Gamel, LaPorta net Futures Game spots
Double-A Crew prospects will play for U.S. on Midsummer team
MILWAUKEE -- While the big league Brewers wait to learn who will represent the team at next month's All-Star Game in New York, two top prospects learned on Thursday that they'll be playing in a Midsummer Classic of sorts.Third baseman Mat Gamel and outfielder Matt LaPorta were named to the U.S. squad for the prestigious All-Star Futures Game on July 13. They will play a team comprised of foreign-born players at Yankee Stadium in a showcase of some of Minor League Baseball's top talent.
With the Olympic Games in Beijing in August, a new format has been adopted for the Futures Game. Instead of selecting the U.S. squad based solely on prospect status, players were chosen as part of the 2008 Team USA Olympic trial team. Also different from years past is the length of the game. This year's contest will be nine innings, begins at 11:30 a.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN2. Prior to this season, the majority of the games were seven-inning affairs.Gamel and LaPorta have been leading the offense-laden Huntsville Stars this season, Milwaukee's Double-A affiliate. Gamel leads the Southern League with a .373 batting average and 67 RBIs, and LaPorta leads the circuit with 19 home runs and ranks second to Gamel with 59 RBIs. LaPorta was the Brewers' first-round Draft pick in 2007. The Brewers converted him to the outfield once LaPorta reached the professional ranks, but he was listed on the Futures roster as a first baseman. LaPorta has played only two games at that position this season. The Brewers drafted Gamel in the fourth round in 2005.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.