MLB Futures Game 2021: Rosters, Top Prospects, Time and TV ScheduleJuly 9, 2021
MLB Futures Game 2021: Rosters, Top Prospects, Time and TV Schedule
Before the Major League Baseball All-Stars convene at Coors Field, the fledgling stars of the sport will take part in the Futures Game.
Sunday's event in Denver carries extra significance in 2021 because it marks the start of a full day showcasing the best young players in baseball.
The Futures Game rosters were split up into American and National League prospects. Once the game ends, the latest round of top prospects will be chosen in the 2021 MLB draft, which is being held on All-Star weekend for the first time.
A majority of MLB.com's top prospects are on the rosters for the contest. No. 1 overall prospect Wander Franco was recently called up by the Tampa Bay Rays, so Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman is the top prospect left in the minors.
Rutschman and fellow No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson headline the AL roster. Marco Luciano, a shortstop in San Francisco's system, is the top-rated player on the NL roster.
The game can be viewed on MLB Network at 3 p.m. ET, and the teams will be managed by two former Colorado Rockies players. LaTroy Hawkins is in charge of the AL squad, and Vinny Castilla will lead the NL.
Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore
Rutschman is the top MLB prospect left in the minor leagues.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft is playing for Double-A Bowie in his first full season above Single-A.
The catcher has 11 home runs, 36 RBI and a .922 OPS over 54 games. He could reach the majors as soon as the end of the season, but for now, he will showcase his talents against some of the best minor league pitching in Colorado.
Rutschman only played 37 games of minor league ball after he was drafted in 2019, but he did come from the collegiate ranks at Oregon State, which makes him more pro-ready than some of the first-round selections from the high school ranks.
The 23-year-old is one of three catchers on the AL roster, so he should only appear for two or three frames in the seven-inning game. Regardless of how long he plays Sunday, most eyes will be on him so fans can get a glimpse of what he may bring to Baltimore's big league roster before the end of the 2021 campaign.
Spencer Torkelson, 1B/3B, Detroit
Spencer Torkelson is expected to follow Rutschman to the majors at either the end of 2021 or the start of 2022.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft thrived through his first 50 professional games with Single-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie. During his two stops, the Arizona State product totaled a .995 OPS, 11 home runs, 41 RBI and 14 doubles.
Like Rutschman, the early returns are promising for one of the biggest hitting stars to come out of the collegiate ranks in recent years.
Torkelson is one of four Double-A infielders to be included on the AL roster. Kansas City shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is also a top-10 prospect set to feature.
When Torkelson reaches the majors, he will be expected to help pitchers Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning speed up the club's rebuild.
Mize, Skubal and Manning have brought some stability to the Detroit rotation. Torkelson and Double-A teammate Riley Greene, who is the No. 15 overall prospect, should bring more pop to the order when they arrive.
Marco Luciano, SS, San Francisco
With San Diego Padres prospects MacKenzie Gore and CJ Abrams not participating in the Futures Game, Luciano is the top-rated NL prospect who will be on show in Denver.
Luciano displayed one of the best power bats at the Single-A level this season. He has 14 home runs and 41 RBI for the San Jose Giants.
The 14 long balls in 52 games matched the total he produced in 47 games in 2019 with the Giants' rookie-ball team and Single-A Salem-Keizer.
Since Luciano has not played a game above Single-A yet, he is not expected to feature in the majors anytime soon. San Francisco can afford to let Luciano develop because Brandon Crawford is playing well for the first-place team in the NL West.
If Luciano continues to hit for power when he reaches Double-A and Triple-A, the Giants could boast quite the young core of hitters in the coming years. Catcher Joey Bart and outfielder Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop are all top-100 prospects. Ramos is also on the NL roster for the Futures Game.
Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.