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Q&A With World Futures All-Stars

Q&A With World Futures All-Stars

MLB.com offered fans the opportunity to e-mail questions to this year's Futures Game players and coaches. Here's what they had to say in response. We received scores of questions, and did our best to get as many answered as possible.

Kendry Morales (Angels), IF
Welcome to America and the Angels family. Do you believe that you'll get called up to either Triple-A or the Major Leagues this season? What's the biggest "on the field" challenge so far?
-- Edward L., Peoria, Ill.

I don't know what they're going to do with me. All I have to do is play baseball. The biggest challenge for me is to get used to the pitching. The higher levels are more advanced. It's still the same game, so all I have to do is get accustomed to playing here.

Edwin Encarnacion (Reds), IF
I'm a big Reds fan, and I'm 12. I play third base, too, and am wondering what it takes to make it to where you are today. Thanks for responding, and I hope you have a nice and long Reds career, because I look forward to it!
-- Mason, Columbus, Ohio

First thing, it's important to get a good education so you always have something to fall back on. School is very important. As a player, it is really simple. You work hard, and you dedicate yourself.

Justin Huber (Royals), IF
What would you be doing if you weren't playing baseball?
-- Justin's #1 Fan, Billy

I'd be surfing. It would hard to be professional at that, but I'd definitely be doing it. I would probably be playing some sport, probably Australian football. It's very fast, and there's a lot of contact. I like that.

Hernan Iribarren (Brewers), IF
What do you think is more important for your Major League career -- playing every day in the Minors, or getting called up and not playing every day, but being around the big league club and learning the atmosphere?
-- David M., Kingsport, Tenn.

For me, I really want to play every day. If that means being in the Minor Leagues, that's fine. I'm working hard to be an everyday player in the Major Leagues, but they [Milwaukee Brewers] decide when I'm ready.

Edison Volquez (Rangers), P
What are your goals, short-term and long-term?
-- Jacob, Dallas

I want to make it to the big leagues this year, and I want to play for 20 years. Mentally, I think I am ready, but there are still some things I am working on. I want to think that I am not far away from being a big leaguer.

Merkin Valdez (Giants), P
Which role do you prefer, starter or reliever?
-- Jennifer, Santa Clara, Calif.

I've been a starter all of my life, all of my career, and I feel confident doing that. If they decide they want me to be in the bullpen, I can do that, too. The most important thing is getting outs. If you can't get outs, you won't be in the Major Leagues.

Fernando Nieve (Astros), P
What are your thoughts on the growth of Venezuelan players in the Majors and Minors?
-- Dennis, Miami

I am very proud that we have so many players. Every day there seems to be more and more players from my country. People are noticing our hard work and ability. I think we're going to keep climbing up.

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