Yanks’ prospects & Futures Game = Big Leagues

Austin Romine

Few scouts would doubt that Thunder catcher Austin Romine and right-hander Hector Noesi have the skill set to reach the big leagues.
That projection gets even more favorable when the success rate of Trenton players selected to participate in the Major League Baseball Futures Game is factored into the equation, as all-but top prospect Jesus Montero (2009) have reached the majors since 2003.
Romine and Noesi now find themselves on a similar path as both players, along with Thunder manager Tony Franklin, will be at Angel Stadium of Anaheim July 11 when the top prospects in all of Minor League Baseball are showcased live as part of the XM Futures Game on ESPN2 and MLB.TV beginning at 6 p.m.
The 21-year-old Romine, a southern California native, entered this season as the Yankees’ No. 2-rated prospect according to Baseball America. The Yanks’ second-round draft pick in 2007 currently is hitting .286 with four home runs and a team-high 19 doubles.
“It’s cool because I get to go home,’’ Romine said. “I grew up 15 minutes from Anaheim (in Lake Forest, Ca.), so that was where I went to watch Major League Baseball. I’m going to have a lot of family there, which will be nice. Playing on the east coast my family doesn’t get to see me play so that’s something I’m really happy about. This is big for my parents.’’
Noesi, 23, has been impressive since being summoned from Class-A Tampa last month and is 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA. He has 34 strikeouts in 38 innings, including a 10-strikeout performance on June 6 against Richmond to match a career-high.
Romine, who has separate hitting streaks of 14 and 17 games this season, will play for Team U.S.A. Noesi will pitch for the World Team.
Back for a fourth season at Double-A, Franklin is making his third appearance on U.S. roster after previously representing the Thunder in 2007 and 2009.
“You’ve got the best talent in the Minor Leagues and it is such an honor,’’ Franklin said. “To be in that setting, at a major league stadium, the feeling is just fantastic.’’
Noesi and Romine bring to 14 the number of Thunder players to appear in the Futures Game.
Since 2003, Yankees’ farmhands Chien-Ming Wang, Dioner Navarro, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ramiro Pena have played in the Futures Game and have reached the major leagues.
Over 200 players who have participated in the first 11 Futures Games are now on major league rosters, including 62 that have competed in both the Futures Game and the MLB All-Star Game.
Last season a record 30 major league all-stars were alumni of the Futures Game. The previous mark of 23 was set in 2008.

THUNDER PLAYERS IN FUTURES GAME

Sun Woo Kim (RHP)……………….1999
Tomakzau Ohka (RHP)……………1999
Luis Garcia (INF)………………….2001
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP)………….2002
Seung Song (RHP)………………..2002
Chien-Ming Wang (RHP)………….2003
Dioner Navarro (C)………………..2003
Robinson Cano (INF)……………..2004
Phil Hughes (RHP)……………….. 2006
Joba Chamberlain (RHP)………….2007
Ramiro Pena (INF)………………..2008
Jesus Montero (C)………………..2009
Austin Romine (C) ………………..2010
Hector Noesi (RHP)……………….2010
Tony Franklin (MGR)…………..2007, 2009, 2010

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