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The World team has two of the most electric pitchers in all of baseball in Julio Teheran (Atlanta) and Carlos Martinez (St. Louis).
Teheran exploded onto the scene last year, jumping from Low-A to Double-A in just 17 starts. He finished the season with a 9-8 record, a 2.59 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. This year, as hard as it is to believe, he's gotten better.
His ERA of 1.79 ranks fourth in all of minor league baseball, and his .900 winning percentage (9-1) is the best in the International League. Teheran has produced less strikeouts this season, but he's also gone deeper into games.
His last two outings of just five-innings a piece were his shortest since early May. He also made two big-league outings, the first of his career, earlier in the year, although the results were much worse than his minor league domination.
Martinez has been a revelation this year, carrying over the momentum from his stellar run in the Dominican Summer League last year. Pitching in full-season ball definitely agrees with the 19-year-old, who posted a 2.33 ERA in eight starts before a promotion to High-A Palm Beach.
Martinez has been kept on a short leash, and as such, has only thrown 49.1 innings, but he has 60 strikeouts in that period. He's only given up 36 hits and surrendered only one home run.
Joining Teheran and Martinez on the World squad is one of the breakout stars of the 2011 season, Henderson Alvarez (Toronto). I've heard nothing but excellent reports on Alvarez, who has only pitched 63.2 innings for the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate.
They've all been very good innings, as the right-hander from Venezuela has posted a 43:14 K:BB ratio and a 3.68 ERA.
Of all the talented Royals pitchers, including Mike Montgomery, John Lamb, Chris Dwyer and Danny Duffy, the only pitcher who will be making an appearance in the Futures Game is tiny reliever Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City).
Herrera has made 26 appearances this season for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, and he's only allowed 28 hits in 42.1 innings. He's struck out 48 batters and walked only five during that span, and his ERA currently sits at a microscopic 1.49.
Herrera is one of only three pitchers on either squad who is a true reliever.
One of the others is Gregory Infante (Chicago A.L.). Infante started for four years in the minors but finally switched to relieving before the 2010 season. Something clicked, and within one incredible season, Infante was pitching in the big leagues.
He began his season in Double-A with 15.1 scoreless innings and seven saves before a promotion to Triple-A, where he's allowed only eight runs in 24 innings, raising his ERA to 1.83.
And the third and final reliever is Jhan Marinez (Florida), a hard-throwing right-hander who has already made 34 appearances for Double-A Jacksonville.
He's put together a pretty solid season, posting a 4.24 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 34 innings. Marinez saw some time in the big leagues late last season and could get another call-up this September.
Liam Hendricks (Minnesota) is another pitcher who is in the midst of a career year. He's already tied a career-high with eight victories and his 2.70 ERA ranks sixth in the Eastern League. He also ranks in the top-15 in both strikeouts (81) and innings pitched (90).
Like his Twins counterpart Kyle Gibson, Hendricks is a prolific strike-thrower. He's only issued 18 walks this season, and believe it or not, that's actually the highest single-season total of his entire career.
Last but not least is Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta). Vizcaino usually checks in behind Randall Delgado on the Braves prospect rankings, but it is he, and not Delgado, who is making the trip to Arizona this weekend.
Vizcaino earned a midseason promotion to Double-A after a strong start at High-A Lynchburg, where he posted a 2.45 ERA and struck out 37 batters in 40.1 innings.
So far in Double-A, he has struck out 46 batters in 43.2 innings, while posting a 4.12 ERA.