After all, before making it to the big leagues, Twins players such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Francisco Liriano, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young, Matt Tolbert, Luke Hughes, Ben Revere and Rene Tosoni all played in the prestigious game held on All-Star Sunday.
This year, right-handers Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendriks will get that chance, as they were both selected to represent the Twins in this year's All-Star Futures Game at Phoenix's Chase Field on July 10.
Gibson, a native of Greenfield, Ind., will represent the United States, while Hendriks, from Perth, Australia, will play for the World team in a game that pits the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the world.
The 13th annual Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday on Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, July 10, at 5 p.m. CT. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on XM 175. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, and you can keep up to date by following @MLBFutures on Twitter. Fans can join the Futures Game conversation by tagging tweets with #mlbfutures.
Major League Baseball, along with with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America, USA Baseball and the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club. Each organization is represented, and the World Team features players from 12 countries and territories. Players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
Gibson, ranked No. 33 on MLB.com's top prospects list before the season, has been solid with Triple-A Rochester this season with a 3.89 ERA and 80 strikeouts compared to 20 walks in 76 1/3 innings pitched. The 23-year-old was also ranked as the Twins' second-best prospect before the year, according to MLB.com.
Hendriks, 22, was ranked as the Twins' 10th-best prospect before the year by MLB.com and has been lights-out at Double-A New Britain with a 2.81 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 77 innings. He was also selected to the Futures Game roster last year, but missed the game after having his appendix removed.
He talked about potentially getting selected to the Futures Game last week and said he'd be excited to get a chance to play in the event after missing out last year.
"It would be incredible," Hendriks said. "I was so disappointed that I missed out in going last year. It would be amazing. It's such a big honor to be selected to go. To be selected to go twice would be incredible. I'd love to actually go and be able to play this time."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less