The Phillies' top two hitting prospects will be on display for the world to see next month: Shortstop J.P. Crawford and third baseman Maikel Franco will represent the organization at the All-Star Futures Game on July 13 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Crawford, the Phillies' first-round pick from a year ago, will play on the U.S. team, while Franco will play for the World team for the second straight year.
Crawford, 19, is quickly becoming one of the game's top shortstop prospects. He was promoted to Class A Clearwater last week after hitting .295 with a .398 OBP, an .804 OPS, three home runs, 16 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 60 games at Low A Lakewood.
Franco, rated the No.17 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America this winter, has struggled in 2014. After making a seamless jump from Clearwater to Double A Reading last summer, hitting 31 home runs, Franco entered play yesterday hitting .207, with five home runs, in 73 games at Triple A Lehigh Valley.
The 16th Annual All-Star Futures Game will take place at 5 p.m. and air on MLB Network.
Wil Nieves was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right quadriceps. The move is retroactive to June 19, when he suffered the injury in St. Louis. Nieves, 36, who had never been on the DL in his 11-year career, expects to be ready to return when he's eligible on July 4. Tony Gwynn Jr. was activated from the bereavement list to take Nieves' place on the roster. He pinch-hit in the eighth inning and received a standing ovation . . . Brad Lincoln is among the candidates to start one of the two games of Saturday's day-night doubleheader against Atlanta. Lincoln, who started the season in the Phillies' bullpen, has gone 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 10 starts since being converted to a starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley. He allowed two runs on two hits in seven innings of the IronPigs' 7-4 loss to Columbus on Monday.
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