The Orioles recalled Colton Cowser, who should make the lineup just about every day from here forward. Baltimore is six games behind Tampa, but the Rays have been ravaged by injury and could probably be caught if a team got hot enough. Cowser should cut into the playing time of Ryan O’Hearn and Aaron Hicks. 

Marlins RHP Eury Perez finally got touched up by a major league lineup, surrendering six earned runs and recording just one out against Atlanta. Best to just let that pass, I think. One thing I noticed this week in building a new Top 100 list: Perez has 47.1 innings pitched and will graduate as the number two prospect to my eyes, second only to Elly De La Cruz. I haven’t been doing this all that long, but I’ve never ranked a pitcher that high. 

My mind is a little bouncy this week in return from vacation, in preparation for the new Top 100, the MLB Draft, and the Futures Game, but I’ll try to stay focused on that last piece as we peruse the Futures Game rosters together. 

American League 

Catchers: Harry Ford (SEA), Edgar Quero (LAA), Tyler Soderstrom (OAK)

Fun group. Ford feels overrated in some ways. He’s hitting .223 with a .357 slugging percentage since June 1, down from his season marks of .244 and .396. He does have eight homers and 14 steals in 71 games as a 20-year-old in High-A, which gives us a lot to dream on. Soderstrom has been trying to hit his way out of Triple-A over that same stretch, slugging .609 with ten home runs since June 1. 

First Basemen: Kyle Manzardo (TB)

Second Basemen: Nick Yorke (BOS)

Manardo and Yorke are pretty easy sells for me if you’re making a title push in a dynasty league. 

Shorstops: Jackson Holliday (BAL), Marcelo Mayer (BOS), Kyren Paris (LAA) 

One of these guys will probably play some second base. The smart money’s on Paris, who’s ultimate fate rests at the keystone given the early success of Zach Neto. 

Mayer is way ahead on the age-to-level curve and doing some damage at Double-A, even if he’s looking overmatched at times, hitting .194 with six home runs in 28 games. I will continue to be quite a bit lower than the consensus rankings on him. 

Third Basemen: Junior Caminero (TB), Colt Keith (DET), Justin-Henry Malloy (DET)

Caminero turns 20 today and has a case for the top spot after Elly graduates. Keith is crushing Triple-A and looks like a top ten prospect. Malloy can play outfield or first as needed and should (already) be part of the Tigers’ second half push in a weak division. 

Outfielders: Heston Kjerstad (BAL), Drew Gilbert (HOU), Jonatan Clase (SEA), Lawrence Butler (OAK), Spencer Jones (NYY) 

With Cowser in the majors, Kjerstad creeps one notch closer to his major league debut. 

Butler could come out of this game with as much positive momentum as anyone because I don’t think he’s been well seen in prospect circles, and he can flash premium tools with the best of them. 

Starting Pitchers: Clayton Beeter (NYY), Jonathan Cannon (CWS), Joey Cantillo (CLE), Shane Drohan (BOS), David Festa (MIN), Sem Robberse (TOR), Owen White (TEX), 

Some solid prospects here, but no headliners. Might be a high-scoring affair, no offense intended. Teams just aren’t in a hurry to interrupt a players throwing program for a one-inning, blow-it-out scenario . . . unless they’re maybe hoping to market that player. 

Relief Pitchers: Will Klein (KC), Yosver Zulueta (TOR)

These guys throw hard but have area-code accuracy. 


National League

Catchers: Endy Rodriguez (PIT), Jeferson Quero (MIL), Dalton Rushing (LAD)

First Baseman: BJ Murray (CHI)

A plus athlete from the Bahamas, Murray is still tapping into his ultimate baseball topside. Good showcase for him. He might play third with House at First Base instead. Hard to map out the infield here. 

Second Basemen: Ryan Bliss (ARI), Noelvi Marte (CIN)

It’s a big world. There’s always a more athletic shortstop. Bliss and Marte figure to cede the position to more gifted players in the long term, and they’ll likely do the same here. I mentioned this already, but Bliss makes the short list of guys whose fantasy values could benefit most from the Futures Game spotlight. He should head to Triple-A after this game. 

Shortstop: Jordan Lawlar (ARI), Jackson Merrill (SD), Nasim Nunez (MIA)

Merrill had a tough opening month but is hitting .313 with eight homers and eight steals over his last 46 games. He’ll probably graduate to Double-A after the trip. 

Third Basemen: Brady House (WSH)

Feel like I missed a real buying opportunity on this House, who I liked a lot coming out of the draft but soured on as he tried to play through injury. I’ll try to avoid making the same mistake moving forward. He’s been especially hot since earning the jump to High-A, slashing .354/.392/.625 with three homers and two steals in 12 games. 

Outfielders: Jackson Chourio (MIL), James Wood (WSH), Yanquiel Fernandez (COL), Pete Crow-Armstrong (CHI), Victor Scott II (STL), Justin Crawford (PHI)

Victor Scott II is a little like The Dude in that he’s the right man for his place in time. Scott the second has swiped 52 bags in 73 games across two levels and is posting a respectable .286/.333/.429 slash line in the early going at Double-A. 

Justin Crawford offers similar appeal as a speed player in a speed era, stealing 34 bases in 51 Low-A games and hitting .340 with a 17.4 percent strikeout rate.  

James Wood is slashing .225/.328/.441 in 31 Double-A games. Patience is a virtue here as a lot of good prospects struggle in their early exposure to Double-A pitching. 

Starting Pitchers: Tink Hence (STL), Jacob Misiorowski (MIL), Mick Abel (PHI), Carson Whisenhunt (SF), Patrick Monteverde (MIA), JP Massey (PIT), Mike Vasil (NYM), Spencer Schwellenbach (ATL), Kyle Harrison (SF) 

JP Massey, a 7th round pick in 2022, has a 1.43 WHIP and -5.2 percent K-BB rate in three High-A starts as a 23-year-old and is hereby nominated for least accomplished player to make the game this season. To be fair, he’d been slightly better in Low-A (1.32 WHIP). 

Tink Hence turns 21 next month and just made his Double-A debut on Independence Day, allowing one run through five innings. Bill Pullman was in attendance, and he was pumped. 

Carson Whisenhunt has hit a rut in Double-A, walking five batters in two innings his last time out after allowing seven earned runs in 5.2 innings across his previous two starts. 

I suspect the fish (50-37) are hoping to flip Patrick Monteverde, who has allowed a 1.21 ERA over his last five starts in Double-A. Anything to reach those lush green mountains of October. 

Abel and Harrison continue to feel like big-named dynasty tricksters. Neither has the look of a ratio shaver at the moment. 

Thanks for reading!