June 27, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Former UC Santa Barbara infielder Chris Valaika has been named to the U.S. team that will compete in the 2008 All-Star Futures Game in July. The squad was announced Thursday by Major League Baseball.
The 10th annual All-Star Futures Game features many of the top Minor League players from around the nation. The U.S. Olympic trial team will compete against a World Team as part of All-Star Sunday at Yankee Stadium in New York on July 13.
Valaika is currently playing for Chattanooga, a double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. In Thursday's loss against Jacksonville, the shortstop belted a solo home run while hitting out of the five spot in the lineup. Through 45 games with the Lookouts, Valaika is batting .269 with 28 runs scored, nine doubles, one triple, and five home runs. The six-foot-one, 180-pound right-hander has knocked in 18 runs thus far.
Valaika was selected by Cincinnati in the third round (84th overall) of the 2006 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
The U.S. Team will be led by four-time All-Star and World Series-winning manager Davey Johnson. Johnson played 13 seasons in the Majors and went on to manage for 14 years, leading the 1986 New York Mets to a World Series Championship over the Boston Red Sox. The 1987 National League Manager of the Year will also lead the U.S. Baseball Team at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Two-time All-Star Tino Martinez will manage the World Team.
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America, USA Baseball, and the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for both the U.S. Team and the World Team. Each Major League organization is represented and the World Team features players from 10 different countries and territories. Players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to make the roster.
The 2008 All-Star Futures Game will take place at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, July 13 and will be broadcast live by ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the game on XM 175. All-Star Sunday is the first of three days of events at Yankee Stadium, culminating with the 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15.
-- UCSBGauchos.com --