SYDNEY, 6 June - Prior to this season’s MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, Kauffman Stadium will play host to the 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game, a glimpse into the next generation of baseball superstars. Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selects the 25-man rosters for each club, the U.S. Team and the World Team. Each Major League organisation is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
11 Australian baseballers have had the privilege of being selected to the Futures Game. After missing the game in 2010 due to an appendectomy, 2011 saw Liam Hendriks once again selected to the World Team from the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins Eastern League /AA). When asked how important it was to him to not only to represent the Twins organisation but his jersey to have an Australian flag, Hendriks stated, “It’s a huge honour, with the Australian Baseball League starting up in 2010, I am grateful for any chance to represent my country.” In the same season, Hendriks got the call to the big leagues.
Melbourne Aces’ fan favourite and three time attendee, Justin Huber represented Australia to the fullest in the 2005 Futures Game in Detroit. Huber hit a two-run double and earned MVP honours as the World Team topped its U.S. counterparts, 4-0. He saw the Major League action from 2005-09 before playing overseas.
- Luke Prokopec (1999)
- Craig Anderson (2000)
- Brad Thomas (2000) Sydney Blue Sox
- Grant Balfour (2001)
- John Stephens (2002)
- Justin Huber (2002, 2003, 2005) Melbourne Aces
- Travis Blackley (2003) Melbourne Aces
- Trent Oeltjen (2006) Sydney Blue Sox
- Rich Thompson (2007) Sydney Blue Sox
- Luke Hughes (2008) Perth Heat
- Liam Hendriks (2010 & 2011) Perth Heat
Also, Adelaide Bite’s Taiwanese infielder, Chin-lung Hu made an unforgettable appearance at 2007 Futures Game. At the time in the Dodgers’ organisation, Hu recorded two hits, a stolen base, two RBIs and a run scored to lead the World Team to a 7-2 win over the U.S earning the MVP Award. Always thinking team first, Hu said after the game, "I just wanted to do well to help the team win. I wasn't trying to do too much."
Just to show the impact of these players at the next level, in 2010, a record 38 Major League All-Stars were alumni of the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game, surpassing the previous mark of 28 set in 2009. Seven players - Adam Dunn, Neftali Feliz, Jason Heyward, Francisco Liriano, Evan Longoria, Ben Sheets and Geovany Soto - appeared in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game and were named to the All-Star Game in the following season. 10 of the 11 Aussies on the World Team rosters made it to the Majors (Craig Anderson -AAA).The success of the players at the Futures Game is very evident. With the Australian Baseball League continuing to develop talent, we can only hope that many Aussie representatives will be there on a yearly basis. This year’s Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game will be held on 8 July at 5 p.m. (CDT). For more information check out http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2012/