SAN DIEGO -- The Phillies have watched the core of talent that carried them to a World Series championship, two National League pennants and five consecutive NL East titles limp through the first two-plus months of the 2013 season.
The big league roster will need an injection of youth at some point.
Maybe left-hander Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco can help in the coming years. They are the Phillies' two brightest prospects, and they will have the opportunity to showcase their talents in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on July 14.
The Phillies selected Biddle, a Philadelphia native and product of Germantown Friends School, in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The 21-year-old is 3-7 with a 3.29 ERA in 14 starts this season with Double-A Reading, and the organization's No. 1 prospect is 24-22 with a 3.23 ERA in 77 appearances in his Minor League career.
Franco, who is Philadelphia's No. 10 prospect, has been the organization's biggest story of the season. The 20-year-old opened the season with Class A Clearwater, hitting .299 with 23 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .925 OPS in 289 plate appearances in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He recently earned a promotion to Reading and has continued to hit at a torrid pace. Franco is hitting .524 (11-for-21) with one double, one triple, two home runs, five RBIs and a 1.498 OPS in five games.
The 15th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 2 p.m. ET on All-Star Sunday at Citi Field and can be seen live on MLB.com, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Also, for the first time, fans will determine the final player on the U.S. and World Team rosters by casting their votes in the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists ballot. There are five candidates for each team, and voting ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less