In turn, Nick Castellanos is heading to Kansas City as possibly the biggest Tigers hitting prospect to grace the MLB All-Star Futures Game since it began.
Castellanos, the Tigers' top hitting prospect and one of the top third-base prospects in all of baseball, has been named to the U.S. roster for next month's event, kicking off All-Star Week festivities at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. His Double-A Erie teammate, hard-throwing reliever Bruce Rondon, will join him as part of the World Team roster.
The 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday on July 8 at 5 p.m. ET. 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 following @USDugout and @WorldDugout.
Major League Baseball, along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters.
Castellanos, the Tigers' top pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, was a no-brainer. The 20-year-old third baseman batted .405 in 55 games for Class A Lakeland, with 17 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 32 RBIs before getting the early promotion to Erie, where he's batting .273 (12-for-44) in 11 games. He fell a single shy of the cycle for the SeaWolves on Wednesday night.
Rondon followed the same track just this week after overpowering Florida State League hitters. The 21-year-old Venezuelan is listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, but sits far bigger than that, and he has a fastball to match. He has hit 100 mph on radar guns, though his control can be in and out when he does, and he used it to help strike out 34 batters over 23 1/3 innings at Lakeland while allowing just 12 hits.
Rondon racked up 15 saves in 22 appearances for the Flying Tigers. He picked up his first save for the SeaWolves Wednesday night.