LaRoche and Marte named to Futures Game

The rosters for the 2003 Futures Game have been announced and two top Braves prospects were named to the team: Adam LaRoche and Andy Marte. Bill Shanks analyzes the two players and their seasons so far.

Major League Baseball announced its rosters for the annual Futures Game on July 15th, and two players were named to represent the Atlanta Braves.

Richmond First Baseman Adam LaRoche will be an infielder on the United States Team, and Myrtle Beach Third Baseman Andy Marte will be an infielder on the World Team.

LaRoche was recently promoted to AAA Richmond after batting .283 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI for the Greenville Braves, Atlanta's AA affiliate. Since his promotion to Richmond, LaRoche is hitting .179 (7 for 39) with 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in.

Marte got off to a slow start in Myrtle Beach. He was hitting just .193 on May 1st, but had a great month of May and has stay hot in June. Marte is now hitting .289 with 8 home runs and 35 RBI. He also leads the Carolina League with 25 doubles.

Past Braves Minor Leaguers to appear in the Futures Game are Rafael Furcal, Travis Wilson, Wilson Betemit, Billy Sylvester, Adam Wainwright, and Brett Evert.

Former Braves Minor Leaguer Merkin Valdes, formerly known as Manual Mateo, also made the World Team. Valdes was traded with Damian Moss to the Giants for Russ Ortiz last winter. He is currently playing with Hagerstown and has some remarkable numbers. Valdes is 4-3 with an ERA of 2.17. He has allowed only 51 hits in 74.2 innings pitched and has 25 walks and 85 strikeouts.

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