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Liriano, Grandal headed to Futures Game

Liriano, Grandal headed to Futures Game

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Liriano, Grandal headed to Futures Game
SAN DIEGO -- When Padres outfield prospect Rymer Liriano got off to a slow start in April, Randy Smith didn't fret or worry much.

"He's still so young and very excitable," said Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development and international scouting.

Liriano has certainly rebounded well, as MLB.com's No. 2 Padres prospect hit .330 in May and is hitting .397 in June for Class A Lake Elsinore of the California League.

Liriano, who turned 21 on Wednesday, and Triple-A Tucson catcher Yasmani Grandal, will be a part of the World Team at the upcoming Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City next month.

The 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday on Sunday, July 8, at 2 p.m. PT.

Liriano is hitting .304 with five home runs, 38 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and a .363 on-base percentage for the Storm.

"But I like how he's using all parts of the field. He's lying off breaking balls. He's doing everything we've asked," Smith said.

As for Grandal, one of four players the Padres landed from the Reds in the December Mat Latos trade, he has been a pillar of consistency for Tucson.

The 23-year-old Grandal, a switch-hitter, is hitting .308 with six home runs and 30 RBIs to go with a .411 on-base percentage in 49 games for Tucson, where he's managed by former Major League catcher Terry Kennedy. Most of his success has come hitting left-handed where he has a .339/.430/.575 slash line.

Smith said the organization has been most pleased with his improvements behind the plate.

"He's just refining his catching skills and his game-calling has improved a lot," Smith said. "TK [Terry Kenned] is very pleased with how far he's come. And offensively, he's using the whole field and has been very consistent."

In addition to television coverage and MLB.com's Gameday, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World team dugouts during the game by following @USDugout and @WorldDugout.

Major League Baseball, along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League baseball clubs, selected the 25-man rosters.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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