The MLB Futures Game took place on Sunday as part of the All-Star break, and was dominated by top-level pitching as Team USA walked away victorious. Philadelphia Phillies‘ ace-in-training Jesse Biddle received the win.
Biddle represented the U.S. team for the first time in his career, which now consists of three seasons climbing the minor league levels. At 21, he is currently starting for Double-A Reading and despite some issues with control and consistency, he is having success getting hitters to swing and miss at his nasty stuff, boasting 107 strikeouts and yielding just 70 hits in 97.1 innings pitched.
His ERA is up, but opponents are hitting just .202 against him. Biddle wasn’t the only representative from the Phillies organization to play in the game. 20-year-old phenom and rising star second baseman Maikel Franco served as the DH for the World Team.
Franco has emerged in an incredible fashion and is becoming one of the top prospects to watch. Enjoying a breakout season with Single-A Clearwater, Franco joined Biddle in Reading and his bat has continued to be hot. Combined, his 2013 stats include a .321 average, 110 hits, 55 runs, 67 RBIs, 28 doubles and 21 HRs. With just 42 strikeouts, Franco also boasts a solid OBP of .360.
With the Futures Game serving as an indication, these are two players that the Phillies should be lucky to have but more than that, they are two players that this organization can really build a future around.
It won’t be long until Franco and Biddle join 22-year-old Jonathan Pettibone, 25-year-old Ben Revere and 26-year-old Darin Ruf in what looks to be a pretty good next generation of talent and star power moving forward. So get to know the names, because if Amaro is focused on getting younger, then these are guys that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.