2018 MLB Futures Game Preview

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PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Fernando Tatis Jr. #84 of the San Diego Padres poses for a portrait at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 21, 2018 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

On Friday, Major League Baseball revealed the rosters for the annual Futures Game, which will be held on Sunday, July 15 at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on MLB Network. This game is fun for the fans and provides an opportunity to see what kind of talent is down in the Minor Leagues. Fans also get to see who could be an impact player for their team in the future. There are 50 players participating, 25 each on the United States team and the World team. Of these 50 players, there are 30 future stars in the MLB Top 100 Prospects list.

The prospects are led by No. 3 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. The top two players in the MLB Top 100 Prospects are playing well this year, but both are currently on the disabled list. The No. 1 overall prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is in Double-A playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Unfortunately, he is on the seven-day disabled list. The No. 2 overall prospect, Eloy Jimenez, is currently playing for the Double-A Charlotte Knights and is also on the seven-day disabled list.

2018 MLB Futures Game Preview

World Team

As already mentioned, Fernando Tatis Jr. leads all prospects as the third overall prospect in baseball. This year, he is leading a leading a star-studded World team. Tatis Jr. is one of 11 total prospects for the World team ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball. This season playing for the Double-A San Antonio Missions, Tatis Jr. is batting .291/.363/.518/.882 in a total of 81 games. Tatis Jr. made the jump from the Single-A Fort Wayne Tin Caps last season. In the 14 games he played for the Mission last season, he batted .255/.281/.327/.608.

Another standout to be on the lookout for on the World team is No. 15 overall prospect, and Cleveland’s number one overall prospect, Francisco Mejia. Mejia has spent the entire season playing at Triple-A Columbus. Mejia has played in 74 games and is batting .279/.328/.431/.759. Last season, Mejia played in a total of 103 games, a total of 92 for Double-A Akron and 11 games in MLB for the Cleveland Indians. In the 11 games in the majors, Mejia batted .154/.214/.154/.368 showing that even though he is their top prospect, he wasn’t quite ready for the show yet.

United States Team

The Futures team that the United States put together is loaded. Out of the 25 roster spots, 19 of them are occupied with players that are in this year’s Top 100 Prospects. This year, the team is led by the seventh overall prospect in Bo Bichette. Bichette is also the second overall prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays. Yes, the Bichette name sounds familiar, and yes his father was Major League player Dante Bichette. Bichette has spent his entire season in Double-A playing for New Hampshire. In his 84 games this season, Bichette is batting .267/.326/.430/.757. This is Bichette’s first season in Double-A after spending 2016 in the Rookie League and splitting time in 2017 between Single-A full Lancing, and Advanced-A Dunedin.

Another name to look out for on the United States roster is number nine overall prospect, and Houston’s number two overall prospect Forrest Whitley. Whitley has only played in six games this season, after being suspended for 50 games due to MLB’s drug policy. He has also been hindered with oblique issues. In those games, Whitley has a 0-1 record with a 4.29 ERA for Double-A Corpus Christi. He has pitched in only 21 innings this season while striking out 30 and walking eight. It does not seem like Whitley will be playing in the Futures Game this year though as he continues dealing with some oblique issues.

All-Star Week is an exciting time, especially for the fans. They get to see the best of the best play in a game, have a home run derby, and also just see the way the players interact with each other. Most fans do not even recognize the Future’s Game is there, but this is my personal favorite part of All-Star Week. You get to see the future of the sport before they make it in the big leagues.

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