(Photo Credit: Stephen Smith/Four Seam Images)
Accolades continued to accumulate for the Dodgers‘ minor league system on Tuesday when pitcher Jharel Cotton and second baseman Willie Calhoun were selected to represent the organization in the 2016 Futures Game.
Celebrating it’s 18th season, this year’s edition will will take place on Sunday, July 10, at Petco Park in San Diego. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. local time and will be televised on the MLB Network.
Cotton, who was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was chosen as a member of the World roster, while Calhoun, a Califonia native, will compete for the United States squad.
Cotton has a 6-4 record and a 4.98 ERA for Triple-A Oklahoma City so far this season. Over 68-2/3 total innings, the 24-year-old righty has tallied 82 strikeouts, calculating to a very respectable 10.7 K/9. He began the 2016 season as a reliever, having appeared in six games out of the bullpen. Since returning to the OKC starting rotation, Cotton has a 3.69 ERA over seven starts, with 46 strikeouts and 15 walks in 39 innings of work.
Selected in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Cotton began the 2015 season with Low-A Great Lakes, making stops in High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa, eventually landing in Oklahoma City as a reliever for the final few games of the year.
Cotton is probably best known for having the best changeup among all the pitchers on the Dodgers’ farm.
Calhoun is hitting .260/.326/.473 with 16 doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 74 games and 281 at-bats for Tulsa. He leads the entire Drillers’ squad in seven different offensive categories.
In 2015, Calhoun began his campaign with Ogden in Rookie League, and after making a brief stop with Great Lakes, finished his season in Rancho. In 323 plate appearances last year, he hit .316/.390/.519 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs and 48 RBI.
He was selected in the fourth round by the Dodgers in the 2015 MLB Draft out of Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona. Calhoun, 21, was named Texas League Player of the Week for the final week of May, and will be starting at the keystone for the Northern Division in the Texas League All-Star Game Tuesday night in Springfield.
The World squad has two of the three highest-ranked players in the game in Boston’s Yoan Moncada and Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes, while the United States team has more Top 100 players on the roster with 12.