Cleat Geeks

For MLB, the Future is Sunday

The 17th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 3 p.m. ET on July 12, and it can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com, with Matt Vasgersian, Dan Plesac, Heidi Watney and Jonathan Mayo on the call live. In addition, SiriusXM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio (XM channel 89; Sirius channel 209). MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @FuturesGame on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.

Major League Baseball — in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs — selected the 25-man rosters for both clubs. Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.

Two Reds greats will be managing the squads. Hall of Famer Tony Perez will be in the World dugout, while Ken Griffey Sr. will be the man on the U.S. side.

Here is a list and brief description of the pitchers from the 2015 Futures World Team.

Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins: Drafted in supplemental first round in 2012 from Puerto Rico, age 21, throws low/mid-90s fastball with slider, curve, change; all pitches are above-average. 3.23 ERA in 84 innings in Double-A, 86/23 K/BB ratio, 75 hits allowed. Looks like a strong number three starter.

Edwin Diaz, RHP, Mariners: Drafted in the third round in 2012 from Puerto Rico, age 21, features low/mid-90s fastball like Berrios, secondary pitches aren’t as refined but are coming along. 3.73 ERA this year with 80/27 K/BB in 80 innings between High-A and Double-A, like Berrios he can be a number three.

Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Marlins: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2010, slightly-built lefty at 6-2, 170, throws low-90s heater, secondary pitches including curve, slider, change need more consistency. Age 22. 3.14 ERA with 53/20 K/BB in 60 innings in High-A, 64 hits allowed.

Juan Gonzalez, RHP, Dodgers: Originally signed by Rockies in 2006 from Venezuela, Dodgers picked him up as a free agent, oldest pitcher on list at age 25 but has a strong arm, hits 96 MPH. 1.07 ERA with 23/8 K/BB in 25 innings this year in Double-A/Triple-A, looks like a good bullpen part.

Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP, Diamondbacks: Signed as a free agent out of Taiwan in 2014, age 22, shows exceptional command and control of 90-94 fastball along with curve, slider, change-up. 1.72 ERA in 37 innings in Low-A, 38/5 K/BB reflecting outstanding command.

Joe Jimenez, RHP, Tigers: Signed as a free agent in 2013 from Puerto Rico, yet another hard-thrower in the mid/upper-90s, also has a good slider and throws strikes. Age 20.1.66 ERA with 35/7 K/BB in 22 innings in Low-A, just 12 hits, has seven saves. Closer projection.

Jairo Labourt, LHP, Blue Jays: Signed as a free agent in 2011 from Dominican Republic, well-built lefty with hard sinker in 90-94 range, slider and change-up need more consistency. Age 21. 3.65 ERA with 50/36 K/BB in 57 innings in High-A, just 43 hits, but control needs work.

Keury Mella, RHP, Giants: From the Dominican Republic, 21 years old, works with low-90s sinker and a very good curveball, ground ball generator. 2.95 ERA with 54/18 K/BB in 55 innings in High-A, projects as mid-rotation arm.

Frank Montas, RHP, White Sox: From the Dominican Republic, 22 years old, can hit 96-100 MPH and has a very good slider to go with it. 2.55 ERA this year with 48/25 K/BB in 60 innings in Double-A, just 46 hits. Could be mid-rotation guy or a more dominant bullpen arm in time.

Alex Reyes, RHP Cardinals: From the Dominican Republic, signed as a free agent in 2012, another hard-thrower with a mid/upper-90s fastball and a greatly improved breaking ball. Age 20, has 2.08 ERA with 90/30 K/BB in 61 innings in High-A, just 47 hits. Top of the rotation potential makes him the most exciting arm on the list, if healthy: he just went on the disabled list.

Here’s a brief look at the position players recently named to the 2015 MLB Futures Game World Team.

CATCHERS
Elias Diaz, C, Pirates
: Age 24, signed out of Venezuela by the Pirates in 2009, right-handed hitter batting .276/.339/.387 through 58 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, draws praise for excellent defensive skills.

Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees:
Age 22, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, right-handed hitter batting .256/.313/.432 through 45 games at Double-A Trenton. Respected for power and overall offensive upside though defense remains troublesome, an effective thrower against runners but receiving still needs work. Currently on disabled list with hand injury.

INFIELDERS
Ozhaino Albies, SS, Braves:
Age 18, switch-hitter signed out of Curacao in 2013, hitting .325/.374/.411 with 22 steals in 70 games for Low-A Rome. Defense, speed are big positives, lacks home run power but has hit for high averages so far, .341 on his career. Status continues to grow.

Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers:
Age 20, signed out of Venezuela in 2010, younger brother ofTwins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia. Right-handed hitter batting .313/.356/.455 through 69 games at Double-A Biloxi, showing increasing gap power with 21 doubles. Another strong defender.

Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B-3B, Royals: Age 22, signed out of Nicaragua in 2009, right-handed batter hitting .260/.325/.396 in 73 games for Triple-A Omaha. Has shown big improvement on defense this year, raising hopes that permanent switch to first base is not inevitable. Line drive bat with decent strike zone judgment but lacks big power.

Rafael Devers, 3B,Red Sox:
Age 18, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013, left-handed hitter batting .306/.336/.449 in 61 games for Low-A Greenville, outstanding for a player his age at that level. Projects to hit for both power and average, may be just scratching the surface this year.

Max Kepler, 1B-OF, Twins: Age 22, signed out of Germany in 2009, left-handed batter hitting .349/.422/.560 in 57 games for Double-A Chattanooga. Breakout season with 21 doubles, 12 steals, sound strike zone judgment and remaining power projection. Solid defender at first base and outfield corners.

Ketel Marte, SS-2B, Mariners: Age 21, switch-hitter from Dominican Republic signed in 2010, batting .343/.394/.434 in 51 games for Triple-A Tacoma, draws praise for speed, defense, contact hitting, and success at a young age against high-level competition.Currently on disabled list with wrist injury.

Raul Mondesi, SS-2B, Royals: Age 19, son of former major league outfielder, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, switch-hitter batting .270/.289/.426 in 32 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Struggles with the strike zone (four walks, 31 strikeouts) but is young for the level and has been pushed very quickly by the Royals. Outstanding tools but skills remain raw.

Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics: Age 21, right-handed hitter signed out of Venezuela in 2010, hitting .248/.314/.432 with 10 homers in 51 games for Double-A Midland. Hit 29 homers in the California League last year, power is the best asset here, still working on defense and contact.

OUTFIELDERS
Socrates Brito, OF, Diamondbacks:
Age 22, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2010, hitting .266/.296/.388 in 70 games for Double-A Mobile. Looks great in uniform, fast, strong, powerful throwing arm, but impatient approach cuts into offensive performance.

Manuel Margot, OF, Red Sox:
Age 20, right-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hit .282/.321/.420 with 20 steals in 46 games for High-A Salem, recently promoted to Double-A Portland. Runs well, fields well, flashes power, hit .296 with 12 homers and 42 steals in 2014.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers:
Age 20, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hitting .288/.365/.455 with nine homers in 72 games for Double-A Frisco. Excellent power is developing nicely and he’s added plate discipline while reducing strikeouts, making him more than just a brute slugger.

Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds: Age 22, right-handed hitter signed out of Venezuela in 2008, hitting .277/.318/.438 with eight homers in 73 games for Triple-A Louisville. Has been on prospect lists for years but still young, power , throwing arm, and defense are best assets but still fights impatient approach.

Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies: Age 21, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hitting .305/.328/.459 with 14 steals in 71 games for High-A Modesto. Intriguing speed/power combination with career .315 average in 389 games, high-average hitter but seldom draws walks, approach will be tested at higher levels.

Here’s a brief look at the position players of the 2015 MLB Futures Game United States Team.

CATCHERS:
Kyle Farmer, C, Dodgers:
Age 24, eighth round pick in 2013 from the University of Georgia, right-handed hitter batting .312/.362/.454 this year between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa. Has caught 40% of runners this year, quite interesting since he was primarily an infielder in college. Solid line drive bat and a good glove.

Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs:
Age 22, first round pick in 2014 from Indiana University, outstanding left-side bat has produced .329/.427/.607 line this year between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, also went 8-for-22 with a homer in big league trial. Glove is still rough/raw but bat is genuinely terrific.

INFIELDERS:
Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates:
Age 22, switch-hitter drafted in second round in 2011 from high school in Dallas, Texas, hitting .327/.397/.445 in 70 games for Double-A Altoona. Excellent strike zone judgment with above-average power potential although he’s hit just three homers this year. Has been very hot lately, hitting .371 in last 10 games.

J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies: Age 20, left-handed hitter drafted in the first round in 2013 from high school in Lakewood, California, hitting .323/.429/.433 this year between 21 games for High-A Clearwater and 29 games for Double-A Reading. Skilled defender with impressive strike zone judgment and gap power, will stick at shortstop and has been very effective with the bat thus far.

Tony Kemp, 2B, Astros: Age 23, fifth round pick in 2013 out of Vanderbilt, hitting .341/.426/.403 this spring with 21 steals, 40 walks in 70 games between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. Just 5-6 but has thrived in pro ball with lefty bat, strike zone judgment, and defensive versatility. May be trade bait for Houston but a valuable asset.

Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics: Age 21, left-handed hitter, compensation round pick in 2012 from high school in Lilburn, Georgia, hitting .221/.373/.378 this spring for Double-A Midland with 65 walks, eight homers. Power/patience hitter whose offensive potential belies low batting average, a true outcome hitter.

Richie Shaffer, 3B, Rays: Age 24, first round pick in 2012 out of Clemson, right-handed hitter batting .276/.373/.549 with 17 homers this spring between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. Took time to adapt to pro ball but has made real progress tapping his power, very solid defender at third base.

Trey Turner, SS, Nationals: Turned 22 today, right-handed hitter drafted in first round last year by Padres out of North Carolina State University, traded to Nationals in Wil Myers deal but couldn’t be made official until this month. Hitting .311/.365/.454 this spring with 15 steals between Double-A San Antonio, Double-A Harrisburg, and Triple-A Syracuse. Fast, gap power, and has played well with glove.

Trevor Story, 2B, Rockies: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2011 from high school in Irving, Texas, right-handed hitter with power, speed, and erratic track record due to contact issues. Hitting .281/.373/.523 this spring for Double-A New Britain with 10 homers, 15 steals, but 73 strikeouts in 69 games.

OUTFIELDERS:
Michael Conforto, OF, Mets:
Age 22, left-handed hitter, drafted in first round in 2014 out of Oregon State, no trouble with pro pitching thus far hitting .309/.384/.468 between High-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. Power, strike zone judgment combination is potent.

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees: Age 23, right-handed hitter drafted in first round in 2013 from Fresno State, huge 6-7 wingspan generates power with .273/.342/.498 mark, 13 homers in 70 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton. Strikes out a lot but production should be worth it.

Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets:
Age 22, first round pick in 2011 from high school in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Left-handed hitter batting .298/.363/.409 in 45 games for Double-A Binghamton, has missed part of season with knee injury. Very good strike zone judgment and can hit for average but power hasn’t blossomed yet.

Kyle Waldrop, OF, Reds: Age 23, 12th round pick in 2010 from high school in Fort Myers, Florida, lefty hitter with broad tools hitting .279/.315/.422 in 71 games between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville, can do a lot of things well but still refining batting eye.

Nick Williams, OF, Rangers: Age 21, left-handed hitter drafted in second round from high school in Galveston, Texas, in 2012. Hitting .282/.344/.439 with eight homers for Double-A Frisco, shows across-the-board tools and has made good progress refining them, can be streaky but very dangerous when hot.

Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians: Age 22, first round pick in 2014 from University of San Francisco, thriving this year by hitting .304/.403/.500 with 10 homers, 29 steals in 68 games for High-A Lynchburg. Outstanding power/speed combination, left-side bat, should move up to Double-A at any time.

Here’s a brief look at the members of the 2015 MLB Futures Game United States Team pitching staff.

Mark Appel, RHP, Astros: Age 23, drafted in first round out of Stanford in 2013, 5.02 ERA this year with 50/25 K/BB in 66 innings between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. Throws three quality pitches for strikes but results remain inconsistent; he’ll dominate at times but will also have games where he gets blasted early. A talented enigma.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants: Age 22, first round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, 2.24 ERA with 37/9 K/BB for High-A San Jose this spring, followed by 5.01 ERA with 13/9 K/BB in 23 innings for Double-A Richmond. Low-to-mid-90s heat with plus change-up and improved curveball, command can be inconsistent but overpowering at his best.

Zach Davies,RHP, Orioles: Age 22, drafted in 26th round in 2011 from high school in Mesquite, Arizona, having a strong season for Triple-A Norfolk: 2.94 ERA, 67/27 K/BB in 70 innings. Lightly-built at 6-0, 150 pounds, fastball is in upper-80s but plays up due to contrast with superb change-up and good curveball. Has been durable thus far despite frame.

Carl Edwards, Jr., RHP, Cubs: Formerly known as C.J. Edwards, Carl was drafted by the Rangers in the 48th round from high school in Prosperity, South Carolina, in 2011 then was traded to the Cubs in 2013. Converted to relief this year at age 23, 2.95 ERA with 50/26 K/BB in 37 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Up to 94 MPH in bullpen with above-average curveball and change-up, note outstanding K/IP ratio.

Amir Garrett, LHP, Reds: Age 23, drafted in 22nd round in 2011 but didn’t turn to baseball full-time until 2014 after playing college basketball at St. John’s. Has made rapid progress since, posting 3.00 ERA with 80/31 K/BB in 72 innings for High-A Daytona. Can hit 95 with 6-5, 210 frame, breaking ball and change-up developing.

Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals:
Age 20, first round pick in 2012 from Studio City, California, famous Tommy John survivor has 3.55 ERA with 59/13 K/BB in 46 innings for High-A Potomac, strikeout rate reflects quality of 93-96 MPH heater (sometimes faster) with nasty curveball and steadily developing change-up. May be top right-handed pitching prospect in baseball.

Sean Newcomb, LHP, Angels: Age 22, drafted in first round in 2014 from University of Hartford, 2.56 ERA with 101/40 K/BB in 77 innings between Low-A Burlington and High-A Inland Empire. Few lefties can match his fastball/curveball combination though change-up is still inconsistent and overall command needs more polish.

Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies: Age 22, 1.91 ERA with 73/11 K/BB in 89 innings between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, 2014 first-rounder out of Louisiana State has blown through minor league competition with little difficulty. Doesn’t throw massively hard on the gun (low-90s) but secondary pitches are all strong and his command and mound presence are terrific.

Colin Rea, RHP, Padres: Age 24, 25 tomorrow, drafted in 12th round in 2011 out of Indiana State. Massive step forward this year for Double-A San Antonio, with a 1.08 ERA (not a typo) and a 60/11 K/BB in 75 innings with just 50 hits allowed. The Iowa native has a low-90s fastball and has developed an outstanding breaking ball while making huge progress with his command.

Blake Snell, LHP, Rays: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2011 from high school in Shoreline, Washington, 6-4 lefty with 1.22 ERA and 88/35 K/BB in 74 innings this year between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, just 45 hits allowed. Killer slider and low-90s sinker with decent change-up give him mid-rotation potential at least.

All information was taken from a series of stories from John Sickels

Introduction by Jonathan Mayo

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