The future for hard-throwing right-handers Carlos Martinez of the Quad-Cities River Bandits and James Paxton of the Clinton LumberKings includes a trip to baseball’s Futures Game next month.
Martinez and Paxton are among seven players currently on rosters of low Class A teams chosen to play in baseball’s annual minor-league showcase held as part of All-Star Game festivities.
The pair of Midwest League pitchers will compete for the World team in the July 10 game at Phoenix, which pairs 25 top minor-league prospects from the United States against 25 prospects from other countries.
Martinez, a 19-year-old from Colinas Del Sur, Dominican Republic, has blended a fastball averaging 97 mph with effective off-speed pitches since joining the River Bandits on May 7.
He took a 3-2 record and 2.48 ERA to the mound Friday for Quad-Cities, striking out 43 batters and walking 12 over 32 2/3 innings of work for the River Bandits.
“Carlos has a bright future,” Quad-Cities manager Johnny Rodriguez said. “He has an electric arm, big-league velocity, and as he works to develop his other pitches his fastball will become even more dominant. He is more advanced now than Shelby (Miller, the Cardinals’ 2009 first-round draft pick) was here a year ago at this time.”
Miller will join Martinez in Phoenix.
Also selected for the Futures Game last season while playing for Quad-Cities, Miller earned a repeat invitation with a dominant start to 2011 at high-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.
Miller has combined to go 5-3 with a 2.39 ERA this season, striking out 106 batters and walking 26 in 79 innings of work.
Paxton, a native of Ladner, British Columbia, is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA in his first nine starts as a professional. A fourth-round pick of the Mariners in 2010 from the University of Kentucky, Paxton has struck out 73 batters and walked 30 over 50 innings for the LumberKings.
He pitched a perfect third inning for the victorious West team at Tuesday’s Midwest League All-Star Game at Modern Woodmen Park and becomes the first active Clinton player since third baseman John Whittleman in 2007 to participate in the game.
Martinez and Paxton are among three active Midwest League players chosen to play in the Futures Game, joining Peoria outfielder Matt Szczur.