Q&A With U.S. Futures All-Stars
Players answer fan e-mails right from the dugout
MLB.com offered fans the opportunity to e-mail questions to this year's Futures Game players and coaches. Here's what they had to say in response. We received scores of questions, and did our best to get as many answered as possible.
Daric Barton (Athletics), IF
I saw you play in Stockton, and I'm a huge fan. What are some adjustments you have to make since being promoted to Midland? Also, who is the hardest pitcher you have had to face this year?
-- Henry, Tiburon, Calif.
Some of the adjustments I made were to shorten my swing, go with what they gave me, hit the pitch where it's pitched and just keep doing what I'm doing. I got [to Midland] hot, I stayed real hot and I'm just trying to keep my swing the same.
"The hardest pitcher I faced this year? That's a tough one. Jason Burch is pretty tough, with the Modesto Nuts. He's dirty. He's a closer. Everything he's got moves. Nothing is straight.
Lastings Milledge (Mets), OF
I'm a fan of yours and see all your games in Port St. Lucie. I'd like to know who your favorite players were when you were growing up.
-- Scotty K., age 10
Rickey Henderson was my favorite player growing up. He could do anything on the field. He had plus-power, speed and defense. He could do it all.
Troy Patton (Astros), P
I was wondering what the best part of being in the Futures Game is.
All the freebies. Nike has a nice package for us. We get these nice jerseys and undershirts. We got a digital camera, a pair of glasses, a watch, all sorts of clothes and shirts. Lots of cool stuff.
Joel Zumaya (Tigers), P
What was it like pitching at Comerica Park in front of your future hometown fans?
-- Wendy, Ann Arbor, Mich.
I was pumped and a little nervous. I'm still shaking right now. I'm glad I got out of the inning 1-2-3 and I could show the fans what I have. I showed what I could do for them and had fun out there.
Paul Maholm (Pirates), P
I wanted to find out how your vision is after that accident on the mound last season. It looks as though your statistics are very good, so I wondered how pleased you are at your success. Where do you think you will be at the end of this season?
-- Michelle R.
The vision is back to normal. I had a second surgery that fixed everything. Hopefully, in September I'll be in the big leagues. I'll go back after the All-Star break and try to reach that goal.
Chris Lambert (Cardinals), P
What is it like to part of Major League All-Star Week?
-- David F., 13, Greenwich, Conn.
You've got a chance to come here, and it's a good opportunity for us. Hopefully, most of us are not that far away. There are a lot of people here, and we can showcase our stuff and see what we've got.
Thomas Diamond (Rangers), P
How do you like this format, U.S. vs. World?
It's great. All these guys are great players from their organizations. It's great to get to know them, and it's fun to play against the World guys, too, because they are right there with us. It's good to see us match up against them and see how we compete.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.