Move to bullpen has helped Carter

The switch to the bullpen early last season has turned Anthony Carter from a minor league starter with an iffy major league future to a prime prospect with the Chicago White Sox.

The Parkview graduate's new status is shown by his inclusion in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game on Saturday night in suburban Phoenix.

Carter, 24, had two saves and 11 strikeouts to no walks over six innings in his first six appearances for the Peoria Saguaros after starring as the closer for Team USA in the Pan Am qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico earlier.

The six-team Arizona Fall League is a showcase for top prospects from all the major league teams and the Rising Stars Game is when players really get to shine.

Carter won 11 games twice in Class A, but his career didn't really take off until he moved to the bullpen with Class AA Birmingham after two starts last season. He finished second in the Southern League with 22 saves and pitched two scoreless innings in the SL All-Star Game.

The right-hander was a 26th-round draft choice of the White Sox after pitching for Georgia Perimeter College and spent his first two seasons in rookie ball.

The other Gwinnett County product playing in the Arizona Fall League wasn't selected for the Rising Stars Game despite some gaudy batting stats. Former North Gwinnett and Georgia Tech outfielder Charlie Blackmon, a Colorado Rockies prospect, was hitting .317 with three homers and seven RBIs in 11 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

The only Atlanta prospect in the Rising Stars Game is 20-year-old infielder Tyler Pastornicky, who may play with the Gwinnett Braves next season. He was hitting .282 after his first 11 games with the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

The Rising Stars Game begins at 9 p.m. and will be televised on the MLB Network. Players in last year's game included catcher Buster Posey, who helped San Francisco to the World Series championship, and Braves left-hander Mike Minor.