MLB Futures Game 2013: Byron Buxton and Showcase's Most Exciting Prospects

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2013

Jun 18, 2013; Dayton, OH, USA; West shortstop Carlos Correa, left, and Byron Buxton, right, during the Midwest League-All Star Game at Fifth Third Field. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Futures Game is exactly what the name says; it represents the future of the baseball, and fans will get a chance to see the best players in the sport before they make it to the big leagues.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Mark Townsend, 28 of the 70 players in this year's All-Star game played in the Futures Game earlier in their careers. That includes three players who were in the event last season.

It is clear that those who pick these teams know what they are doing. Most of the participants in this contest are destined for great things, and some of them will be household names within a year or two.

Here are the top players to watch in Sunday's contest.


Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners

There might not be a more major-league ready player in this game than Taijuan Walker. The Mariners prospect has dominated hitters this year and seems to be getting better against tougher competition.

In three Triple-A starts, the pitcher has allowed only one run in 16 innings to give him an ERA of 0.56. It might not take too many more starts like that for him to be promoted to the big leagues.

Until then, Walker can showcase his electric arsenal of pitches, which includes a plus fastball as well as a solid curveball and changeup. As long as he continues to develop the two off-speed pitches, hitters will have a tough time against him at any level. 

Amazingly, he is doing all of this before he is legally able to drink. He turns 21 years old next month and has a bright future for Seattle. 


Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros


As the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, there are obviously big things expected from Carlos Correa. The prep shortstop has a lot of developing to do, but the tools are what make scouts believe he could be the next elite infield prospect.

After getting limited at-bats last season in rookie ball, the shortstop is showing what he can do this year. He is batting .324 with an on-base percentage of .421, which shows that his approach at the plate in fantastic for his age.

Although he is not crushing many home runs with only five on the year, his 17 doubles indicate that many more will be on the horizon.

Fans will have to be patient with the 18-year-old prospect, but he has already proven that good things will come in the future.


Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets

Although he is likely getting the start in this game because it is at Citi Field, Noah Syndergaard is well-deserving of the honor.

The former Blue Jays prospect came to New York in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto, and the Mets are looking forward to seeing him in a future rotation with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. 

Syndergaard has plenty of life on his fastball and will come close to hitting triple digits on the radar gun. He also has incredible control to give him a 90-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 83.2 innings across two levels of the minors.

If he continues to display the same type of command, he will be in the majors before long.


Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

Many people will call Miguel Sano the Twins' best positional prospect, and for good reason. The third baseman has as much pure power as anyone in the minors, although he still needs to round out his game in the coming years.

On the other hand, Byron Buxton is a true five-tool prospect who is likely to quickly move through the system despite his young age at 19 years old.

The outfielder put up ridiculous numbers in A-ball this season, posting a .341 batting average with 33 extra-base hits and 32 stolen bases in 68 games. Since his promotion to High-A, he appears on track to do just as well.

Buxton is as exciting of a prospect as there is in the game, and he should be a sight to watch in the upcoming exhibition. 


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