While the MLB All-Star Game showcases the world's best baseball players of today, the Futures Game provides a glimpse at tomorrow's stars. Many of today's superstars played in the Futures Game, and there is no doubt that some future All-Stars will be on the field come Sunday.
Team USA and Team World will be stocked with the hottest minor league prospects that baseball has to offer, and they will clash in what promises to be a competitive game. These players know that their parent clubs will be watching intently, so they view the Futures Game as an opportunity to show that they are ready for the majors.
Here is everything you need to know about when and how to watch the Futures Game on Sunday afternoon as it sets the stage for the All-Star Game later in the week.
Where: Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y.
When: Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: MLB.com
|Jesse Biddle||LHP||Reading (Double-A)|
|Archie Bradley||RHP||Mobile (Double-A)|
|Eddie Butler||RHP||Modesto (Advanced A)|
|Kyle Crick||RHP||San Jose (Advanced A)|
|A.J. Cole||RHP||Potomac (Advanced A)|
|C.J. Riefenhauser||LHP||Durham (Triple-A)|
|Jimmy Nelson||RHP||Nashville (Triple-A)|
|Anthony Ranaudo||RHP||Portland (Double-A)|
|Noah Syndergaard||RHP||Binghamton (Double-A)|
|Taijuan Walker||RHP||Tacoma (Triple-A)|
|Austin Hedges||C||Lake Elsinore (Advanced A)|
|James McCann||C||Erie (Double-A)|
|C.J. Cron||INF||Arkansas (Double-A)|
|Delino DeShields||INF||Lancaster (Advanced A)|
|Matt Davidson||INF||Reno (Triple-A)|
|Joey Gallo||INF||Hickory (Full A)|
|Brad Miller||INF||Tacoma (Advanced A)|
|Addison Russell||INF||Stockton (Triple-A)|
|Kolten Wong||INF||Memphis (Triple-A)|
|Christian Walker||INF||Frederick (Advanced A)|
|Byron Buxton||OF||Fort Myers (Advanced A)|
|Billy Hamilton||OF||Louisville (Triple-A)|
|Joc Pederson||OF||Chattanooga (Double-A)|
|George Springer||OF||Corpus Christi (Double-A)|
|Christian Yelich||OF||Jacksonville (Double-A)|
|Miguel Almonte||RHP||Lexington (Full A)|
|Carlos Contreras||RHP||Bakersfield (Advanced A)|
|Rafael De Paula||RHP||Tampa (Advanced A)|
|C.C. Lee||RHP||Columbus (Triple-A)|
|Rafael Montero||RHP||Las Vegas (Triple-A)|
|Andre Rienzo||RHP||Charlotte (Triple-A)|
|Eduardo Rodriguez||LHP||Frederick (Advanced A)|
|Enny Romero||LHP||Montgomery (Double-A)|
|Yordano Ventura||RHP||Omaha (Triple-A)|
|Michael Ynoa||RHP||Beloit (Full A)|
|Jorge Alfaro||C||Hickory (Full A)|
|Christian Bethancourt||C||Mississippi (Double-A)|
|A.J. Jimenez||C||New Hampshire (Double-A)|
|Arismendy Alcantara||INF||Tennessee (Double-A)|
|Xander Bogaerts||INF||Pawtucket (Triple-A)|
|Maikel Franco||INF||Reading (Double-A)|
|Dilson Herrera||INF||West Virginia (Full A)|
|Jordan Lennerton||INF||Toledo (Triple-A)|
|Francisco Lindor||INF||Carolina (Advanced A)|
|Miguel Sano||INF||New Britain (Double-A)|
|Yeison Asencio||OF||San Antonio (Double-A)|
|Gregory Polanco||OF||Altoona (Double-A)|
|Jorge Soler||OF||Dayton (Advanced A)|
|Jesus Galindo||OF||Augusta (Full A)|
|Henry Urrutia||OF||Bowie (Double-A)|
Top Players to Watch
As the No. 2 overall selection in last year's MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins, outfielder Byron Buxton entered the professional game with plenty of expectations on his shoulders. But living up to those expectations hasn't been an issue this far, as Buxton is tearing up the minor leagues. Across two different levels this season, he is hitting .333 with nine home runs, 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases.
Buxton was hailed as a five-tool player entering the draft, and he has proven that to be the case. While the odds of a September call-up probably aren't great since he is just 19 years of age and hasn't played above A ball yet, the fact that it is even being discussed means that he's doing something truly special.
It's entirely possible that Buxton is the best prospect in baseball right now, so there will be plenty of eyes on him during Sunday's game. Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado actually played in the Futures Game last year and received a call-up, so perhaps Buxton will do something similar and show that he is simply too good to remain in the minors.
Which Futures Game prospect are you most excited to see?
The Seattle Mariners are in the midst of another tough season, but there may soon be help on the way. Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker has been dominant this year, and he could potentially join Felix Hernandez in the Mariner rotation in the near future. He doesn't have much developing left to do, as he's already in Triple-A and is rated as the No. 4 prospect by MLB.com.
Walker was nearly unhittable in Double-A, so he was reassigned to Triple-A Tacoma recently. He has somehow been even better since moving up, boasting a 0.56 ERA in three starts. Overall, Walker is just 6-7 this season, but he has a 2.16 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and has struck out 112 batters in 100 innings. He has nasty stuff, and he'll show it off in the Futures Game.
It seems like a couple pitchers get called up and take the majors by storm every season, and Walker has the ability to be that guy this year. He has already filled out at 6'4" and 210 lbs, so his durability isn't a concern either. Walker is MLB-ready, and it's simply a matter of when, not if, Seattle calls him up.
Team World will be anchored by a very accomplished youngster on Sunday, as Dutch shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be introduced to the national audience. Bogaerts played a big role for Team Netherlands in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and he has clearly gained momentum from it. The Boston Red Sox prospect may very well be the best up-and-coming shortstop in the game.
Bogaerts has played at both the Double-A and Triple-A level, hitting a combined .294 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI. His defense is still a work in progress, but the Red Sox have tried him at third base as well, which could increase the chances of him getting called up by Boston at some point this season.
There haven't really been many Dutch stars in the sport of baseball, but Bogaerts has an opportunity to put Netherlands on the map as a great baseball country. That starts with the Futures Game, with Bogaerts carrying the flag for his country.
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