Star pitching prospect Hunter Harvey and Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez will represent the Orioles in this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game, the league announced Tuesday.
Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in last year's first-year player draft, has emerged as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in his first full season.
Harvey has had some rough patches -- in his last two starts before the All-Star break, he allowed a combined 11 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. But after starting for the Northern Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game last week, Harvey rebounded with six innings of one-run ball Monday night, allowing just three hits and striking out seven in a victory.
He’s currently 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 13 starts, with a fastball that sits 92-95 mph, an above-average curveball, and a developing changeup.
Alvarez signed from Cuba for a reported $800,000 and made his debut in the Orioles’ system last season after over a year off following his defection, and struggled to make an impression. But this year with Double-A Bowie, the outfielder has quieted down at the plate and honed his approach to unleash his lightning-fast bat.
He started out the season hot, but a June slide has lowered his line to .308/.326/.503 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs in 73 games.
The coaching staff in Bowie raves about Alvarez’s willingness to make adjustments, and praised his ability to stay within himself at the plate. His June slump (.247/.268/.351) doesn’t seem to be attributed to anything but bad luck, and Alvarez is certainly the most deserving international prospect in the club's minor league system of this honor.
My prediction is his plus-plus arm will show in this game, and the baseball world will be impressed.
Last year, first baseman Christian Walker joined pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and outfielder Henry Urrutia in the Futures Game.
The game will be part of MLB’s All-Star Weekend in Minnesota, with the first pitch at 5 p.m. on July 13.