The Futures Game will take place on July 14th at Citi Field as part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities. Rosters were announced earlier this week. Of the various all-star contests throughout Minor League Baseball, the Futures Game is King. Instead of league-specific all-stars, the Futures draws its talent from leagues at all levels, class-A to Triple-A. What we’re left with, then, are rosters that are crammed with real-deal prospects. The format is USA versus the World, and there’s still time to vote on the final roster spot for each squad, but act quickly because that poll closes today. I went with Nick Castellanos and Javier Baez on my ballot. Who you got?
Maikel Franco | 3B, Phillies — Franco earned a well-deserved spot on the World team, as he continues his breakout season. Promoted to Double-A little more than a week ago, the 20-year-old is batting .474/.487/.842 with 2 triples and 3 homers. Moving from High-A to Double-A is regarded as the biggest jump in pro baseball (aside from the jump to the bigs, of course), but Franco is making the transition with ease, striking out only once in 9 games with Reading.
Kyle Crick | RHP, Giants — Crick, a member of the U.S. squad in the Futures Game, missed two months of action due to an oblique injury. The 20-year-old returned to action on June 21st, and he’s made two starts with High-A San Jose since, allowing 3 hits, zero runs, and 4 walks in 9 IP, while striking out 18 across the two outings. Crick’s fastball is among the best in the minors, bringing huge swing-and-miss potential to the fantasy game.
Corey Seager | SS, Dodgers — Brother of Kyle, Corey was drafted 18th overall last June, and he’s doing quite well in his first year of full-season baseball, batting .294/.352/.497 at Low-A Great Lakes. An advanced approach to go with plus grades for both power and hitting make this 19-year-old a shortstop of interest for the fantasy-minded, although many see him moving to 3B by the time he’s ready for the bigs.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals — Oscar Taveras is back on the DL with the same ankle injury that caused him to miss a month earlier this season. I hope I can get through the rest of this post without shorting out my keyboard from these tears.
Dylan Bundy | RHP, Orioles — In other sad news, Dylan Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Did anyone really think that the platelet-rich plasma injection was gonna work? It’s easy to say in retrospect, but it seemed pretty evident that surgery was the endgame from the first news of elbow soreness this spring. Oh, well. Bundy likely won’t resurface as a MLB option until 2015.
Byron Buxton | OF, Twins — After hitting .341/.431/.559 through 68 games at Low-A Cedar Rapids, the Twins have promoted Buxton to High-A Fort Myers. It was a move we all saw coming, but it’s still exciting to have the 19-year-old phenom knocking on the upper levels door.
Grant Green | 2B, Athletics — Green is on fire at Triple-A Sacramento, hitting .455/.489/.909 with 4 homers through his last 10 games. On the year, he’s batting .320/.377/.511 with 11 long balls. The A’s could use a steady option at 2B, and Green could be an above average fantasy MI as soon as he arrives in Oakland, which could be soon. Expect to see him in my prospect power rankings revision this coming Wednesday.
Xander Bogaerts | SS, Red Sox — With three more homers in his last seven games, Bogaerts is cracking long balls at Triple-A at a much better rate than he was at Double-A. His overall hitting, however, hasn’t been quite so impressive: .214/.279/.429 through 14 games with Pawtucket.
George Springer | OF, Astros — The Astros have promoted Springer to Triple-A, and he’s already homered in just three games with Oklahoma City. He’s just one stop from Houston, but I’m still thinking that the 23-year-old gets the Wil Myers treatment, and we won’t see him in the bigs till next June.
Jorge Soler | OF, Cubs — Soler has a broken leg and won’t see the field again until late this season. Disappointing news for the 21-year-old who was batting .281/.343/.467 in 55 games with High-A Daytona.
Miguel Sano | OF, Twins — I mentioned last week that Sano appeared to be getting more comfortable at Double-A. Well, he’s now homered 4 times in his last 4 games, and through his last 10, he’s hitting .297/.350/.838. More comfortable, indeed.
Danny Hultzen | LHP, Mariners — Hultzen returned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday after missing more than two months to injury. He looked strong in his first game back, tossing 6 scoreless frames and fanning 6, while allowing only 3 baserunners (2 H, 1 BB).