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Naturals named to Futures Game roster

by Paul Boyd | July 1, 2021 at 2:28 a.m.
Nick Pratto (left) and Bobby Witt Jr., both with the Northwest Naturals were selected for the Futures Game. (Special to NWA Democrat-Gazette/ DAVID BEACH)

Nick Pratto and Bobby Witt Jr. of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals have been named to the rosters for the All-Star Futures Game, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.

Naturals Manager Scott Thorman said both are reaping the benefits of their hard work.

"It's starting to show up in the games with positive results," Thorman said. "Both are very exciting young, talented players. They are making adjustments daily on what the league's doing to them. They've established themselves as premium prospects in the league and in baseball. They are doing exactly what we hoped they would do.

"They are performing and they're on everybody's radar every time they're in the lineup."

Pratto, a left-handed hitting first baseman, is tied for the Class AA-Central lead with 13 home runs and leads the league in walks (32), extra-base hits (25) and OPS (1.011). He's hitting .280 with 10 doubles, 2 triples and 34 RBI, which rank third in the league.

Witt, a right-handed hitting shortstop who is in his first full season of professional baseball, is fifth among Class AA-Central players with 12 home runs and ranks second in total bases (102) and RBI (35), third in extra-base hits (22) and fourth in runs scored (31).

He is batting .286 with 7 doubles and 3 triples.

Witt, 21, was the second overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft by the Royals and is rated as the No. 1 prospect in the organization by Baseball America. Pratto, 22, was the 14th overall choice in 2017 and rated as the No. 13 prospect by the publication. This is the first season for both players to be with the Naturals.

Thorman said both are ultra-competitive and are leaders despite their age.

"We've got a very young and exciting team here, and I think these guys feed off of each other and push each other and have a healthy competitiveness about them that's helping drive all of them," Thorman said. "We're proud of the work they're doing. This is a big accomplishment and a tremendous honor, and they deserve it."

The exhibition will be played Sunday, July 11, at Coors Field as part of MLB All-Star Game festivities. The contest is scheduled for seven innings, beginning at 2 p.m., and will be televised on MLB Network.

This will be the 22nd Futures Game, which began operating under the American League vs. National League format in 2019 after previously featuring a U.S. vs. World system. Major League Baseball selected the 25 players on each team.

Print Headline: Two Naturals named to MLB Futures Game

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