2015 Futures Game Thread

2015 Futures GameThe Yankees are currently playing the final game of the first half against the Red Sox in Fenway Park (game thread), meanwhile, about 900 miles west, the 2015 Futures Game will be played this afternoon in Cincinnati. I wish they would play the Futures Game at night, in the 8pm ET ESPN slot, so it doesn’t have to compete against real MLB games each year. Tough to draw an audience this way.

Anyway, the Yankees have two prospects in the Futures Game this year and both are in the starting lineup. Outfielder Aaron Judge is at DH and will bat sixth for Team USA — too bad, his right field defense is underrated and we won’t get to see it today — while catcher Gary Sanchez is behind the plate and batting fifth for the World Team. I hope they go a combined 10-for-10 with ten homers. Here are the starting lineups:

Team USA (Manager: Ken Griffey Sr.)

  1. 2B Tony Kemp, Astros
  2. SS J.P. Crawford, Phillies
  3. C Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
  4. 3B Richie Shaffer, Rays
  5. RF Kyle Waldrop, Reds
  6. DH Aaron Judge, Yankees
  7. 1B Josh Bell, Pirates
  8. LF Michael Conforto, Mets
  9. CF Bradley Zimmer, Indians
    RHP Lucas Giolito, Nationals

World Team (Manager: Tony Perez)

  1. 2B Ketel Marte, Mariners
  2. SS Ozzie Albies, Braves
  3. RF Yorman Rodriguez, Reds
  4. 1B Albino Fuenmayor, Royals
  5. C Gary Sanchez, Yankees
  6. 3B Renato Nunez, Athletics
  7. CF Manuel Margot, Red Sox
  8. DH Nomar Mazara, Rangers
  9. LF Raimel Tapia, Rockies
    RHP Jose Berrios, Twins

The pitching orders and reserves can be found right here. There will be a new pitcher each inning and no, the game won’t go to extra innings if it is tied. They won’t extend any pitchers for the sake of an exhibition game.

Now, the bad news: the weather kinda sucks in Cincinnati today. It has been cloudy and overcast all day and there is rain in the forecast this afternoon. Hopefully the Futures Game isn’t delayed or outright canceled because of the weather. The game is scheduled to begin at 3pm ET and you can watch live on MLB Network and MLB.com. Enjoy the game.

Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez selected for 2015 Futures Game

Judge. (Presswire)
Judge. (Presswire)

Outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez have been selected to participate in the 2015 Futures Game, MLB announced earlier today. Judge will suit up for Team USA and Sanchez will play for the World Team, because duh. The full rosters are right here. Baseball America has free mini-scouting reports on all the players as well: Team USA and World Team.

Judge, 23, is New York’s best prospect. He is hitting .277/.345/.500 (139 wRC+) with 16 doubles and 12 home runs in 66 games this season, most with Double-A Trenton and a handful with Triple-A Scranton. Judge stands out for his size (6-foot-7 and 230 lbs.) and his raw power, though he has a line drive approach in games, so he doesn’t always tap into his pop. His athleticism and right field defense are assets as well and often overlooked.

The 22-year-old Sanchez is currently on the Double-A DL with a bruised hand after being hit by a foul tip, though the injury is considered minor and he’s expected back soon. Sanchez is hitting .256/.313/.432 (113 wRC+) with seven doubles and eighth homers in 45 games with the Thunder in 2015. He’s a bat first prospect with big power who is still trying to improve behind the plate so he can catch long-term.

Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)
Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)

Teams do have input for the Futures Game — Bill Shaikin says the Dodgers didn’t approve Corey Seager’s selection even though he’s the best prospect in the minors right now, for example — so it’s possible the Yankees declined to allow right-hander Luis Severino to participate, possibly because they are considering calling him up at some point. Then again, players who are called up are simply replaced on the Futures Game roster. Who knows?

It’s also possible the Yankees pushed for Sanchez to be included so they could showcase him for trades. Crazy? Maybe. But Peter O’Brien was a Futures Gamer last summer and was then traded a few weeks later. If Sanchez goes 0-for-2 in the Futures Game, no one blinks an eye. But if he homers off a top pitching prospect, well hey now, someone will take notice of that. It’s a no-lose situation for the Yankees. Well, unless Sanchez gets hurt, but you know what I mean.

This is the first Futures Game selection for both Judge and Sanchez. Severino and O’Brien represented the Yankees last season and Rafael DePaula the year before that. The Futures Game is Sunday, July 12th in Cincinnati. The final day before the All-Star break. Congrats to Judge and Sanchez. It’s always cool to be recognized as one of the best prospects in the game.

2014 Futures Game Thread

2014 Futures GameThe Yankees don’t wrap up the traditional first half with the series finale against the Orioles until later tonight, so this afternoon we can all focus on the 2014 Futures Game in Target Field. Usually the Futures Game conflicts with the Yankees. This is sorta nice.

For the first time since 2010 (Austin Romine and Hector Noesi), the Yankees had two farmhands selected for the Futures Game this year. RHP Luis Severino is on the World Team roster while C/1B Peter O’Brien will suit up for Team USA. Neither is starting, but Severino is scheduled to pitch the fourth inning and O’Brien will definitely get into the game at some point. Everyone plays, even if it’s only one at-bat.

Team USA has won the last four Futures Games and they lead the all-time series 9-6. A total of 115 players have appeared in both a Futures Game and an MLB All-Star Game at some point, plus 22 players from last year’s Futures Game have already gone on to play in the big leagues. I would be surprised if O’Brien and especially Severino make it MLB within the next 12 months, however. The full rosters can be seen right here. Here are the starting lineups.

World Team (Manager: Bert Blyleven)

  1. CF Dalton Pompey, Blue Jays
  2. SS Francisco Lindor, Indians
  3. 2B Jose Peraza, Braves
  4. 1B Kennys Vargas, Twins
  5. LF Steven Moya, Tigers
  6. RF Dariel Alvarez, Orioles
  7. DH Gabby Guerrero, Mariners
  8. 3B Renato Nunez, Athletics
  9. C Jorge Alfaro, Rangers
    RHP Jose Berrios, Twins (pitching order)

Team USA (Manager: Tom Kelly)

  1. CF Michael Taylor, Nationals
  2. 2B Sean Coyle, Red Sox
  3. SS Corey Seager, Dodgers
  4. 3B Kris Bryant, Cubs
  5. DH Joey Gallo, Rangers
  6. 1B D.J. Peterson, Mariners
  7. LF Jesse Winker, Reds
  8. RF Hunter Renfroe, Padres
  9. C Kevin Plawecki, Mets
    LHP Henry Owens, Red Sox (pitching order)

It’s nice and sunny in Minneapolis with no rain in the forecast. Wonderful day for baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm ET and you’ll be able to watch live on MLB Network or via the live stream below. Enjoy the game.

Peter O’Brien, Luis Severino to represent Yankees at Future Game

Catcher/outfielder Peter O’Brien and righty Luis Severino will represent the Yankees at the Futures Game next month, MLB announced. I thought they would take Aaron Judge over O’Brien, but nope. The game will be played at Target Field on July 13th, the Sunday before the All-Star Game. The full Team USA and World Team rosters are right here.

O’Brien, 23, is hitting .266/.308/.602 (~149 wOBA) with 25 homers in 292 plate appearances split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton this year. He has spent his time at catcher, first base, and right field, and could play any of those positions in the Futures Game. The 20-year-old Severino has a 2.99 ERA (~2.60 FIP) with 78 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 72.1 innings at mostly Tampa this season. Congrats to both.

Hot .GIF Action: Rafael DePaula

Right-hander Rafael DePaula has emerged as the Yankees top pitching prospect in his first stateside season, and on Sunday afternoon he threw a scoreless inning for the World Team in the 2013 Futures Game. He struck out the first batter he faced — Twins OF Byron Buxton, the consensus top prospect in all the land — with a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner, as you can see above.

DePaula, 22, allowed a soft line drive single up the middle on a 94 mph fastball to Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong, and he also hit Astros OF George Springer with a 79 mph breaking ball that didn’t break. He threw ten of 16 pitches for strikes, including two swings and misses. He even threw a (not good) changeup. A few more .GIFs after the jump.

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2013 Futures Game Open Thread

Tired of watching the same old boring Major League players day after day? You’re in luck, because the 2013 Futures Game is being played this afternoon in CitiField. Just one Yankees prospect was selected to game, and that’s RHP Rafael DePaula. He’s scheduled to throw the fifth inning for the World Team. The full rosters are right here: World and Team USA. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 2pm ET. Talk about the game here.

Rafael DePaula to represent Yankees at 2013 Futures Game

RHP Rafael DePaula will represent the Yankees at the 2013 Futures Game during All-Star Weekend next month. He is the team’s only prospect named to the event, however OF Tyler Austin is part of the fan vote for the final roster spot. Click the link and give him some support. Here are the full rosters: World Team and Team USA.

DePaula, 22, has pitched to a 2.73 ERA (~2.03 FIP) in 69.1 innings this year, almost all for Low-A Charleston. His 102 strikeouts (13.2 K/9 and 37.0 K%) are the third most in the minor leagues, but he has thrown significantly fewer innings than the two guys ahead of him. The Yankees originally signed DePaula for $500k back in November 2010, but he was unable to come stateside until this year due to lengthy visa issues. At this point he is pretty clearly the best pitching prospect in the organization.