The 2011 All-Star Week is more than a game, a home-run derby and a really cool FanFest. Amid the hoopla of retired greats, current stars and traveling Hall of Fame and Negro League museums, there’s a game that literally gives fans a peek at the next wave of top MLB stars.

It’s called the Futures Game. Packed full of young, minor-league stars, the game pits U.S.-born stars against international-born players. This can mean teammates may face off against each other (the Seattle Mariners had stars on both sides), but this exhibition game is meant to be a showcase, not a hard-fought matchup.

Futures Game

Arizona Diamondbacks’s phenom Tyler Skaggs started for the U.S. team, and former ASU player Jason Kipnis started off the scoring for the U.S. by rocketing a line-drive over the wall in right.

Highly regarded hitter Bryce Harper, who recently drew scorn after blowing a kiss to a pitcher after hitting a home run, went 0-4, striking out looking in his first at bat.

(Photo credit Greg Taylor)

  • I’ve heard that attendance is going to be down for the MLB All-star Game. Is this something that is being seen at the park. There has been some A-list players that have decided not to make the trip and I really think that they are hurting the tradition of a very traditional sport. They should be excited to play and even more excited just to be invited.

    There should be some type of action taken for that behavior.

    Go Cardinals!

    • The stadium certainly wasn’t packed for the Futures game yesterday and just today it was announced that a whopping 84 players had been named to the All-Star squad, far beyond the standard 68.

      Some were named because of injuries, but plenty of players just opted out. I agree that there should be a penalty for begging off a game when the fans vote someone in, without a clear medical need.