2024 MLB Futures Game Preview

One of the events that takes place annually at MLB’s All-Star Weekend and what makes MLB’s all-star festivities unique is the Futures Game. The Futures Game is a showcase of baseball’s top talent across all levels of the minor leagues. Neither of the other three major sports has a farm system quite like baseball where draft picks and international signees spend anywhere from three to six years before seeing big league action. With that being said, a lot of prospects get lost in the shuffle and seem irrelevant to the casual fan when they reach the show, aside from the few super-prospects that debut each year. Without an event like this, a lot of these names would go unnoticed before they reach the league. MLB has done a great job in recent years at highlighting the game’s future talent by putting on events such as the Future’s Game. The Future’s Game is a seven inning game between the American League and National League prospects – think of it as an all-star game for minor league baseball, but across all levels. Each team has at least one representative from their system, and this year’s roster features players from low-A through triple-A. It will take place on Saturday at 3:00 PM CT, kicking off the All-Star Weekend festivities at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Here are the rosters for both sides:

Previewing the 2024 MLB Futures Game

American League roster:

Pitchers – AJ BluBaugh (HOU), Caden Dana (LAA), Ben Kudrna (KC), Luis Morales (OAK), Fernando Perez (TOR), Winston Santos (TEX), Noah Schultz (CWS), Brock Selvidge (NYY), Emiliano Teodo (TEX)

Catchers – Samuel Basallo (BAL), Harry Ford (SEA), Kyle Teel (BOS)

Infield – Xavier Isaac (TB), Luke Keaschall (MIN),  Hao-Yu Lee (DET), Marcelo Mayer (BOS), Colson Montgomery (CWS), Ralphy Velazquez (CLE), Sebastian Walcott (TEX), Cole Young (SEA)

Outfield – Jaison Chourio (CLE), Max Clark (DET), Gavin Cross (KC), Spencer Jones (NYY), Chandler Simpson (TB)

National League roster:

Pitchers – Bubba Chandler (PIT), Chase Dollander (COL), Tink Hence (STL), Rhett Lowder (CIN), Quinn Mathews (STL), Noble Meyer (MIA), Robby Snelling (SD), Brandon Sproat (NYM), Thomas White (MIA)

Catchers – Drake Baldwin (ATL), Thayron Liranzo (LAD), Ethan Salas (SD)

Infield – Cam Collier (CIN), Deyvison De Los Santos (AZ), Bryce Eldridge (SF), Termarr Johnson (PIT), Aidan Miller (PHI), Jeral Perez (LAD), Cooper Pratt (MIL), Matt Shaw (CHC)

Outfield – Owen Caissie (CHC), Justin Crawford (PHI), Dylan Crews (WSH), Druw Jones (AZ), James Wood (WSH)

There’s a lot to unpack here with this crop of players, but I wanted to quickly highlight some of the players I’m most looking forward to watching. Living in close proximity to a lot of spring training facilities down here in Florida, I had the opportunity to see a lot of these prospects up close in person this past March. That included a few trips to Spring Breakout – a similar showcase in which organizations put together rosters composed of all of their own top prospects. My favorite player among all of these players is Xavier Isaac of the Rays, and it was at Spring Breakout where he launched two home runs and a double against the Twins Spring Breakout team. That really put his name on the map and he has continued to rake all year at high-A Bowling Green where he’s hit 13 home runs along with a slash line of .293/.382/.550. I’m excited to see him get more reps against some of the top arms in the minors.

Speaking of top arms, the National League roster is loaded with pitching talent. Chase Dollander, Tink Hence, Rhett Lowder, Noble Meyer, and Robby Snelling are all ranked as top 50 prospects by MLB Pipeline while Bubba Chandler, Quinn Mathews, Brandon Sproat, and Thomas White are all in the top 100 as well. Dollander, the Rockies’ first-rounder, and ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, headlines the pitching staff as he’s posted a 2.82 ERA over 67 innings in his first taste of pro ball at high-A Spokane. Quinn Mathews, the Cardinals 4th round pick a year ago, has also seen a lot of success this year as he has already advanced to double-A Springfield. Across three levels, he ranks second in the minors in K% at 36.5% and third in K-BB% at 28.9%. Like Dollander, this year is Mathews first shot at pro ball and he hasn’t skipped a beat yet. It will be fun to see those two arms get a shot on the mound this Saturday.

The National League also features plenty of talent on the other side of the ball as well. The Nationals are sending their future 1-2 punch in Dylan Crews and recently debuted James Wood. Crews was drafted 2nd overall in last year’s draft and had struggled a bit through the lower levels of the minors. However, he started to find his stride at double-A Harrisburg which eventually led to a promotion to triple-A Rochester where he is playing now and hopefully awaiting a call to the big leagues. Aidan Miller of the Phillies is another name I’m looking forward to seeing play. Miller is another 2023 draft pick that has performed well this year and is getting the shot to showcase his abilities this Saturday. He recently earned a mid-season promotion to high-A Jersey Shore after tearing it up in the Florida State League at low-A Clearwater where he posted a line of .275/.401/.483 along with five home runs and ten steals over 182 plate appearances. He’s in line to be Philadelphia’s shortstop of the future, so keep an eye on him. Ethan Salas of the Padres is a player that has always intrigued me since he signed internationally at just the age of 16. The Padres have promoted him quickly as he was playing in double-A San Antonio before he even turned 17. His numbers have been a bit rocky thus far, but the potential to be a franchise catcher is still very much in play. At 18 years old now, he’s participating in his first Futures Game as the youngest player rostered.

The American League has its own batch of talented young catchers, headlined by the 19-year-old left-handed hitting prospect out of the Orioles system – Samuel Basallo. MLB Pipeline’s #12 overall prospect is yet another Oriole prospect that has hit at every level of the minors thus far and is well on his way to big league playing time down the road. He’s currently playing at double-A Bowie where he’s hitting .273/.337/.453 with 12 home runs over 307 plate appearances. Facing off against some higher-end arms will be a solid test for Basallo. Spencer Jones of the Yankees is another prospect I’ve enjoyed watching since he was drafted 25th overall by the Yankees in 2022. However, like a few other players on both rosters, Jones has struggled recently. Since getting the call to double-A Somerset late last year, his numbers have been sub-par compared to his expectations, and he has carried a concerning 36.6 K% thus far. I really like Jones’s tools and overall game as a power-hitting outfielder with speed. Perhaps a big day at Globe Life Field will help him out of this funk.

We could go in-depth on each of these prospects playing in the Futures Game, but to keep it short, those are the players and storylines I’m most invested in heading into All-Star Weekend. The Futures Game will also feature a skills showcase with eight participants – four of them being prospects not playing in the game. Those four players are Roman Anthony of the Red Sox, Tre’ Morgan of the Rays, Mosies Ballesteros of the Cubs, and Brady House of the Nationals. Samuel Basallo, Sebastian Walcott, Cam Collier, and Termarr Johnson are the other four participants. The contest includes a variety of hitting challenges, including “Hit it here,” “Call your shot,” and “Swing for the fences.” The skills showcase will take place following the conclusion of the Futures Game on Saturday.

Main Image: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

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Ben Wiley

Nicely written article. Interested to see how many of these players actually go from top prospects to bonafide Major League players.

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