starts and two relief appearances, Snell was promoted to Double-A Montgomery. As a member of the Biscuits, he continued his streak over the course of four more starts before surrendering a run in the first inning against Tennessee on May 23.
In 13 appearances -- 11 starts -- in the Minors, Snell is 7-2 with a 1.22 ERA and was recently named the MiLB.com Southern League Player of the Month.
Shaffer, Tampa Bay's No. 19 Rays prospect, was drafted in the first round of the 2012 Draft with the 25th overall pick. He led all Rays Minor Leaguers with 19 home runs last season, and could sit atop that list again, as his 16 combined home runs between Double-A and Triple-A Durham are tied for first with No. 5 prospect Casey Gillaspie.
According to MLBPipeline.com, "The source of Shaffer's power is the bat speed he's able to generate, and he can hit the ball out to all fields." That bat speed has not just helped in the power category, but also in the average category, as his current .278 batting average would stand as the second-highest mark of his Minor League career.
Major League Baseball -- in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs -- selected the 25 players currently on each team. Ken Griffey Sr. will manage the U.S. Team, while Tony Perez will be the skipper of the World Team.
The 17th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 3 p.m. ET on July 12, and it can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com, with Matt Vasgersian, Dan Plesac, Heidi Watney and Jonathan Mayo on the call. In addition, SiriusXM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio (XM channel 89; Sirius channel 209). MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @FuturesGame on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.