CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Pi... (07/11)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Don't Yo... (07/05)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: The Nats... (07/16)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage Dail... (07/12)

July 11, 2012

Future Shock

2013 Futures Game Rosters

by Kevin Goldstein

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This year's Futures Game featured the best roster in years. Limitations make it a daunting task, and it forces several top players to stay at home. With those restrictions in mind, I was challenged to take my best guess at the 2013 Futures Game rosters. It's more difficult when it looks when you think about it. First off, every team needs to be represented, but the Futures Games feature standard 25-man rosters, not that of the bloated All-Star variety. And then there is the limit of two players per organization (three for the host team), so if you are a fan of a team and you are upset with this list, chances are good that you can't say Player X should be there without taking another one of your team's prospects off the rosters, which often creates a series of roster construction issues that would make Mandelbrot proud. In addition, there is some consideration to make the World team as diverse as possible, and not just stuff it with players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. So with those limitations, and an eye on which players might not be available due to a big league presence, here are your 2013 Futures Game rosters.

U.S. Team (* starters)

Catchers

Mike Zunino, Mariners*
Austin Hedges, Padres

The assumption here is that the top catching prospect in the minors, Travis D'Arnaud of the Blue Jays, has recovered from his knee injury and reached the big leagues. The third overall pick in this year's draft, Zunino is one of those players whose greatest strength might be his lack of weaknesses. Hedges is one of the best defensive catchers in the minors (if not the best), but his bat has proven to be better than expected, and the California League will make him look even better in 2013.

Infielders

Nick Castellanos, Tigers*
Delino DeShields, Astros*
Billy Hamilton, Reds*
Jonathan Singleton, Astros*
C.J. Cron, Angels
Scooter Gennett, Brewers
Manny Machado, Orioles
Anthony Rendon, Nationals

There is a decent chance that Hamilton is a center fielder 12 months from now, but I'm leaving him at shortstop because, along with DeShields, that might be the fastest middle infield to ever grace a field. A first round pick in 2011, DeShields has had an impressive bounceback year, and his pace to threaten the 100 stolen base mark would be getting more attention if not for that Hamilton fellow. Singleton and this year's MVP in Castellanos are easy choices to return, as are reserves Machado and Gennett, with second base prospects always a thin group to choose from. Cron was a first-round pick last year who has been good, but not great, in his full-season debut, but Mike Olt from this year's roster won't be available. Rendon would have been my choice for the 2012 game a year ago, and there's always the chance he gets hurt again.

Outfielders

Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox*
Mason Williams, OF, Yankees*
Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins*
Gary Brown, Giants
David Dahl, Rockies

Yelich is the only one returning from last year's game. Some of that is due to expected big leaguers like Wil Myers, but most of it is because of better prospects coming up. Bradley has exploded into one of the better center fielders in the game with a line drive bat, plus defensive ability and arguably the best approach in the minors. Williams brings plenty of tools to the table, and he continues to refine them into on-the-field skills. If his power improvement is for real, he's a potential monster. I'm still a believer in Gary Brown and lately he's begun to look like last year's version. Dahl is my lone Colorado representative, as he's advanced for his age and is expected to do big things at Low-A Asheville next year.

Pitchers

Zack Wheeler, Mets*
Matt Barnes, Red Sox
Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks
Dylan Bundy, Orioles
A.J. Cole, Athletics
Taylor Guerrieri, Rays
Zach Lee, Dodgers
Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays
Kyle Zimmer, Royals

Zack Wheeler is an easy pick as the starter in his home team's event, and with the timing of it all, I've even made up a great story with him starting the game and then staying in New York and making his big league debut in the following week. Barnes and Bundy are the only returns from this year's game, but both could be on the verge of the big leagues by next year's break. Cole's performance since being demoted with control problems has him back to projections as a future No. 2 or 3 starter, and Lee is another pitcher to watch in the second half after being hampered by a groin strain. There are plenty of 2012 first-round picks from the college crops who deserved consideration, but Zimmer worked best with the numbers game. The two names to really watch here are Guerreri and Sanchez. The Rays take it notoriously slow with their prospects, and in another system, Guerreri might be in the middle of breakout full-season debut, as his stuff ranks with many of the top arms from the 2011 draft. Sanchez has been outstanding in his own first full-season at Low-A Lansing, and could take an even bigger step forward when the reigns come off in terms of pitch and innings counts.

World Team (* starters)

Catchers

Christian Bethancourt, Braves* (Panama)
Jorge Alfaro, Rangers (Colombia)

Bethancourt returns, not only because he deserves it, but also because scouts did not get want they wanted on Sunday. Everyone wanted to see Billy Hamilton, the fastest man in baseball, run against Bethancourt, he of the inhuman 1.7 pop times. Hopefully we'll get it. Alfaro has played well in an injury-plagued season, but when healthy, his ceiling is through the roof, and his birthplace gives us another flag in the pre-game ceremony.

Infielders

Alen Hanson, Pirates* (Dominican Republic)
Francisco Lindor, Indians* (Puerto Rico)
Aderlin Rodriguez, Mets* (Dominican Republic)
Miguel Sano, Twins* (Dominican Republic)
Javier Baez, Cubs (Puerto Rico)
Chun Chen, Indians (Taiwan)
Wilmer Flores, Mets (Venezuela)
Rougned Odor, Rangers (Venezuela)

Rodriguez is a bit of a home town selection, but I've put him at first base, which is consistently one of the biggest challenges to fill on the world roster. Chen backs him up as the only player based out of Asia; he can hit, but probably not enough to be a big prospect. I've also done some positional switching to get Hanson into the lineup at second base. He's currently a shortstop, but he's also one of this year's breakout performers, and likely a second baseman in the end anyway. There is no way to get every good international shortstop on the team, but to makes things work, I have Jurickson Profar in the big leagues at second base, with Ian Kinsler going to an outfield corner, and I'm ruling that 2012 No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa is just not ready. That gives me Lindor making the team for the second straight year, but making his first start, and it gives me room for Baez who, while also not a shortstop for the long term, is one of the best hitting prospects in the minors. Odor should be a .300 hitter all the way up the ladder for Texas, and backs up Hanson. At the hot corner, Sano would be the mythical favorite in a Futures Game home run derby, and Flores is the fan favorite backup.

Outfielders

Jorge Bonifacio, Royals* (Dominican Republic)
Jorge Soler, Cubs* (Cuba)
Oscar Taveras, Cardinals* (Dominican Republic)
Stephen Moya, Tigers (Dominican Republic)
Yasel Puig, Dodgers (Cuba)

It's surprisingly hard to find five players to fill these spots. Just because of the dynamic of this year's international market before the new rules went into place on July 2, Soler and Puig are already household names, and this is a nice event to keep the hype going. Helping the cause is that both could put up some big numbers in the power department next year. Taveras returns from this year's game, but it's risky, as he also could just be in the big leagues as a 20-year-old, because once the Royals promote Wil Myers, Taveras becomes the best offensive prospect in the minors. Bonifacio and Moya are two prospects who have taken a huge step forward in the Midwest League this year. One of the youngest players at the level, Bonifacio is a plus-plus hitter who could add some power down the road. Moya is still very raw, but he's a six-foot-seven physical beast with huge raw power.

Pitchers

Jose Fernandez, Marlins* (Cuba)
Lisalberto Bonilla, Phillies (Dominican Republic)
Jose Campos, Yankees (Venezuela)
Alex Colome, Rays (Dominican Republic)
Luis Heredia, Pirates (Mexico)
Carlos Martinez, Cardinals (Dominican Republic)
James Paxton, Mariners (Canada)
Adys Portillo, Padres (Venezuela)
Andre Rienzo, White Sox (Brazil)
J.C. Sulbaran, Reds (Curacao)

Fernandez is not just arguably the best pitcher on the World Team, he's absolutely the best story, having both saved lives and been jailed in his homeland for attempted escapes. When you hear him speak, it's clear that the pressure of professional baseball is pretty small, comparatively. After injuring his hand before this year's game, Bonilla is back, mostly because I need a Phillie and he's an under-rated relief prospect. Campos got off to an explosive start this year before being sidelined with an elbow injury, but he's become a key aspect of the Montero/Pineda deal. Colome is one of many power-armed Latin Americans in the Rays system, but he's the closest to the big leagues. Heredia has been cruising through the college-heavy New York-Penn League as a 17-year-old, and in a system filled with high-upside arms, his ceiling ranks with any of them. Martinez has triple-digit heat and has been developed as a starter, but his size and the effort in his delivery has some scouts seeing him as a future closer, so he's pitching the ninth to help further that debate. Paxton was a sure shot to make the roster this year before an injury, and it's good to have a power left-hander, and also a Canadian. Portillo is finally living up to the expectations of his $2 million dollar bonus earned in 2008, and he touched 98 mph when he started in the Midwest league All-Star game. Rienzo is here because I need a White Sox player, and he gives the game its first Brazillian. He also possesses a plus fastball and could end up with a big league middle relief role. Sulbaran is a nice sleeper in the Reds system who can touch the mid-90s and has struck out more than a batter per inning at Double-A.

A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider Insider.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Futures Game

35 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

canada

Quick nitpick.. Tyler Guerreri is listed as on the Jays

Jul 11, 2012 10:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Fixed. Jays, Rays, Michael Bays.

Jul 11, 2012 10:14 AM
 
sungods7n

also #TheLegend, Dodgers... Jason would not be pleased

Jul 11, 2012 10:23 AM
rating: 0
 
jaymoff

Is Alfaro listed as a Dodger a premonition of an eventual Kershaw trade???

Jul 11, 2012 10:16 AM
rating: 1
 
nolansdad

Taijuan Walker not here for the US because he's in Seattle in '13, or just because...you said so?

Jul 11, 2012 10:17 AM
rating: 0
 
jmoultz
(440)

I was curious about Walker as well. After pushing him a bit this year don't you think Seattle will be a little more conservative next year with maybe a September callup only?

Jul 11, 2012 13:31 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Again, omissions are not insults. I needed Zunino, and I needed a Canadian, and thus, no Walker.

Jul 11, 2012 14:23 PM
 
Scott44

Omission of Rymer Liriano grabbing an OF spot because he's not better than the guys listed or will be up in SD?

Jul 11, 2012 10:20 AM
rating: 0
 
jfranco77

Not going to criticize the 2 Pirate slots going to Hanson (who is certainly worthy, and might even be at 2B by then) or Heredia (the only rep from Mexico), but man it hurts not seeing Taillon or Cole on the list.

Jul 11, 2012 10:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Folks, like I said in the intro. This is hard. Try doing it yourself with those limitations. No matter how you arrange it all, you are forced to make some tough sacrifices. I needed more world pitchers, so I took Portillo instead of Liriano. He's not a better prospect, but I needed him. You only get two players per team and have to fill every spot.

Jul 11, 2012 10:24 AM
 
sungods7n

This is great, the limitations make things fun (well, maybe not so much for you). A rebound by Cheslor Cuthbert would be nice to get Nicaragua in there. Is Moya DR or PR?

Jul 11, 2012 10:33 AM
rating: 1
 
Zach Mortimer

Cuthbert not close to this list

Jul 11, 2012 21:30 PM
rating: -2
 
cdgarosi

Is your hedge on Taveras because there isn't really a place in STL for him in the OF currently?

I would also hope that the organizers augment the HR derby with a stolen base derby where Bethancourt is behind the plate and Hamilton and DeShields attempt to steal as many bases as possible over a five minute period.

Tiny nitpick #2 - Alfaro is listed with the Dodgers. I assume #thelegend is still in Texas.

Jul 11, 2012 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
SC

Pretty surprised Gary Sanchez didn't get the call. He may or may not be a catcher, but he's a bat for sure (as sure as anything is in prospectdom, which is to say not at all sure). If you don't like him as a catcher, can we call him an outfielder and stick him on the international team?

Jul 11, 2012 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I can't call him an outfielder as much as I can't call myself a lefty reliever. I like Sanchez plenty, but I needed Campos and wanted Williams and that's my two.

Jul 11, 2012 10:26 AM
 
SC

Kevin, you are a lefty reliever.

See, that wasn't so hard.

Jul 11, 2012 10:26 AM
rating: 7
 
Drakos

Based on your comment regarding it being difficult to find players to fill the five International outfield spots I'm surprised you don't have Liriano making a return appearance. I'd rather see Hedges and Portillo from the Padres, so I'm not complaining just curious as to why you chose them over Liriano.

And speaking of Hedges do you have a number for his pop times?

Jul 11, 2012 10:29 AM
rating: 0
 
Drakos

Nevermind the Liriano thing. I see you've already answered it.

Jul 11, 2012 10:30 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I do. 1.81, 1.83, 1.86 in my notes.

Jul 11, 2012 10:43 AM
 
Eddie Bajek

FYI, Moya just had or is about to have Tommy John Surgery. As a result, I doubt he's in next year's Futures game.

Jul 11, 2012 10:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Hitters don't take a year.

Jul 11, 2012 10:43 AM
 
apaterson

Great article, love the premise. Will be really interesting to look back next year and see how many you nailed.

On an unrelated note, will there be a Mid-Season Top 101 coming out?

Jul 11, 2012 10:56 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

There will be a mid-season Top 50 as part of a bigger e-book thingy. Details VERY soon.

Jul 11, 2012 10:57 AM
 
John Douglass

Will that be a paid thingy or something included in our subscription?

Jul 11, 2012 13:00 PM
rating: 1
 
ajayathavale

Great work, I spent about two minutes on your challenge to come up with a different roster before realizing I didn't want to spend several hours to change your list by 30%

Jul 11, 2012 11:03 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

This really did take several hours. It's tough, but fun.

Jul 11, 2012 11:46 AM
 
BillJohnson

Interesting that Martinez is the second Cardinal rather than Kolten Wong. Position scarcity (the international pitchers do not strike me as a particularly imposing crew), or are you expecting Wong to end the revolving door of second-base mediocrity in St. Louis by next July?

Jul 11, 2012 11:04 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Both played a factor.

Jul 11, 2012 11:47 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

How far is Manny Banuelos from making the roster, injury permitting?

Jul 11, 2012 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Tried to get him on, but just wasn't room.

Jul 11, 2012 14:23 PM
 
ptfoley

Tough to leave off Xander Bogaerts..

Jul 11, 2012 14:27 PM
rating: 0
 
rjlavs

Isn't Puerto Rico part of the US and part of the draft?

Jul 11, 2012 19:32 PM
rating: 0
 
mrdannyg

It's US vs the World, no relation to the draft. Canada is part of the draft, but Canadians still play for the World team.

Jul 11, 2012 20:25 PM
rating: 0
 
Pat Folz

More importantly, it's politically part of the US and its people are technically US Citizens. I just assume it's considered part of the "World" for Futures Game purposes in order to give more options for assembling that team.

Jul 12, 2012 02:11 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Well, if Alex Rodriguez can be allowed to play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, anything can happen.

Jul 12, 2012 17:24 PM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Pi... (07/11)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Don't Yo... (07/05)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: The Nats... (07/16)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage Dail... (07/12)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: Framing Decisions Around...
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: TINO Does Arizona, 2015
Pebble Hunting: The Case For Shaming the Cub...
Every Team's Moneyball: Texas Rangers: Short...
Every Team's Moneyball: Atlanta Braves: Shor...
Prospectus Feature: All Spin Is Not Alike
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: The Most Important Player ...

MORE FROM JULY 11, 2012
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Pitchers React to Home R...
The Lineup Card: 10 Washed-Up Vets We Want t...
Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Willie Mays...
Premium Article The Platoon Advantage: Fixing the Worst Days...
Fantasy Article Value Picks: Relievers for 7/11/12
Premium Article Collateral Damage Daily: Wednesday, July 11

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2012-07-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten Pack
2012-07-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: The Nats Are Geniuses! Appel I...
2012-07-12 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2012-07-11 - Premium Article Future Shock: 2013 Futures Game Rosters
2012-07-06 - Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2012-07-05 - Premium Article What the Contenders Need
2012-07-05 - Premium Article Future Shock: Don't You Forget About Me
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK
2012-07-18 - Premium Article Future Shock: Top False Trade Values
2012-07-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten Pack
2012-07-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: The Nats Are Geniuses! Appel I...
2012-07-11 - Premium Article Future Shock: 2013 Futures Game Rosters
2012-07-05 - Premium Article Future Shock: Don't You Forget About Me
2012-07-02 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten Pack
2012-06-28 - Premium Article Future Shock: Promotions
More...