Meet the Future: World pitchers
Pimentel, Rondon headline impressive crop of rising stars
While the World Team's pitchers for this year's 10th annual XM All-Star Futures Game can be spotted on various Minor League pitching mounds across the country, all 10 of them look to be positioning themselves properly for a successful Major League career, sooner or later.
The title of the game cleverly implies the truth, as all of the pitchers who fill out this year's World roster have bright futures. With both the American League and National League well-represented in terms of pitchers, the game may prove to be a fantastic glimpse into what's to come in the Major Leagues in both the near and distant future.
Following is the list of pitchers on this year's World squad, which will take on the U.S. in the Futures Game on July 13 at Yankee Stadium:
Phillippe Aumont, Wisconsin (Class A, Seattle)
The Seattle Mariners drafted Aumont, a Canadian native, with the 11th overall pick in 2007 as they were presumably impressed with his ability to throw in the mid-90s. The 6-foot-7 hurler is the first Quebec native to ever be taken in the first round of the Draft in Major League history.
Sidelined since June 9 due to elbow issues, Aumont has served as both a starter and reliever for Wisconsin this season and has found moderate success in each role. Thus far this season, he has posted a 4-4 record and converted two saves while boasting a 2.62 ERA.
He had six scoreless appearances before giving up the first earned run of his career, and he went at least three innings in all his outings except one.
Carlos Carrasco, Reading (Double-A, Philadelphia)
Carrasco replaced Reading teammate Antonio Bastardo, who will be unable to play in the Futures Game due to injury. A native of Venezuela, Carrasco has had a rather up-and-down season this year, as he sports a 5-7 record and 4.18 ERA.
Signed by Philadelphia as a free agent in 2003, he had a solid year in 2007, going 12-6 with a 3.68 ERA and two shutouts between Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading. Before being called up to Reading on June 20 last year, Carrasco was named a Florida League All-Star.
Though the 21-year-old has had some rough starts this season, he's proven to be an exciting product in the Phillies organization with a bright future.
Jesus Delgado, Carolina (Double-A, Florida)
Delgado, the oldest pitcher on the World roster, had some early struggles with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes and was sent down to the Mudcats after just six appearances in which he gave up 14 earned runs in just over 10 innings.
When Delgado got to the Mudcats, however, his season turned around for the better. As a reliever with Carolina, the Venezuela native is 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 games with 34 strikeouts.
He originally signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in 2001, but came over to Florida along with Hanley Ramirez and others in the trade for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.
Jamie Garcia, Memphis (Triple-A, St. Louis)
After spending the first month of the season with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals and posting stellar numbers, Garcia was called up to Memphis. With Springfield, he went 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA in six starts. The only Mexico native on the World roster, he didn't allow more than three runs in any of his Double-A appearances.
When called up to Memphis, Garcia cooled down a tad but still posted solid numbers for someone who'd become accustomed to Double-A talent. With the Redbirds, he is 4-4 with a 4.59 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 12 starts.
Garcia was selected by St. Louis in the 22nd round of the 2005 Draft and has been steadily climbing the ranks ever since.
Shairon Martis, Columbus (Triple-A, Washington)
Though only 21 years old, Martis already has a boatload of experience. The native of Willemstad, Curacao, pitched for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in 2006, tossing a seven-inning no-hitter over Panama. The game was cut short due to enforcement of the mercy rule.
Martis spent the majority of the first half of this season with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, where he went 4-4 with a 3.98 ERA. Since being called up to Columbus, he has had only had three starts and has gone 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA. The Giants originally signed the hurler as a free agent at the beginning of 2004.
Eddie Morlan, Montgomery (Double-A, Rays)
Morlan, a steady reliever for the Biscuits, is the only player representing Cuba on the World Team. Thus far this season, he has had 13 appearances and has yet to lose a game. On the season Morlan is 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA.
Originally drafted in the third round by Minnesota in 2004, Moran had 18 saves last year in his first full season as a reliever. He also struck out 12.79 batters per nine innings, which was 12th in the Minor Leagues.
Julio Pimentel, Northwest Arkansas (Double-A, Kansas City)
Though Pimentel originally signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the hurler from the Dominican Republic has done everything possible to make a name for himself with the Royals organization.
In 2007 with Class A Advanced Wilmington, he went 12-4 with a 2.65 ERA, but the success from a year ago has yet to carry over into this season. With Northwest Arkansas in 2008, Pimentel has posted a rather unimpressive 3-9 record with a 5.84 ERA.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound hurler was traded from the Dodgers in 2006 as part of the Odalis Perez deal that sent both of them to Kansas City for Elmer Dessens and cash considerations. While Pimentel probably isn't having the season he had hoped for thus far, his potential is high.
Henry Rodriguez, Stockton (Class A Advanced, Oakland)
As each year passes in the Athletics organization, it seems as if Rodriguez is growing better and better. After going 6-8 with a 3.07 ERA in his first year in Class A ball with Kane County last season, Rodriguez got his chance to shine in Double-A this season for Midland in the Texas League.
Upon arriving to play for Midland, however, Rodriguez ran into some trouble and went 1-6 with an 8.82 ERA in nine starts, thus being sent back down to Class A Advanced Stockton. Rodriguez seems to be turning it around with the Ports; he is 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA and 70 strikeouts with his new squad.
The 21-year-old hurler from Venezuela is currently in his fourth season in the A's organization after signing a free-agent deal in 2003. He will most likely serve time in the World's bullpen and will hope to play the rest of his season for a second chance at Double-A.
Hector Rondon, Kinston (Class A Advanced, Cleveland)
As Rondon continues to tear through the Carolina League for the Kinston Indians, he is also turning heads in the process. The results? He is the only player in the Cleveland Indians farm system to be selected to participate in the Futures Game.
Rondon, another native of Venezuela, has been brutal for the opposition in the Carolina League, as he has posted a 7-3 record and 3.06 ERA so far this season. Rondon's seven wins and 97 strikeouts are both tied for second in the Carolina League.
Rondon has spent his entire professional career with the Indians after signing in 2004.
Polin Trinidad, Corpus Christi (Double-A, Houston)
After a solid start to the year in which he went 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA for Salem in the Carolina League, Trinidad was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi.
Since being called up to the Hooks, Trinidad, a native of the Dominican Republic, has gone 2-2 with a 4.06 ERA in seven starts. He singed with the Astros organization in 2002 as an non-drafted free agent.
Ari Wasserman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.