Monday, July 11, 2011

Clearwater Battery Mates Impress in Futures Game

For the second straight year, Phillies pitching prospect Jarred Cosart was named to the MLB All-star Futures Game's Team USA roster. This time around was different, however, as Cosart was injured last season and unable to attend the game. With a clean bill of health this year, the Texas native saw action in the premiere annual exhibition for all of the sport's top prospects.

In Arizona on Sunday night, Cosart and his battery mate for the past two seasons, Sebastian Valle, showed why each of them are highly regarded prospects. The 21-year-old righty Cosart sparkled in relief, throwing a perfect 8th inning, in which he struck out 2 batters. Valle, a 20-year-old Mexico native, slapped a game tying RBI double for the World Team in the 6th inning and later flied out in the contest.

Valle's run scoring hit pulled the game even, at 3 runs apiece, before the World Team went ahead in the 8th inning, but Yankees prospect Double A Trenton Thunder catcher Austin Romine put the USA Team back in front for good, in the bottom of the frame, which gave Cosart the win. USA won by a final score fo 6-4.

Both Cosart and Valle were named as Florida State League all-stars this season as well.

The 6-foot-1-inch 180-pound Valle has had a solid offensive season, despite two trips to the disabled list with a thumb injury and a concussion. In 54 games, the righty hitting Valle has posted a .324 average with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers and 28 RBI. Valle was signed as a non-drafted free agent at age 16 in 2006.

Cosart, who dazzled fans and opposing batters with his 97-98 MPH fastball in the Futures contest, has been sharp as a member of a highly regarded High A level Clearwater Threshers starting rotation. In 16 starts, Cosart has a 7-6 record with a 3.23 ERA and a .220 batting average against.

A 38th round draft selection in 2008, Cosart was sidelined last season after a June start in which he felt elbow pain. Surgery was not required, but Cosart was forced to rest for the remainder of the season, as his club, the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, repeated as South Atlantic League champions.

As the minor league season rolls on, the duo of Cosart and Valle will continue to lead the Threshers in their playoff hunt, but more importantly, the big league hopefuls will also continue their ascent toward Philadelphia.

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