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Thread: Futures Game Thread

  1. #1

    Futures Game Thread

    Futures Game is tommorrow afternoon at 4 PM (I think) on ESPN2.

    This is the 9th annual Futures Game, quite possibly the most important minor league all star game out there. Many of the games top prospects will be in this game, including Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Cameron Maybin, Clay Buchholz, Joba Chamerblain (though he's garbage according to Bleed Green), Clayton Kershaw, and so on.

    It's definitely one of the most exciting games of the baseball season, and WAY better than most of the pre-All Star game events.

    Anyway...rosters:

    US:

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...us_07&sid=milb

    World:

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...ld_07&sid=milb

    Some names to look out for:

    Justin Upton - Arguably the top prospect in the minors. Has been compared to Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds.

    Joba Chamberlain - Yankees top pitching prospect not named Phil Hughes.

    Clay Buchholz - Red Sox best pitching prospect...arguably the best pitching prospect still in the minors.

    Franklin Morales - Lefty with a mid 90's fastball and a big, hard curveball.

    Deolis Guerra - 18 year old Mets pitching prospect. Alot of reports of him pitching in the mid 90's with a nasty changeup and a better curveball.

    Fernando Martinez - 18 year old Mets OF prospect. Right now he's doing OK at AA...he's actually not playing because of injury. Oops.

    Kevin Mulvey - Mets pitching prospect just drafted last year.

    Clayton Kershaw - IMO this guy has as much potential as Scott Kazmir and Cole Hamels did when they were drafted. One of the best HS LHP prospects in recent memory.

    Colby Rasmus - For such a good young player, doesn't get the credit he deserves. I can't wait to see this guy play.

  2. #2
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    I wonder why Jose Tabata isn't on there. Can you only be on that team once?

    Also Ian Kennedy should be on the US team.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Ryan
    I wonder why Jose Tabata isn't on there. Can you only be on that team once?

    Also Ian Kennedy should be on the US team.
    You can be on it twice. Tabata just isn't hitting for any power...but he's an 18 year old in the FSL so maybe they're just underrating him slightly.

  4. #4
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    I graduated with Pedro Beato, the Mets picked him in liked the 26th round in my senior year and never worked out a deal. Too bad, looks like hes rising with the O's. Anyway, anyone got an ETA on Justin Upton?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Ridge Jet
    I graduated with Pedro Beato, the Mets picked him in liked the 26th round in my senior year and never worked out a deal. Too bad, looks like hes rising with the O's. Anyway, anyone got an ETA on Justin Upton?
    Upton might be called up next month...but I doubt it. I'll say Sept. next year.

  6. #6
    I also believe that Shelley Duncan for the Yanks is going to play. He's a 26 year old that hits for a lot of power in AAA and has a chance to get an opportunity to be the first baseman for the Yanks. He most likely is a AAAA player as I believe he has problems with his breaking ball. Still, it'll be interesting to see him.

    Great thread by the way. This is one of the games I most look forward to every year and I'm excited to watch Joba. I remember last year Tabata played well but Hughes got beat up a bit.

  7. #7
    Keith Law wrote an article about the game.

    How good a showcase is the Futures Game? Last year's contest featured eight players who have already participated in the big leagues, including Alex Gordon, Troy Tulowitzki, Yovani Gallardo, Homer Bailey, Phil Hughes, Ryan Braun, Billy Butler and Matt Lindstrom. Fans are usually treated to a succession of pitchers throwing in the low to mid-90s, and the lineups are nearly always full of five-tool bats, big power hitters, and former first-round picks.

    This year, the rosters -- especially the hitters -- are a bit down from last year, a function of all of this season's quick promotions of prospects from Double-A and even high-A to the majors. So players like Andrew Miller and Tim Lincecum who skipped or barely played in Triple-A are not available to participate. In addition, the rosters were diminished by the late promotions of Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Garza, who were selected but had to be replaced, as well as the injury problems of a lot of top prospects this year who might have been considered were they 100 percent, such as Brad Lincoln, Adam Miller and Kyle Drabek.

    The U.S. roster
    Any outfield that has Cardinals prospect Colby Rasmus as its fourth outfielder has to be pretty strong, and the U.S. team's outfield is stacked. It's headlined by 2006 participant Cameron Maybin, a five-tool outfielder who was the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Maybin is a potential superstar who projects to have above-average power and who can either be a plus defender in center or, if he outgrows it, a plus right fielder due to his strong and accurate arm. Maybin's biggest question is how much he'll hit for average, as he's had some trouble making contact and his pitch recognition isn't great.

    Justin Upton

    Upton
    Maybin is joined by the resurgent Justin Upton, the top overall pick in that 2005 draft who has recovered from a poor full-season debut last year to become one of the top prospects in the minors. Upton is reminiscent of his brother in many ways, but unlike B.J., Justin has already moved to center field, speeding his path to the majors and avoiding the developmental challenge of having to learn to play an outfield spot while adjusting to pro pitching.

    And the third outfielder in this mix is Cincinnati's top prospect, a potential middle-of-the-order slugger named Jay Bruce. Bruce, who at the age of 20 is the most senior of these three outfielders (one day older than Upton), doesn't have the speed or raw athleticism of Maybin or Upton, but projects to have at least 30-homer power in the majors and is already as big and strong as many players six and seven years older than he is.

    The U.S. infield isn't as strong, with Tampa Bay's standout prospect Evan Longoria the one obvious potential star. Longoria, like Troy Tulowitzki a former shortstop for the Dirtbags of Long Beach State, doesn't have Tulo's raw power potential but has a shorter stroke and better command of the strike zone, and he should hit for average and still have good power for his position. Another Cardinals farmhand, Bryan Anderson, is the best catcher on either team and one of the better catching prospects in the minors right now.

    The American arms feature a number of the best pitching prospects in the minors. Boston's Clay Buchholz is the best of the lot; although his fastball is usually right around average, he has two plus secondary pitches and unusually good feel for pitching for a guy who's relatively new to the task. The Yankees' latest pitching phenom, righty Joba Chamberlain, runs it up into the mid-90s and appears to be over the groin injury that shelved him for the first part of this season and the arm trouble that knocked him out of the first round of the draft in 2006. Chamberlain, a member of the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe, is pitching so well that word has it he is now more "untouchable" in trade talks than Philip Hughes is.

    The No. 1 pick from last year's draft, Kansas City's Luke Hochevar, is on the roster, and while his performance in Double-A hasn't been dominant, that's a steep jump for a pitcher right out of college, more so for one who took a year off due to a contract holdout. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw is pitching well in the Class A Midwest League at age 19, with a plus fastball/curveball combination but so-so control. And keep an eye on Tampa Bay's 6-foot-9 righty Jeff Niemann and Cleveland lefty Chuck Lofgren; and unheralded Baltimore lefty Garrett Olson, a skinny guy with a plus slider and good command..

    The World roster
    Unfortunately, the World roster this year doesn't feature many top-level prospects; it's not a strong time for international prospects in the minors, with just four of my top 25 prospects from this offseason born outside the U.S, and just one of the 12 honorable mentions from that list (Felix Pie).

    The best talent here is on the pitching side, with several hard-throwers hailing from Latin America. Right-hander Pedro Beato will be on hand to twist the dagger in the backs of Mets fans -- the Mets drafted him in 2005 but were discouraged by MLB from meeting his bonus demands as a draft-and-follow, after which Baltimore took him 31st overall in 2006 and gave him the money he was asking for. Beato was born in the Dominican Republic but raised in New York, and ended up at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, one of the better junior colleges for baseball prospects. He's a potential horse with a mid-90s fastball and a power curve, as well as good feel for a changeup. Beato will be joined by one of the hardest-throwing lefties in the minors in Colorado pitcher Franklin Morales, who runs it up to 94-96 mph and -- unlike a lot of arm-strength guys -- can miss a bat every now and then, as well as Mets prospect Deolis Guerra, an arm-strength guy whose performances haven't caught up to his stuff.

    The hitters are a mixed bag without a lot of high-end talent. The best tools probably belong to Futures Game veteran Carlos Gonzalez, an outfielder in the Arizona system whose career seems to have stalled a bit at Double-A, and Atlanta shortstop Elvis Andrus, an 18-year-old playing in the high-A Carolina League who's earned a few promotions despite the somewhat germane fact that he has never really hit. The best performance record belongs to Canadian first baseman Joey Votto from the Reds' system. A power hitter with excellent plate discipline, Votto would provide a good upgrade over Scott Hatteberg, who does not and never has hit for power, and if Reds general manager Wayne Krivksy can trade Hatteberg for something shiny, Votto should spend the last two months of the season in the majors.

    Two other World names to keep an eye on: Dodgers prospect Chin-Hung Lu, an outstanding defensive shortstop with an excellent feel for the game; and outfielder Wladimir Balentien, a Mariners farmhand who hails from Curaçao (home of Andruw Jones) and who has huge raw power, with 20 homers already this season even though he plays his home games in a great pitchers' park.How good a showcase is the Futures Game? Last year's contest featured eight players who have already participated in the big leagues, including Alex Gordon, Troy Tulowitzki, Yovani Gallardo, Homer Bailey, Phil Hughes, Ryan Braun, Billy Butler and Matt Lindstrom. Fans are usually treated to a succession of pitchers throwing in the low to mid-90s, and the lineups are nearly always full of five-tool bats, big power hitters, and former first-round picks.

    This year, the rosters -- especially the hitters -- are a bit down from last year, a function of all of this season's quick promotions of prospects from Double-A and even high-A to the majors. So players like Andrew Miller and Tim Lincecum who skipped or barely played in Triple-A are not available to participate. In addition, the rosters were diminished by the late promotions of Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Garza, who were selected but had to be replaced, as well as the injury problems of a lot of top prospects this year who might have been considered were they 100 percent, such as Brad Lincoln, Adam Miller and Kyle Drabek.

    The U.S. roster
    Any outfield that has Cardinals prospect Colby Rasmus as its fourth outfielder has to be pretty strong, and the U.S. team's outfield is stacked. It's headlined by 2006 participant Cameron Maybin, a five-tool outfielder who was the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Maybin is a potential superstar who projects to have above-average power and who can either be a plus defender in center or, if he outgrows it, a plus right fielder due to his strong and accurate arm. Maybin's biggest question is how much he'll hit for average, as he's had some trouble making contact and his pitch recognition isn't great.

    Justin Upton

    Upton
    Maybin is joined by the resurgent Justin Upton, the top overall pick in that 2005 draft who has recovered from a poor full-season debut last year to become one of the top prospects in the minors. Upton is reminiscent of his brother in many ways, but unlike B.J., Justin has already moved to center field, speeding his path to the majors and avoiding the developmental challenge of having to learn to play an outfield spot while adjusting to pro pitching.

    And the third outfielder in this mix is Cincinnati's top prospect, a potential middle-of-the-order slugger named Jay Bruce. Bruce, who at the age of 20 is the most senior of these three outfielders (one day older than Upton), doesn't have the speed or raw athleticism of Maybin or Upton, but projects to have at least 30-homer power in the majors and is already as big and strong as many players six and seven years older than he is.

    The U.S. infield isn't as strong, with Tampa Bay's standout prospect Evan Longoria the one obvious potential star. Longoria, like Troy Tulowitzki a former shortstop for the Dirtbags of Long Beach State, doesn't have Tulo's raw power potential but has a shorter stroke and better command of the strike zone, and he should hit for average and still have good power for his position. Another Cardinals farmhand, Bryan Anderson, is the best catcher on either team and one of the better catching prospects in the minors right now.

    The American arms feature a number of the best pitching prospects in the minors. Boston's Clay Buchholz is the best of the lot; although his fastball is usually right around average, he has two plus secondary pitches and unusually good feel for pitching for a guy who's relatively new to the task. The Yankees' latest pitching phenom, righty Joba Chamberlain, runs it up into the mid-90s and appears to be over the groin injury that shelved him for the first part of this season and the arm trouble that knocked him out of the first round of the draft in 2006. Chamberlain, a member of the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe, is pitching so well that word has it he is now more "untouchable" in trade talks than Philip Hughes is.

    The No. 1 pick from last year's draft, Kansas City's Luke Hochevar, is on the roster, and while his performance in Double-A hasn't been dominant, that's a steep jump for a pitcher right out of college, more so for one who took a year off due to a contract holdout. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw is pitching well in the Class A Midwest League at age 19, with a plus fastball/curveball combination but so-so control. And keep an eye on Tampa Bay's 6-foot-9 righty Jeff Niemann and Cleveland lefty Chuck Lofgren; and unheralded Baltimore lefty Garrett Olson, a skinny guy with a plus slider and good command..

    The World roster
    Unfortunately, the World roster this year doesn't feature many top-level prospects; it's not a strong time for international prospects in the minors, with just four of my top 25 prospects from this offseason born outside the U.S, and just one of the 12 honorable mentions from that list (Felix Pie).

    The best talent here is on the pitching side, with several hard-throwers hailing from Latin America. Right-hander Pedro Beato will be on hand to twist the dagger in the backs of Mets fans -- the Mets drafted him in 2005 but were discouraged by MLB from meeting his bonus demands as a draft-and-follow, after which Baltimore took him 31st overall in 2006 and gave him the money he was asking for. Beato was born in the Dominican Republic but raised in New York, and ended up at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, one of the better junior colleges for baseball prospects. He's a potential horse with a mid-90s fastball and a power curve, as well as good feel for a changeup. Beato will be joined by one of the hardest-throwing lefties in the minors in Colorado pitcher Franklin Morales, who runs it up to 94-96 mph and -- unlike a lot of arm-strength guys -- can miss a bat every now and then, as well as Mets prospect Deolis Guerra, an arm-strength guy whose performances haven't caught up to his stuff.

    The hitters are a mixed bag without a lot of high-end talent. The best tools probably belong to Futures Game veteran Carlos Gonzalez, an outfielder in the Arizona system whose career seems to have stalled a bit at Double-A, and Atlanta shortstop Elvis Andrus, an 18-year-old playing in the high-A Carolina League who's earned a few promotions despite the somewhat germane fact that he has never really hit. The best performance record belongs to Canadian first baseman Joey Votto from the Reds' system. A power hitter with excellent plate discipline, Votto would provide a good upgrade over Scott Hatteberg, who does not and never has hit for power, and if Reds general manager Wayne Krivksy can trade Hatteberg for something shiny, Votto should spend the last two months of the season in the majors.

    Two other World names to keep an eye on: Dodgers prospect Chin-Hung Lu, an outstanding defensive shortstop with an excellent feel for the game; and outfielder Wladimir Balentien, a Mariners farmhand who hails from Curaçao (home of Andruw Jones) and who has huge raw power, with 20 homers already this season even though he plays his home games in a great pitchers' park.
    The part I bolded definitely makes me happy and shows the new Yankee philosophy of holding onto their prospects. I don't believe that Joba is actually more untouchable than Hughes, but it is good that they both are untouchable. It is also a sign that Cashman probably isn't going anywhere no matter what happens this season. He knew this was a risky year, but decided that if he didn't rebuild the farm and have a year like this, the result could be many disastrous years. Right now, the Yankee future looks very promising. And although the Yankees are lacking in positional prospects (although we have made some very good International signings and rumor has it we signed the SS Angelina that fell to the 10th round because of signability even though he is a top talent), we have enough pitching prospects to make trades (without including the top pitchers) for hitters.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan
    Keith Law wrote an article about the game.



    The part I bolded definitely makes me happy and shows the new Yankee philosophy of holding onto their prospects. I don't believe that Joba is actually more untouchable than Hughes, but it is good that they both are untouchable. It is also a sign that Cashman probably isn't going anywhere no matter what happens this season. He knew this was a risky year, but decided that if he didn't rebuild the farm and have a year like this, the result could be many disastrous years. Right now, the Yankee future looks very promising. And although the Yankees are lacking in positional prospects (although we have made some very good International signings and rumor has it we signed the SS Angelina that fell to the 10th round because of signability even though he is a top talent), we have enough pitching prospects to make trades (without including the top pitchers) for hitters.
    B...bbut...he's...garbage...BA said it (no citation needed).

  9. #9
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    Jeez the Cards need to hurry up & call up Rasmus. I can't stand seeing Edmonds strike out every time at the plate now a days. He was done LAST year.

    My team stinks right now too.
    Last edited by bulluck4dmvp; 07-08-2007 at 02:57 PM.

  10. #10
    He won't be in the Futures Game but this is a nice clip of Tabata from ST. Not bad for an 18 year old (Girardi was wrong about his age).

    http://www.yesnetwork.com/media/play...e=v_free&_mp=1
    Last edited by JeffWeaverFan; 07-08-2007 at 03:06 PM.

  11. #11
    I REALLY like Carlos Carrasco's arm, but he's struggling right now. Still, great fastball, changeup, and curveball from this guy. I think his mechanics were cleaner last year though. Not a fan of the hands over head thing. He definitely looks better from the stretch, his change up is similar to Santana's from the right side.

  12. #12
    And Joba Chamberlain is shocking me with his fastball and his mechanics. Did NOT expect to like him, but that is one helluvan arm.

  13. #13
    I also liked Carrasco. Bruce and Longoria are both studs. I also really like Hu as a nice ML player.

    Joba showed why he's a big time prospect. FB was ranging from 95-98 and he has a real good slider.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan
    I also liked Carrasco. Bruce and Longoria are both studs. I also really like Hu as a nice ML player.

    Joba showed why he's a big time prospect. FB was ranging from 95-98 and he has a real good slider.

    Was that his changeup that was about 72 mph? Pretty good sink to it.

    This was the 1st time I have seen him pitch and I was impressed with his slider and fastball. Really nice.

    That SS hu looks like a righty ichiro.

  15. #15
    I like Justin Upton!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by KoolJet
    Was that his changeup that was about 72 mph? Pretty good sink to it.

    This was the 1st time I have seen him pitch and I was impressed with his slider and fastball. Really nice.
    Yep, that was his change. He also has a curve, which I don't think he threw.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan
    Yep, that was his change. He also has a curve, which I don't think he threw.

    I think the last pitch he threw which was hammered down the 1st base line but caught, was his curve. I think it was around 80mph on the gun IIRC.

  18. #18
    Kevin Mulvey, a Mets prospect, is pitching now. Not sure why he made the roster...

  19. #19
    And here's Clay Bucholz. Not a great start but he definitely has a good changeup.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan
    And here's Clay Bucholz. Not a great start but he definitely has a good changeup.
    What was his fastball topping out at? He's no Phil Hughes, like peter gammons and espn would love everyone to believe.

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