The Urban Youth Academy was well represented in Sunday's SiriusXM Futures Game, and two players with ties to Major League Baseball's inner-city initiative came up big on the big stage.
Anthony Gose and Jonathan Singleton -- who both played at the academy in Compton, Calif. -- had starring moments at the midseason showcase, played this year at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Gose, an outfielder, made a highlight-reel catch, and Singleton reached base four times in a 17-5 victory for the U.S. over the World Team.
Both players have had eventful Minor League careers that began in Philadelphia's organization, and both were involved in key trades that sent them to new teams. Singleton was traded to Houston in last summer's Hunter Pence deal, and he said over the weekend that he's been adjusting well.
"Things don't always work out the way you expect them to," said Singleton, a first baseman/outfielder batting .275 for Double-A Corpus Christi. "It hasn't been bad. I didn't know what to expect. But it wasn't hard to adjust at all."
Gose, a native of Paramount, Calif., is batting .290 with 75 runs scored for Triple-A Las Vegas in Toronto's organization, and he's just beginning to flash his multi-tool potential. A speedster with 29 stolen bases, Gose made a spectacular run and catch in the third inning on Sunday.
"It's always special because you save extra bases and you keep your pitcher's pitch count down," said the 21-year-old Gose. "But of course, to do it here in front of a big crowd is definitely a special feeling. And it's on the Internet already!"
It hasn't been a straight line to stardom for Gose, who was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He took a couple of seasons to develop and was traded twice -- to Houston and then to Toronto -- in 2010.
Gose stole 70 bases last year for Double-A New Hampshire and may be nearing his first big-league promotion, but he knows that he still has some development to do in the near-term.
"There's no timetable or set time. Feeling ready is one thing, and actually being ready is another," he said. "Every day, it's about getting in the cage and working out, and working on different things to try and figure out what's going to be the actual solution to what the finished product is. Right now, we're on the right path, and I'm excited about it."
Singleton, an eighth-round draftee in 2009, will turn 21 in September, and he's a year behind Gose in the development curve. He has a .401 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging mark this year -- close to his career numbers of .395 and .464, respectively.
"It's been up and down. It's had its rough spots," he said of his first full season in Houston's farm system. "But it is what it is. I'm still pushing. I'm just trying to go out and play hard and have fun."