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2013 futures gameFor those of you into the prospecting game – and you should be, especially after Luke’s fantastic work this morning on the midseason Chicago Cubs top 40 prospect list – it doesn’t get much bigger, in terms of a singular event, than the Futures Game.

Played annually as part of the All-Star break festivities, the Futures Game is a kind of all-star game for some of the top prospects in baseball. Each team can basically have upwards of a couple players in the game, which is played between a U.S. roster and a World roster. This year, the Cubs placed two players on the World Team, AA Tennessee infielder Arismendy Alcantara and High-A Daytona outfielder Jorge Soler. Unfortunately, because of the stress fracture in Jorge Soler’s leg, he won’t be playing today.

But Alcantara will, and he’ll do so amid a groundswell of support – thanks in large part to another great season – that has him tickling top 100 overall prospect status. Even batting after Miguel Sano in batting practice, Alcantara still managed to impress in his own session.

He’ll start and bat second for the World Team, whose roster is loaded with studs:

  • P Miguel Almonte, Royals
  • P Carlos Contreras, Reds
  • P Rafael De Paula, Yankees
  • P C.C. Lee, Indians
  • P Rafael Montero, Mets
  • P Andre Rienzo, White Sox
  • P Eduardo Rodriguez, Orioles
  • P Enny Romero, Rays
  • P Yordano Ventura, Royals
  • P Michael Ynoa, Athletics
  • C Christian Bethancourt, Braves
  • C AJ Jimenez, Blue Jays
  • IF Arismendy Alcantara, Cubs
  • IF Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
  • IF Ji-Man Choi, Mariners
  • IF Carlos Correa, Astros
  • IF Maikel Franco, Phillies
  • IF Dilson Herrera, Pirates
  • IF Jordan Lennerton, Tigers
  • IF Francisco Lindor, Indians
  • IF Miguel Sano, Twins
  • OF Yeison Ascenio, Padres
  • OF Reymond Fuentes, Padres
  • OF Jesus Galindo, Giants
  • OF Gregory Polanco, Pirates
  • OF Henry Urrutia, Orioles

The U.S. Team roster is just as impressive:

  • P Jesse Biddle, Phillies
  • P Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks
  • P Eddie Butler, Rockies
  • P A.J. Cole, Nationals
  • P Kyle Crick, Giants
  • P Jimmy Nelson, Brewers
  • P Anthony Ranaudo, Red Sox
  • P C.J. Riefenhauser, Rays
  • P Noah Syndergaard, Mets
  • P Taijuan Walker, Mariners
  • C Austin Hedges, Padres
  • C James McCann, Tigers
  • IF C.J. Cron, Angels
  • IF Delino Deshields Jr, Astros
  • IF Matt Davidson, Diamondbacks
  • IF Joey Gallo, Rangers
  • IF Chris Owings, Diamondbacks
  • IF Addison Russell, Athletics
  • IF Christian Walker, Orioles
  • IF Kolten Wong, Cardinals
  • OF Byron Buxton, Twins
  • OF Billy Hamilton, Reds
  • OF Brandon Nimmo, Mets
  • OF Joc Pederson, Dodgers
  • OF George Springer, Astros
  • OF Christian Yelich, Marlins

See a few trade targets in there? Yes, yes you do.

The game starts at 1pm CT (2pm ET) at Citi Field, and will be broadcast on ESPN2 and MLB.com. Feel free to drool over prospects in the comments below as the game goes on.

  • socalicubsfan

    Go get ‘em, Alcantara!

  • jpeck

    I say we trade Garza for the whole U.S. team roster. and to sweeten the pot, we can throw in Navarro. and maybe Vitters..

  • ThompsonLives

    The U.S. roster has a stunning lack of Mini-Ditka.

    • jpeck

      Is it the Mini-Ditka before da Heart Attack or after.

  • Dustin S

    Baker getting slapped around in the 1st for Kane County. Throwing 92 though. Game is on milb.tv for those with it, and in great quality. Just a rehab start and working on things so kind of take the results with a grain of salt.

    • Dustin S

      Baker done after 3 IP and 56 pitches. 6H 4R 4ER 1BB 2SO. All the runs were in the first, including a very long home run. After that he mostly kept the ball on the ground. He threw primarily fastballs and off-speed stuff, not a ton of breaking balls and probably just working on mechanics and location.

      As a side-note, you have to love low-A announcers. The guy in the game actually said, “fastball in the downer part of the zone”, worth the price of admission right there.

  • Chris

    It bugs me that Javier Baez is not in this game

    • Jp3

      Blublud is that you?

  • nkniacc13

    Be interesting to see if the Cubs can get a player from this game in a Garza trade

  • Jp3

    Wasn’t Junior Lake and Angel Guzman in this game? I agree though the odds are better you get a game changer in this game. I didn’t know anything about Billy Hamilton but damn, dude stole 155 bases last year, that seems absurd.

  • DaveY

    Ugh. Rick Sutcliffe sucks…. thank god for the mute button.

  • DaveY

    Lake played. Jackson played. Jae Hoon-ha homered last year.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I see why Hedges is so highly regarded. Monster arm.

  • DaveY

    Ah, the espn hype machine never stops. Every player is a future all star or is compared to some past all star…

    • Jed Jam Band

      Easier than talking about arm slots, mechanics, bat speed, etc. We know about that stuff, but the average fan doesn’t. Which is a silly statement, because the “casual” fan isn’t watching this game.

      • Jp3

        I can’t watch it because I just moved and my direct tv won’t be hooked up until tomorrow… I has a sad(😔)

      • DaveY

        What they don’t tell you is this is the closest most of these kids will get to actually playing in the all star game and a few of them may never make it to the major leagues.

        • King Jeff

          Matt Harvey, Shelby Miller, Matt Moore, Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado, Jason Kipnis, Bryce Harper, Wil Myers. All of these listed played in the futures game 2 years ago. I think they might get one or two all star games out of that group.

          • DaveY

            Have any of those kid made an all star game yet? Are they most of the World and US rosters from two years ago? Sure, a few will be all stars but most won’t be. I am not saying these kids don’t deserve to be here, my point is, most prospects don’t reach their full potential and I am not even taking injuries into account. Vitters played in the futures game not too long ago but Travis Wood never did. Which would you rather have?

            • Jp3

              Yes, some of those kids king Jeff mentioned have made an all star game.

            • AlwaysNextYear

              Half that group has made the All- Star team

        • ScottK

          They said 81% make it to the bigs. I’d say its a pretty good indication of MLB talent.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Boom! Alcantara HR!

  • Jon

    Alcantara killed that

  • Patrick G

    Alcantara Home Run!!

  • CBP

    Alcantara HR was a bomb!

    • Danny Ballgame

      Smashed. Good looking swing

  • Rebuilding

    It looks like Chris Archer is really starting to put it together. Dominating today (against the Astros) and has the ERA down to 3.28. He’s pretty much exactly what we are looking to get for Garza

  • joe

    Alcantara reminds me of Jose Reyes

    • Danny Ballgame

      I can dig that

  • Chris

    They said he is the next jimmy Rollins

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Barney will be good in a utility role when Alcantara takes over at 2B next year.

    • Falselife

      I like what Barney brings, especially in a utility role. Would love him off the bench with the occasional start against lefties. I think he has the potential to be part of a World Series team, but not as a starter.

      • Danny Ballgame

        Agreed. Barney off the bench would be a great option to have. It will probably be Lake or Watkins though.

  • Seth

    I’m not a huge fan of Jim Bowden but I have to agree with him on this tweet.

    https://twitter.com/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/356496360620556289

    Why the heck is Baez not in this game?

    • Patrick G

      I dont understand how Baez would have only made it by fan votes. He should have made it over Soler or at least taken his spot since he’s hurt

  • DaveY

    Sutcliffe shows his ignorance in praising Epstien for stocking the Cubs system but Alcantara was acquired under Hendry.

    • Mr. P

      Yeah, I cringed when he started talking about that. It would be nice to have someone that actually knows something about the farm systems.

  • Finner

    Any way you or Luke could give us daily broadcast info for minor league games? Do some of the Cubs farm teams show games free?

  • DaveY

    Baez is not in the game because putting together the World roster is far more difficult than you think. First, each team can have at most 2 players but every team must be represented on either the World or US teams. Second, for the World team, they try to represent as many countries as reasonably possible. That’s why Jae Hoon-ha made the team last year even though he’s not exactly projected to be a future all star. Third, you have put together a full team which means you can’t have too many players at a loaded position. Alcantara, Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa are all very worthy of being selected. If he maintains his elite prospect status then Baez will most likely make the team next year or perhaps 2015.

    • Jp3

      How in the World All stars will Baez make it if he’s playing in Wrigley next year? Much less 2015? He’s Brett Jackson if he’s not on the big squad by 2015 anyways

      • DaveY

        Most likely, Baez will start next year at AA and will be promoted to AAA at sometime during the season and continue there at the start of 2015. He might be called up before the 2015 futures game or maybe called up after it. Remember, Epstien believes in at least a full season at a level before earning a promotion. Of course there are always exceptions for special cases…

    • Joel

      Dbacks had 3 players in Bradley, Davidson and Owings

    • ScottK

      If Baez is still kicking around the minors by the 2015 all-star break he probably won’t be a super-elite prospect any more. He’ll either be on the Cubs roster, another MLB team, or have had something go wrong in his development by that time. There aren’t many elite 22+ prospects other than pitchers.

      Ridiculous that he wasn’t on the team.

  • Chris

    Perhaps 2015? Baez will be in a cubs uniform playing at wrigley by then.

  • DaveY

    The story Sutcliffe is telling about Gooden is true. I had heard a Cub fan noticed it and wrote a letter to the Cubs about it. The next time the Cubs faced Gooden they lit him up. After that he figured it out and Gooden dominated the Cubs like few ever.

  • Alex

    Henry Rodriguez DFA’d. MLBtraderumors has the true Henry Rodriguez linked instead of this guy though.

    • Jp3

      Yeah they also are talking about Garza has been informed he’ll probably be traded. They said the Blue Jays are the front runners for his services at this point but whatever

      • bryan

        good you think we can two of their top 5 arms? they are pretty loaded. hopefully sanchez and syndegaard.

        • AD

          I believe syndegaard is with the Mets now. Traded of R.A. Dickey.

  • bryan

    almora cf
    alcantara 2b
    baez ss
    Rizzo 1b
    Bryant 3b
    Soler rf
    castro lf
    Castillo c

    Potential of that lineup gets the blood flowing in my genitalia

    • sossa

      Starlin Castro in left? That is a bold prediction..

      • Rebuilding

        Sorry, but Baez would move to left long before Castro. Why don’t people realize that this kid is a damn good shortstop now and as he matures could become a great one

        • bryan

          okay then put baez in left and leave castro at short. regardless, the point I was making was the lineup hitting wise looks pretty awesome.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            IF things work out perfectly over the next 2-3 years. Pretty big IF for prospects. We will be lucky if 2 of the prospects become starters on a playoff team. Chances are quite a few of them will be traded for needs.

    • David

      Alcantara definitely is a lead off guy. 35 stolen bases/ year please. Almora in the 2 hole.

      • Chad

        Stolen bases are great, but OBP is much much more important in the lead-off spot. Not sure that can be Alcantra, perhaps Almora will be better? Tough to know right now.

        • Mr. P

          Alcantara gets on base more than enough to lead off. He is an ideal leadoff man if you ask me with his combination of OBP skills and speed.

    • JBarnes

      If these players were to work out, it would be more like this…
      Bryant-LF
      Baez-3B
      Castro-SS
      Alcantara-2B

      • Bric

        I think Bryant stays at 3rd (for now), Baez stays at SS and Castro moves to 2nd. But that’s at least 2 years down the road. Alcantara doesn’t figure in at all. JMO.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          I think if Baez for sure can stay a SS then I think we have to STRONGLY consider trading Castro. He has a great value with his contract. Castro’s bat at SS is what makes him so valuable. If he had to shift over to second his value isn’t as high.

          IF we were to get a great package (I mean GREAT) of prospects for Castro then I think we got to make that deal. We can find a guy who has Castro like bat who has the potential to play second base, but what makes castro special is his ability to have the bat and be able to play SS (Very view can) and thats what makes him have value and the great team friendly contract also helps add value.

          Now this is completely hypothetical and assumes that Bryant and Baez pan out to be the special players we think they can. There is an additional situation that Bryant and Baez might out grow their positions. Baez might have to shift to 3rd base where I personally think he’s best suited but as long as he shows he can stick at SS, leave him there to keep his value up. Bryant might have to move from 3rd base to Left Field. But I’m fairly confident Bryant is athletic enough to stay at 3rd base. I this scenario you’d be able to keep Castro with out trading him or moving him to 2nd base

        • JBarnes

          Yes for now they will stay at their current positions but scouts have said all along that Baez is more than likely moving to 3rd and how many 6’5 220lb+ (Bryant) 3B are there around the league…and he’ll still fill out more. Castro doesn’t profile with the bat as a corner OF and a lot of his errors come from the throws he makes to 1B so moving him to 3B where the throw is longer and his power doesn’t translate as well doesn’t make sense. Alcantaras (he was the one mentioned in the original post i responded to) defense profiles better at 2B and you don’t take Castros range out of the SS position. In the hypothetical scenario with the players mentioned, I still stand by what I said.

  • Rebuilding

    I’m sure it’s never happened, but you have a chance, even if completely unlikely, to have a former Top 100 prospect at every position on the diamond except catcher (I bet we trade for one at some point) all either on a team friendly contract or pre-arb. But the late 2015 Cubs could have Rizzo, Alcantara (I’m assuming here), Castro, Baez, Bryant, Almora and Soler. That amount of cost control would allow you to offer almost any amount at Kershaw and/or Price

    • bryan

      Maybe sign McCann in the off season?

  • dan

    Alcantara is the next Alcantara

  • dan

    Come on Castro has no spot on the team that is coming up

    • Jp3

      Meh, he’s got $60 mill that says he is part of this team in the future

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