The Red Sox will be well represented in the XM All-Star Futures Game this July, as shortstop Xander Bogaerts and pitcher Matt Barnes will take their place on the World and United States rosters respectively.
Neither player is a surprising selection. Bogaerts, 19, was ranked as the third best Red Sox prospect by our readers in the pre-season top-20 and has received plenty of attention from other sources ever since an impressive performance in the Dominican Summer League and positive scouting reports pegged him as an up-and-comer. After breezing through Greenville last season, Bogaerts endured something of a rough May in High-A Salem but has come up big in June, hitting .364/.456/.652 to bring his season totals up to an impressive .293/.368/.483 that's only getting higher.
Barnes, the team's first pick in the 2011 draft, has more than lived up the expectations of his draft position. While his tremendous numbers in Greenville (0.34 ERA, 42:4 K:BB in 27 innings) weren't at all surprising given his conservative placement in Single-A, that he moved on to Salem without missing a beat (1.37 ERA, 53:8 K:BB in 46 innings) and seems entirely ready to move to Double-A in his first year is rather more impressive.
The only real question that can be asked is "whither Jackie Bradley?" The supplemental first rounder has only put up a .480 OBP in nearly 300 plate appearances at High-A Salem. The answer is that each MLB team can only send two players to the Futures game, and so Bradley was the one chosen to miss out. Consider it an indication of just how impressive the top end of the Red Sox' farm system has become this year.
The 2012 Futures Game will take place Sunday, July 8, kicking off the All-Star festivities.