Parker, Septimo to Play in Futures Game

Two Arizona Diamondbacks prospects have been chosen to appear in the upcoming Futures Game, played annually during the Major League All-Star Break. Top prospect Jarrod Parker has made the USA Roster and converted outfielder Leyson Septimo will play on the World Team as a pitcher.

Jarrod Parker was selected ninth overall in the first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft from Norwell High School in Indiana. He pitched with South Bend in 2008, compiling a 12-5 record and a 3.44 ERA in 24 starts, helping to lead the Hawks to the Midwest League Finals.

The 20-year old right-hander has been strong for the BayBears this season, as he's gone 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts. He's third on the club with 49 strikeouts in 47.1 innings. Named as the number one prospect in the D-backs' organization by in the offseason, Parker went 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA in four starts at Visalia before his call-up to the BayBears.  A.J. Hinch promoted Parker to Double-A as one of his final acts as director of player development.

"It needs to be in the back of the mind of hitters that he has several plus pitches so you can't gear to one way to beat Jarrod Parker," explained Hinch, current manager of the D-backs and a former catcher. "And [Parker] has to understand that he's in control and can dictate the at-bat so he can pitch to his strengths."

"Year two is probably the time to push the gas pedal a little and challenge him and see what he can do."

Leyson Septimo was an outfielder for South Bend in 2006, but made it to the Futures Game roster as a pitcher. As a right-fielder for the Silver Hawks, Septimo hit .251 with six home runs in '06, but his cannon of an arm stood out more than his bat.

"Definitely a great arm, decent outfielder, [but] definitely some things to work on from an offensive standpoint," noted Jack Howell, the D-backs' current hitting coordinator.  "The one asset he has is an incredible arm with incredible arm speed."

Septimo converted to a pitcher during the fall instructional league of 2009.  After struggling with his command during his first season on the mound, Septimo has dominated the H-A California League this year with a 2-0 record and a 2.70 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He has held opponents to a .184 batting average.

"When you just go down the list of guys just in the last few years that have made position changes and within a year or two, it's a pretty decent list of guys," continued Howell. "When you're talking 94 to 96 [miles per hour], it's hard to think that Septi's not going to have a chance to make it."

The 2009 Futures Game will be played on Sunday, July 12th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the home of this year's Major League All-Star Game. The two Diamondbacks initially selected to last year's Futures Game - Gerardo Parra and Emilio Bonifacio - have both become major league regulars this season.  Parra went 1-for-2 in that contest, while Bonifacio did not play because he had been called up to the majors.  Current D-backs' superstar Justin Upton played in the 2007 Futures Game.

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