The good news keeps coming for Orioles top prospect Manny Machado. Two days ago, the 18-year-old shortstop was promoted to high Class A Frederick. Then on Thursday, the No. 3 overall pick in last year's Draft was named to Minor League Baseball's premier showcase, the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game.
Not a bad year-plus stretch since the 2010 Draft for Machado, who is ranked No. 18 on MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects list and doesn't turn 19 until July 6. He's long drawn comparisons to Alex Rodriguez for his five-tool ability and physical build, and now he and A-Rod are on course to be a part of the same All-Star Weekend festivities in Arizona.
Machado and Jonathan Schoop, who like Machado also started the year with low Class A Delmarva before being promoted to Frederick, are the two Orioles' representatives at the Futures Game. Schoop, 19, is a third baseman from Curacao and is on the World Team Roster. Machado, a Miami native, will play for the U.S.
Machado hit .276 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 145 at-bats with Delmarva, missing nearly two months with a knee injury. He struck out two more times (25) than he walked (23), and added eight doubles and two triples. He did not make his pro debut until Aug. 30 of last season.
Schoop, signed as a free agent in 2008, hit .316 with Delmarva and is hitting .302 with Frederick.
If Machado makes a Major League All-Star Game someday, he'll follow in O's shortstop J.J. Hardy's footsteps. Hardy was a Futures Game selection before playing in the Midsummer Classic.
The Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday on Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, July 10, at 6 p.m. ET. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on XM 175. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, and you can keep up to date by following @MLBFutures on Twitter. Fans can join the Futures Game conversation by tagging tweets with #mlbfutures.
Major League Baseball, along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America, USA Baseball and the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club. Each organization is represented, and the World Team features players from 12 countries and territories. Players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.