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06/21/12 12:10 PM ET
Blue Jays send top talent to Futures Game
By Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
Already teammates at the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and outfielder Anthony Gose will also join forces for the 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Gose and d'Arnaud were selected to help represent the 25-man U.S. team that will take on the World squad two days before the 83rd annual All-Star Game. Current Blue Jays to have previously played in the contest include Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Yunel Escobar and Luis Perez, all of whom were representatives of the World team.
As the Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, respectively, in the Toronto organization, according to MLB.com, d'Arnaud and Gose have had strong seasons with the 51s in Las Vegas.
Coming to the Blue Jays as part the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia, d'Arnaud is considered by some to be more skilled than current Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia. The 23-year-old d'Arnaud, who was drafted in the first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, is batting .336 with 15 home runs through 61 games at Triple-A this season.
Along with being the top prospect in the Toronto system, d'Arnaud entered the season ranked No. 20 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list. He started slowly for the 51s, but Vegas hitting coach Chad Mottola said part of that was because d'Arnaud was experimenting with different batting stances.
"He's a freak; he could stand one way and a completely other way the next time up," Mottola said. "There's nothing that holds him back. It comes so easy for him."
d'Arnaud's defense has been equally impressive, as his throws from home to second base have been clocked as low as 1.84 seconds. Mottola also said the catcher has been taking ground balls at first base. And although a position change is not in his immediate future, d'Arnaud is athletic enough to do so if it meant getting to the Majors sooner.
As for Gose, his work at the plate is solid. Offensively, his average is up to .291 after a .216 opening month of the season. He's also driven in 34 runs and scored 62 himself.
But it's his speed and defensive abilities that have impressed scouts. In 2011, Gose led the Pacific Coast League in stolen bases with 70, and he's on top of the league again with 24 steals in 70 games. On top of that, Mottola said Gose's left arm has provided the 51s with some highlight-reel plays this season.
"It's kind of crazy to sit back and watch those guys defensively," Mottola said. "The Blue Jays have got something special coming up."
The 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday on Sunday, July 8, at 5 p.m. ET. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures
on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World team dugouts during the game by following @USDugout
Major League Baseball -- along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League baseball clubs -- selected the 25-man rosters.