, Muskogee, OK

July 14, 2013

Muskogee native Bradley shines in All-Stars Futures game

Associated Press

— NEW YORK — Matt Davidson was overwhelmed when a Hall of Fame representative stopped by and asked for some game-used equipment to display in Cooperstown.

Batting helmet? Sure thing.

Batting gloves? Here ‘ya go.

But not his bat, Davidson said. No, sir. He needs to hang onto that.

Down in the minor leagues, supplies are limited.

“The Hall of Fame wanted to take one of my bats, and I told them I’m on an unbelievable pace for breaking bats. I broke about 40 this year. It’s unreal,” the budding Arizona Diamondbacks slugger said. “So I don’t know what it is. But I was like, I’ve got to have this. I mean, I’ve got to make the season still. And I hit a homer with it, so I better keep it. It’s lucky.”

Davidson hit a two-run shot Sunday that sent the United States past the World Team 4-2 in the All-Star Futures Game, baseball’s annual showcase for top minor league prospects.

Another Arizona prospect shined on the mound.

Right-hander Archie Bradley worked a perfect inning, showing off his 98 mph fastball and sharp curve.

Baseball America recently rated Bradley, who grew up in Muskogee and played at Muskogee High School until transferring to Broken Arrow for his junior and senior seasons,  the game’s top pitching prospect. He passed up a chance to play quarterback for Oklahoma back home and in 76 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double A team at Mobile, he’s 6-4 with a 2.37 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 76 innings.

“It kind of felt like we stole the show a little bit,” Bradley said.

The opening event for three days of All-Star festivities at Citi Field, the Futures Game also had a New York Mets flavor in their home ballpark. Two of the team’s touted pitching prospects, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, started on the mound, and each worked a scoreless inning.

Both managers were former Mets favorites, too. Edgardo Alfonzo guided the World Team, and his counterpart was Mookie Wilson — who certainly took the job seriously. He brought in Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Jesse Biddle in the middle of an inning to get out of a jam.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the United States, including last season’s 17-5 rout in Kansas City behind Manny Machado, Gerrit Cole and Wil Myers.