Three members of the Pirates organization will participate in the All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Sunday, July 12.
First baseman Josh Bell, rated as Pittsburgh's fourth-best prospect entering the season by Baseball America, has been named to the U.S. team for a second straight season. Bell is the first member of the Pirates organization to be named to back-to-back Futures Games, which is now in its 17th year.
Bell enters today ranked third in the Eastern League in batting average (.318), second in hits (82), third in on-base percentage (.390) and tied for the league lead in triples (six) with Double-A Altoona. The 22-year-old switch-hitting first baseman was also tabbed by MLB.com as the best first base prospect in minor league baseball entering the 2015 campaign.
Elias Diaz enters today with a .281 average (55-for-196), 11 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 25 RBI in 57 games played for Triple-A Indianapolis. Since the beginning of last month he is hitting .314 (43-for-137) with eight doubles and 22 RBI in 40 games.
The 24-year-old Diaz was rated by Baseball America as the "Best Defensive Catcher" in the Pirates system entering the 2015 season. He will be the first catcher since Neil Walker in 2006 to represent the Pirates organization at the Futures Game.
Altoona manager Tom Prince, who has led the Curve to the best record (42-29) in the Eastern League, will serve as a coach for the United Stated team.