PHOENIX -- Phillies pitching prospect Jarred Cosart is making the most of his 2011 season.
Finally healthy after a series of elbow woes, the right-hander is living up to his billing as Philadelphia's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com, and was rewarded with a spot on the U.S. Team for the 13th XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday.
"Everything's going great," said Cosart, 21. "I feel strong and look forward to the second half."
In 16 starts for Class A Clearwater, Cosart has a 7-6 record and 3.23 ERA. In 92 innings, he's given up 73 hits and struck out 68, with 36 walks. For Cosart and the Phillies, the best news is that he's finally on track to pitch a full Minor League season, after an elbow injury limited him to just 14 appearances in 2010.
"I hadn't really known what it felt like until now," he said. "[I want to] enjoy the offseason a little more [after rehabbing the last two]."
Drafted by the Phillies in the 38th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Clear Creak High School in Texas, Cosart was thrilled to be a part of the Futures Game. He was chosen for last year's event in Anaheim, but was injured.
"I don't know how to describe it really; it's unbelievable," he said. "Big league ballpark, big league atmosphere. It's an honor to be representing the Phillies in an event like this."
Cosart entered the game in the top of the eighth inning and retired all three batters he faced, two via strikeouts. His U.S. team scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-4 lead, delivering Cosart a victory.
Catcher Sebastian Valle, the Phillies' other prospect in the Futures Game, doubled and had an RBI for the World Team.
Valle, signed out of Mexico in 2006, has made great strides this year at Class A Clearwater, posting a .324 average, a .344 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, three home runs and 28 RBIs in 54 games. Last season at Class A Lakewood, he showed considerable power at age 19, with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs in 117 games.
Valle has also garnered praise for improving his defense, both receiving and throwing. He's thrown out 27 of 75 would-be base stealers, or 36 percent, by far the best numbers of his career. He's also caught the Clearwater staff -- which includes Cosart -- that has a team ERA of 3.38, second best in the Florida State League.
"I've worked a lot on what the coaches have recommended to me, both on offense and defense," said Valle. "I'm giving a 100 percent to keep progressing."
David Venn is senior editor of LasMayores.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.