07/08/12 9:20 PM ET
Skaggs, Marte enjoy experience at Futures Game
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
A year ago, Skaggs tossed the first inning against the World team, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out a batter. This year, he worked the fifth inning in the U.S. team's 17-5 victory, allowing a single and striking out one. He tossed eight pitches.At Reno, he's 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts after going 5-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts at Mobile. Marte was the starting left fielder for the World team on Sunday. At Mobile, he's a .295 hitter with 15 homers and 50 RBIs in 66 games. "It's a great experience here," said Marte, who went 0-for-3 in the game, including a fifth-inning flyout against Skaggs. "I'm honored to be representing the Dominican Republic. I'm having a good season so far. I feel great. It's great to be here." Skaggs is one of the top prospects in a pitching-rich organization. He was obtained from the Angels nearly two years ago along with pitchers Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin and Rafael Rodriguez for right-hander Dan Haren. Haren and Saunders are currently on the disabled list and Corbin is on the D-backs roster. Skaggs is just waiting his turn. "Last year I was really focused at proving that I belonged, that I was one of the top prospects in the Minor Leagues," Skaggs said. "I think I did that last year. Now I'm trying to show them that I'm on that top tier ready to go to the big leagues." To that end, Skaggs said he's working on "a little bit of a cutter" to add to his fastball, curve and changeup. "It's coming along well," he said. "I'm trying to model it as kind of Cliff Lee cutter. That's what I really want it to be like. That's going to be pretty tough to do because he throws a pretty good cutter. But it's a work in progress."
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Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.