Memories of NL All-Stars… before they were stars
Earlier today, I ran through the American League All-Star rosters with notes on when I covered them as Minor Leaguers or amateurs. Now it’s time to take a look at the NL squad.
Prince Fielder, 1B: I didn’t make it to that 2004 Futures Game, but he did.
Rickie Weeks, 2B: I did a feature on Weeks when he was coming out of Southern University in 2003, though I missed the 2004 Futures Game he attended.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS: We all got to see Tulo as a prospect when he came to Pittsburgh for the Futures Game in 2006.
Lance Berkman, OF: He helped get it all going, playing in that very first Futures Game at Fenway Park in 1999.
Matt Kemp, OF: The Dodger did a journal for us back in 2006. Here’s an example.
Miguel Montero, C: Montero played for the World Team in the 2005 Futures Game, held in Detroit.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B: Sanchez wrote an Arizona Fall League journal for us in 2006 (Sorry I could only find a printer-friendly link).
Joey Votto, 1B: Not only did Votto play for the World Team in the Futures Game in 2006 and 2007, we also interviewed him at the 2007 Rookie Career Development Program.
Brandon Phillips, 2B: When the 2002 season started, Phillips was a Montreal Expos prospect. Just a couple of weeks before his appearance in that year’s Futures Game in Milwaukee, he was traded to Cleveland (along with Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee in the Bartolo Colon deal.
Jose Reyes, SS: Reyes actually played second base for the World Team in the 2002 Futures Game and won MVP honors for his big triple. Hmmm, Grant Green just won Futures MVP this year and he moved over to second for the game… maybe more guys will volunteer to make the switch.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B/1B: Panda played in the 2006 and 2008 Futures Games and we also interviewed him at the 2009 Rookie Career Development Program.
Starlin Castro, SS: The Cub played in the 2009 Futures Game in St. Louis. The following year, he was a ROY candidate.
Ryan Braun, OF: It started with a feature on Braun while he was at the University of Miami prior to the 2005 Draft, it continued with the Futures Game in 2006, and then AFL that same year.
Jay Bruce, OF: We miked Bruce up at the Florida State League All-Star Game back in 2007, then interviewed him at the 2008 Rookie Career Development Program, where he was also a part of our feature on the outfielders from the 2005 Draft class who were at the RCDP that year.
Hunter Pence, OF: Pence played in the 2006 Futures Game in Pittsburgh and in the AFL.
Andrew McCutchen, OF: He was a 2008 Futures Gamer (and one of the 2005 Draft outfielders who wasn’t at the RCDP in 2008), and since I’m a Pittsburgh guy, I get to watch, and talk to, him regularly.
Justin Upton, OF: Upton was part of that RCDP feature linked to above and he homered in the 2007 Futures Game in San Francisco.
Shane Victorino, OF: Seeing Victorino at the All-Star Game again is one of my favorite things here. Victorino was a two-time Rule 5 pick and we once joked about having to re-name the rule after him. We also interviewed him at the 2006 Rookie Career Development Program.
Andre Ethier, OF: Ethier was the 2005 winner of the AFL Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. Just a short time after the AFL season ended, Ethier was traded from the A’s to the Dodgers.
Matt Cain, RHP: Too bad I missed that 2004 Futures Game, huh?
Jair Jurrjens, RHP: Back in 2007, we traveled to Erie, Pa. to talk to this young right-hander from Curacao. He was pitching for the SeaWolves, the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate. He got traded that offseason to the Braves.
Clayton Kershaw, LHP: In 2007, we went to Michigan and the Great Lakes Loons to check out the new ballpark and interview the then 19-year-old during his first full season of pro ball. He pitched in the Futures Game that season as well.
Tim Lincecum, RHP: Back in 2006, when Lincecum was a curiosity of sorts coming out of the University of Washington, he did a Draft journal for us.