Brooklyn Boro

Cyclones send pair to All-Star Weekend

Baty, Alvarez to represent Brooklyn in MLB Futures Game

July 1, 2021 John Torenli, Sports Editor
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One is a catcher from Guatire, Venezuela, the other is a third baseman from Austin, Texas.

Cyclones backstop Francisco Alvarez and teammate Brett Baty may come from different backgrounds, but both will be front and center in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, July 11, when they represent the New York Mets at the annual Sirus XM All-Star Futures Game during All-Star Weekend.

Alvarez, widely considered the Mets’ No. 1 prospect, came to Coney Island on May 24 after hitting .417 in 15 games at Low-A St. Lucie.

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The 19-year-old catcher has been even better in Brooklyn, pacing the Baby Bums with a .570 slugging percentage since his arrival with six homers and eight doubles in 27 games.

Alvarez is batting a combined .321 across two two levels this year with 13 doubles, eight home runs and a 1.050 on-base-plus slugging percentage.

Baty, the parent club’s first-round pick in 2019, leads the Cyclones with a .318 batting average and ranks third in the High-A East with a .417 on-base percentage to go with team bests of 32 RBIs and 12 doubles.

The duo joins a prestigious list of former and current players to earn the coveted invite to the Futures Game, which has been a part of MLB All-Star weekend since 1999.

Mets flame-thrower Noah Syndergaard (2013, 2014), Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2017), Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. (2017) and San Diego’s Fernando Tatís Jr. (2018) were introduced to the nation during the weekend celebration.

Baty and Alvarez will be on the National League prospects squad and will play against the American League’s best up-and-coming players.

Cyclones third baseman Brett Baty will be in the All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field the weekend after next. AP Photo by Mary DeCicco

They are the first two Cyclones to attend All-Star Weekend for the Futures Game while playing in Brooklyn.

Former Baby Bums like Pete Alonso, Tomas Nido and Amed Rosario also played in the Futures Game, but not before getting promoted from what was then the franchise’s Class A short-season affiliate.

“I’ve strived to be an All-Star my whole life,” the 21-year-old Baty tweeted.

The Futures Game will be aired on MLB Network on Sunday, July 11 at 3 p.m.

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As expected, New York Liberty leading scorer Betnijah Laney was selected Wednesday to play in the AT&T 2021 WNBA All-Star Game on July 14 at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Named the league’s Most Improved Player in 2020 as a member of the Atlanta Dream, Laney is a first-time All-Star.

After posting career highs of 17.2 points and 4.0 assists last season with Atlanta, Laney has flourished in Downtown Brooklyn, putting up 19.7 points and 5.3 assists per contests while leading the Liberty (8-9) back into playoff contention after they went a league-worst 2-20 in 2020.

Betnijah Laney will be representing the Brooklyn-based New York Liberty in the WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas on July 14. AP Photo by Eileen T. Meslar

 

Laney is also shooting a career-high 50 percent from the field this year, including 32 percent from 3-point range.

“We couldn’t be more excited to hear that Betnijah has been selected to join her first WNBA All-Star team,” said Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins.

“In only a few short months in New York—by way of her tireless work ethic, selfless leadership, and indomitable will to improve and to do whatever the team needs in order to win—B has already made an indelible mark on our organization.”

With Sabrina Ionescu battling through an ankle injury and Natasha Howard out since the season’s first three games with a bad knee, Laney has been the Liberty’s top scoring option and most reliable player.

She joins the likes of Kia Nurse, Tina Charles, Sue Wicks, Kym Hampton, Becky Hammon Cappie Pondexter and Teresa Weatherspoon as Liberty All-Stars. The 6-foot guard is New York’s 15th All-Star player since the inaugural 1999 campaign.

And Hopkins believes WNBA players, a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and, of course, the fans got this selection right.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a player more deserving of this honor, and we’re certain that this is only the first of many such accomplishments to come,” he noted.

The 17th WNBA All-Star Game will be broadcast live by ESPN at 7 p.m. on July 14.


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