Francona to participate in Prospect Classic

Francona to participate in Prospect Classic

Francona to participate in Prospect Classic
BOSTON -- Former Red Sox manager and current broadcaster Terry Francona will serve as one of two honorary managers in the USA Baseball Prospect Classic, to be held in North Carolina from June 29-30 and July 2-3.

Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon, who is still involved in the game at age 81, is to serve opposite Francona, with Scott Brosius, David Eckstein and Jack McDowell on the coaching staffs as well. That group has eight World Series rings, an American League Cy Young Award, a Gold Glove, six All-Star Game appearances, two Manager of the Year Awards, a Golden Spikes Award and two World Series MVP Awards.

The Prospect Classic features USA Baseball's collegiate and 18U national teams and should include top prospects who will be selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. After two games were played last summer in the Classic's inaugural year, the format was switched to four this year. In the first two games, both teams are made up of a combination of the college and 18-and-under players, while the final two pit the 22-man collegiate national team directly against the 28-man 18U team.

The 2012 collegiate national team is again led by University of Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano, while Brosius returns to head the 18U club for a second successive year.

The Prospect Classic serves as part of the selection process for the 18U team, which will cut down from 40 to 28 players on July 1.

The series is scheduled to be held at 3:05 p.m. ET on June 29, at 7:05 p.m. on June 30 and 6:05 p.m. on July 3 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. All those games will be broadcast on MLB.com. The first two games will air on a delay on MLB Network, at noon ET on July 2 and July 3, respectively.

The July 2 contest, scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET, will be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

More information can be found at USABaseball.com.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.