The 2009 baseball season has just ended, and in a way, you could say that tonight, the 2010 season begins.
While we are not going to see the most-hyped prospect, Stephen Strasburg -- he was scratched due to a strained neck muscle -- or Cubs prospect Josh Vitters, also scratched with a minor injury, there will be plenty of players in tonight's game who you'll see in the major leagues next season.
Among them are Giants prospect catcher Buster Posey, who played in two games against the Cubs last September; Hank Conger, who may be the Angels' next catcher; and, of course, the Cubs' own Starlin Castro, who we have been talking about here all throughout the AFL season. Castro enters tonight's game leading the AFL in batting average (.424). Castro probably isn't quite ready for the major leagues -- he won't turn 20 until March and has played only 31 games above A ball -- but he'll likely get into some spring training games next March and could get a September callup in 2010.
Andrew Cashner, also in the AFL, won't play tonight either, so the only other Cubs prospect who might participate will be Blake Parker, who had 22 saves for Iowa last year and who might have a shot at the major league bullpen in 2010.
There were a number of players from the 2008 AFL who made significant impacts on the 2009 major league season, including Tommy Hanson, Gordon Beckham, Matt Wieters, Bud Norris and Phil Hughes. I figure enough of you are interested in, and will be watching, this game, that it deserved its own game thread.
Broadcast and other detailed information after the jump.
MLB.com article about tonight's game, which will begin at 7:15 CST.
MLB Network will carry a live broadcast of the Rising Stars Game with Diamondbacks announcer Daron Sutton and MLB Network's Tony Clark in the broadcast booth. A live video feed will also be available on MLB.com.