The 25-man West squad will take on number one draft pick Stephen Strasburg and the East stars in the game, to be held Saturday night. Matt Gorgen, twin of AFL Cardinals pitcher Scott, is also on the East team. Full rosters can be seen here.
The Rising Stars rosters have always seemed to be selected on potential as much as play in the AFL, which is less than three weeks into its schedule. That helps to explain why Descalso, 54th in the league in batting at .240 and Jones, 61st of 68 league qualifiers at .208, received berths.
Playing for the Surprise Rafters, Jones has alternated between leading off and batting eighth. Six of his 11 hits have been for extra bases and he leads the club in both walks (ten) and stolen bases (six). The latter ties Jones for the AFL lead. His 13 strikeouts in 53 at-bats is just one off highest total on the team. Jones' slash line is .208/.373/.415.
The 22-year-old was the Cardinals organization's Minor League Player of the Year in 2008, but struggled this season with injuries. Jones did participate in the MLB Futures Game in conjunction with the All-Star Game festivities in St. Louis in July.
Descalso, coming off his Team USA gold-medal performance, has a line of .240/.316/.300, which has to be considered a disappointment to date. The second baseman had a tremendous start to the 2009 season with Springfield before slowing down considerably in his first taste of Triple-A. The 23-year-old is our Scout.com/The Cardinal Nation Springfield Cardinals Player of the Year for 2009.
I will be in attendance at the Rising Stars Showcase on Saturday night and the game will be televised on MLB Network. Look for my first-hand reports from the Arizona Fall League starting later this week.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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