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Kipnis, Pomeranz eager for Tribe future

Kipnis, Pomeranz eager for Tribe future

Kipnis, Pomeranz eager for Tribe future
PHOENIX -- Drew Pomeranz and Jason Kipnis could get used to this.

"I mean, look at this," Pomeranz said, looking into his corner locker at Chase Field on Sunday. "I have basically a whole room for my locker here."

"It's just stupid the things that they have," Kipnis said in admiration. "Seeing this is another reason for motivation to get to the big leagues as if you need any more."

And the pair of Indians farmhands, both competing for the United States team in Sunday afternoon's XM All-Star Futures Game, have plenty of motivation to get to the big leagues.

"It's fun to watch some guys that I played with go up to the big leagues and contribute," said Kipnis. "They know what they're doing up there; they're in a close race and playing well."

Sunday's game was a homecoming of sorts for Kipnis, who played two seasons at Arizona State and was the Indians' second-round pick in 2009.

"I'm excited to be back here," he said before the game. "I've always wanted to play on this field so it's going to be a fun day for me."

And the 24-year-old showed just how excited with a leadoff home run to right field in the first inning off World starter Julio Teheran.

Kipnis is hitting .297 on the season at Triple-A Columbus, with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs. He also has 11 stolen bases.

"I've been having a great year," he said. "I've had a lot of fun, and I feel like I'm maturing on and off the field.

"There's little things that I wanted to take care of, I think the Indians knew that, I'm working on those things and we're getting there."

The 22-year-old left-handed Pomeranz, like Kipnis, is getting there.

And last year's first-round pick of the Indians (No. 5 overall) is back here, at the All-Star Game, where he was this time last year in Anaheim as a Golden Spikes Award finalist.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "I got to be around it, and that's why I'm pretty excited to come here and be around all the events and stuff like that."

Pomeranz has a 1.87 ERA in 77 innings halfway through his first professional season at Class A Advanced Kinston. He's recorded 95 strikeouts in 77 innings and has allowed opponents a .219 batting average.

"It's been pretty much like any normal baseball season," he said. "I've enjoyed it and felt like I had a pretty good first half."

Pomeranz said his biggest challenges have been efficiency with his pitches and throwing all of them consistently for strikes.

"There are adjustments for sure," he said. "And I'm continuing to try and adapt as I go on."

Of the two, the outfielder-turned-second baseman Kipnis seems more likely to enjoy consistent Major League amenities than Pomeranz.

"They have my number," Kipnis said. "Whenever they want to give me a call, I'll be more than excited."

Anthony Fenech is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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