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Two Crew prospects to play for World

Two Crew prospects to play for World

MILWAUKEE -- A couple of all-world Brewers prospects will share the spotlight in next month's All-Star Futures Game.

Shortstop Alcides Escobar of Venezuela and second baseman Brett Lawrie of Canada were selected to play for the World squad at this year's event, a showcase of young talent two days before the Major League All-Star Game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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The 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, pitting the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the World, is scheduled for Sunday, July 12 at 1 p.m. CT. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, which can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on Gameday.

The Brewers will also be represented on the U.S. squad. Double-A Huntsville manager Bob Miscik, who is in his first season in Milwaukee's organization, was named to the coaching staff for U.S. manager Ozzie Smith.

Escobar is considered Milwaukee's co-top prospect along with third baseman Mat Gamel, who walked in his only two plate appearances during last year's Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. This season at Triple-A Nashville, he's showing why, batting .295 entering the week with 27 stolen bases and 53 runs scored through his first 71 games.

"He's been consistent," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He hasn't had a lot of lulls. For the first year at Triple-A, that's pretty good. There are other years he's started slow. He's known for his fielding, and [as for] his contributions offensively, he should get better as he plays."

Lawrie is an offense-first player whose defense remains a work in progress. Milwaukee made him the 16th overall selection in last year's First-Year Player Draft -- no Canadian position player has ever been picked higher -- and introduced him as a catcher, but Lawrie switched to second base over the winter.

Wherever he plays, he hits. Lawrie, who began his Brewers career this spring at Class A Wisconsin, entered the Midwest League All-Star break with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 57 games.

The Futures Game won't be Lawrie's first taste of international competition. He waited to sign his first professional contract last summer so he could play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Junior Championship, leading the tournament with a .469 average, three home runs and 16 RBIs. He then played for Canada in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Futures Game has been a springboard to the Major Leagues for a number of current Brewers. Besides Gamel (2008 in New York), past participants include Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo (2006 in Pittsburgh), Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks (2004 in Houston), J.J. Hardy and Chris Narveson (2003 in Chicago), Bill Hall and Corey Hart (2002 in Milwaukee) and Mike Rivera (2001 in Seattle).

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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