Kentucky’s three minor league teams will be represented in the MLB Futures Game by two player this weekend. The Futures Game is sponsored by XM Radio and will take place Sunday as part of the first MLB All-Star Week festivities.
The game is a chance to see some of the top prospects in baseball match up in a US vs. World format. Each major league team must be represented by at least one player. Prospects from higher levels of the minor leagues are sometimes favored in the roster selection process.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods had one player selected to the World roster. Outfielder Kyeong Kang was ranked the 27th best prospect in the Tampa Bay organization by Baseball America before the season. Kang is the first South Korean to go through the amateur player’s draft. He spent the final two years of high school in Georgia after moving from South Korea. The Rays took him in the 30th round of the 2006 draft and signed his as a draft-and-follow the next year.
Kang ranks second on the Hot Rods team with a .285 batting average. He also has two home runs and 22 RBI. According to Baseball America he is “a raw player with above-average power potential and good speed.”
The second Bluegrass Futures Game representative is Louisville outfielder Chris Heisey. Heisey was already named a minor league mid-season all-star by Baseball America for his first half performance. Heisey’s .350 average is the fifth highest batting average in full-season leagues this year. He has the fourth most hits (113), seventh most runs scored (64), fifth most total bases (189) and the tenth highest slugging percentage (.585) in the minors.
According to BA, Heisey might be the most unheralded U. S. outfielder in the Futures Game this season. BA ranked his the 22nd best prospect in the Reds’ system before the season and said he had the potential to grow into a valuable role-player at the major league level. After batting .350 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI between AA Carolina and AAA Louisville, Heisey has shattered those predictions.
You can find individual capsules about every member of the Futures game at Baseball America.