MLB Futures Game 2013: Prospects Who Proved They'll Be Stars

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJuly 15, 2013

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN - MARCH 03:  Xander Bogaerts of Netherlands run into first base in the eighth inning during the World Baseball Classic First Round Group B match between the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei at Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 3, 2013 in Taichung, Taiwan.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game always features many of the world's next star players, and the 2013 event was no exception.

With some MLB teams already looking ahead to next season after a poor 2013 campaign, this year's event was bigger than ever as we found out which struggling teams have the best up-and-coming talent.

While the U.S. Futures reigned supreme over the World Futures in a 4-2 affair Sunday, there were many more takeaways other than just the teams' performances.

After all, it's All-Star weekend. Everything is about the players. With 19 players from the 2012 game already in the majors, these players have a good chance at making the jump quickly. 

Let's take a look at the biggest stars who emerged Sunday on the big stage at Citi Field.


Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have a handful of elite prospects in their organization, but 21-year-old Arismendy Alcantara wasn't one of the first names to come to mind—until Sunday.

Alcantara surprised some by even making the World Futures roster, but that shocker was nothing compared to what he did in the fourth inning. He hit a blistering solo home run into right field off Boston Red Sox pitcher Anthony Ranaudo for one of the biggest moments of the game.

With one big swing on the biggest stage of his career, Alcantara immediately put himself into contention for a quick move up the ranks. 

The Cubs could certainly use any and all bats possible, and Alcantara proved he'll soon be hitting deep balls out of Wrigley Field.


Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

A player who has long been talked about as one of baseball's next stars, Xander Bogaerts had some living up to do to. He had to earn the respect of many fans who had heard about him but hadn't seen him play. 

Two words: Respect earned. 

The 20-year-old had two hits on the game, while showing presence at the plate that you don't see from many guys just out of their teenage years.

Bogaerts has drawn 50 walks in the minors this season, so that indicates he has the vision and good eye necessary to hit a respectable average in MLB. 

The Red Sox are on top of the AL East during a season in which they were expected to be a bottom-dweller, but injuries have still piled up in Boston. For that reason, don't be surprised if Bogaerts sees time with the Red Sox even just as a trial to see if he can help out the team this postseason.


Matt Davidson, Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-backs join the Red Sox as one of the first place teams that is loaded with young talent, and it all starts with Matt Davidson. 

The 22-year-old was drafted 35th overall in 2009 and has spent the past three seasons crafting his game in the minors. With 23 homers last year—14 in Triple-A—he certainly has the potential to be a big hitter at the next level.

He showcased that with a two-run bomb to propel the U.S. to victory, offering us with a deep shot to center field that possessed the power that many people didn't expect to see until Monday's Home Run Derby.

Davidson still has work to do to prove he's worthy of being in MLB, but he's on the upward trend and it won't be long before Arizona implements his big bat on its 25-man roster.