Montero, Banuelos to represent World
Catcher will participate for second year, lefty for first time
ATLANTA -- Jesus Montero and Manuel Banuelos have established themselves as standouts in the Yankees organization, and now they will be asked to help represent the World Team at the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game after the rosters were announced on Thursday.
Manager Jose Oquendo will have two of the brightest players within the Yankees pipeline at his disposal, as Montero returns for his second successive Futures Game, and Banuelos looks to make his presence felt on that stage in his first full professional season.
The 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, pitting the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the World, will be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on All-Star Sunday on July 12 at 2 p.m. ET.
MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, which can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on Gameday.
Manuel Banuelos, LHP, Class A Charleston (World Team)
Many in the Yankees organization are excited about the high-ceiling potential of Banuelos, an 18-year-old product of Durango, Mexico, who has already flashed a low-to-mid 90s fastball and is working on his command.
The Mexican product signed with New York as a non-drafted free agent in March 2008, and he has opened eyes this season with the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League, faring 5-3 with a 2.51 ERA in his first 12 starts at that level, populated by some more experienced hitters.
Banuelos has excelled in June, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.14 ERA through his first four starts of the month. He made his professional debut last season with the Gulf Coast Yankees, going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 appearances (three starts).
Jesus Montero, C, Double-A Trenton (World Team)
The Yankees promoted Montero to the Eastern League in early June, and the slugging backstop has shown signs of adjusting to Double-A pitching, having proven convincingly that he was more than capable at Class A.
The 19-year-old Montero was hitting .356 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 48 games for Tampa of the Florida State League at the time of his promotion and is working on a followup campaign to his standout 2008 campaign, when he hit .326 with 86 runs, 34 doubles, 17 homers and 87 RBIs in 132 games with Class A Charleston.
A non-drafted free agent who signed with the Yankees in October 2006, Montero was selected to the South Atlantic League's midseason All-Star team and postseason All-Star team as the league's top catcher. He went 1-for-2 and caught the final four innings in the All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium last year.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.