Gamel, LaPorta Invited to Futures Game

(NEW YORK) - Huntsville Stars' 3rd baseman Mat Gamel and right fielder Matt LaPorta have been selected to play in the 2008 XM All-Star Futures Game.

The annual event is part of All-Star Week. It will be held at Yankee Stadium -- site of the Major League All-Star Game -- Sunday, July 13.

LaPorta and Gamel, the Stars' two largest offensive producers, rank high in nearly every Southern League offensive category. Gamel leads the league in average (.373), RBI (67), hits (116), doubles (25), slugging percentage (.630), extra-base hits (45), and runs (66). LaPorta leads the league in home runs (19), 2nd to Gamel, in RBIs (59), slugging percentage (.596), and extra base hits (41).

Former Stars pitcher Will Inman, now pitching for Class AA-San Antonio (Texas) will also be participating. Inman was traded to the San Diego Padres last season in a deal for Scott Linebrink. He is sporting an 8-3 record and a 2.96 ERA -- 2nd in the Texas League in both ERA and wins.

Five other Southern Leaguers will join Gamel and LaPorta in New York. Jesus Delgado of the Carolina Mudcats, Eddie Morlan of the Montgomery Biscuits, Welllington Castillo of the Tennessee Smokies, Ivan DeJesus of the Jacksonville Suns, and Gerardo Parra of the Mobile Bay Bears.

The Futures Game, which has been held since 2005, pits a U.S. team against a World team, made up of foreign-born minor league all-star selections.

A host of former Stars have played in the Futures Game over the last few years, including Nelson Cruz, Yovanni Gallardo, and Ryan Braun.

Current shortstop Alcides Escobar was a member of the World team last year.