This July, he’ll also get the honor of representing Kansas City, only in Citi Field in New York this year. And while Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi – who both represented the Royals last summer – have moved on, Ventura won’t be all alone in the big city. Also joining him will be Lexington righty Miguel Almonte.
Ventura, who was recently promoted to Triple A, threw a perfect inning in last year’s game just prior to being moved up to Double A. This year, he’s knocking, even if tentatively, on the door to Kansas City. After 11 strong starts in Northwest Arkansas, Ventura has had to adjust to Triple A. It’s a big jump for a minor leaguer, and Ventura’s only recently 22 years old. He’s had two good starts and two bad starts in Omaha. Still, he’s struck out 92 batters in 77.2 innings in 2013. He’s been a top prospect in the Royals system for a while now, and he’s a logical fit.
His partner in the Futures Game, Miguel Almonte, is a slight surprise, though not a big one. Almonte rocketed up prospect charts last season as he was dominating the Arizona Rookie League. In 2013, he’s been pitching in Low A Lexington and throwing well. He’s made 14 starts, and held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in all but three starts. He’s coming off of an outing in which he struck out twelve but walked none in 7.2 innings pitched. He’s struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings this season and won’t turn 21 until next April. If he catches fire, he’s got a shot to reach High A Wilmington before season’s end with the opportunity to land in Double A at some point in 2014.
Incidentally, Ventura, landed at #27 in the midseason top 50 prospect rankings by Baseball Prospectus while Almonte earned an honorable mention. By the end of the year, both should be in the top 50.