The 2017 All-Star Game festivities, like they have every year since 1999, get rolling with the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The prospect-laden exhibition takes place on Sunday, July 9, at Marlins Park in Miami at 4 p.m. ET. On Thursday, the rosters for the 19th edition of the game were announced.
• Futures Game rosters
Last year's rosters show just why fans should get excited for this game each and every year. Alex Bregman, Dansby Swanson, Andrew Benintendi and Hunter Renfroe all were on the United States roster while Gary Sanchez, Manuel Margot and Raimel Tapia were all on the World squad. All are making big league contributions now.
:: 2017 Futures Game coverage ::
So one should pay close attention to the players in this year's Futures Game, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com. And there will be plenty of talent to watch, with 27 players from MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list across both rosters. There is little doubt that many of those prospects will be hitting Major League rosters by this time next year.
"When I found out, I was obviously super excited," said Astros prospect Kyle Tucker, No. 28 on the Top 100 and one of 15 members of the list on the U.S. squad. "I've watched it the last few years. To be put on that kind of team, that kind of roster, it's an honor to be on there."
While Tucker hoped to one day play in the Futures Game, he wasn't sure this would be his year, given that he just recently got to Double-A. The outfielder, who already has 15 homers and 17 steals over his first 73 games, thought the game was more for those knocking on that big league door.
"I didn't pay too much attention to it at the start of this year," Tucker said. "I thought it was older guys in Triple-A about to make it up. I was kind of surprised at first. It makes me that much more humbled and honored to be a part of that team."
2017 Futures Game representatives
It's a team, which will be managed by former Marlins catcher Charles Johnson, that is jam-packed with elite prospects. Three of the other four U.S. outfielders with Tucker are also in the Top 100, including his organization-mate Derek Fisher. Five U.S. pitchers are Top 100 guys, led by White Sox flame-thrower Michael Kopech. There are three Top 100 infielders and both U.S. catchers, Futures Game vet Chance Sisco (he homered in last year's game) of the Orioles and 2016 White Sox first-round pick Zack Collins, are on the list.
Tucker and Collins are two of 15 total former first-round selections, with three others -- the Reds' Nick Senzel, the Brewers' Corey Ray, the Padres' Cal Quantrill and A.J. Puk of the A's -- joining Collins from the 2016 Draft class. Collins is a product of the University of Miami, so this will be a homecoming of sorts for the catcher. Tucker hails from a different part of the state, but still feels like he's getting a taste of home.
"Even though it's not Tampa, it's still Florida. I'm excited to go back there. My family will be there and I'm excited to see them in Miami."
Seeing the World Team roster, managed by former Marlins World Series hero Edgar Renteria, in Miami should be equally exciting. There are 12 Top 100 players on the squad, led by the No. 1-ranked prospect in baseball, Cuban second baseman Yoan Moncada of the White Sox.
While the World has fewer Top 100 players in total, they have more top guys than the U.S., with three other members of the top 10 (No. 3 prospect Amed Rosario of the Mets, No. 5 Victor Robles from the Nationals and No. 8 Eloy Jimenez from the Cubs). Red Sox third-base phenom Rafael Devers isn't far behind at No. 12. A dozen countries and territories outside the United States will be represented, including some countries not heard from often in baseball circles: Haiti (Estevan Florial of the Yankees), Honduras (the Brewers' Mauricio Dubon) and the Bahamas (the Rays' Lucius Fox).
U.S. Team manager and coaches
Charles Johnson, manager (1997 World Series champion Marlins)
Ryan Christenson, third-base coach (Manager, Triple-A Nashville -- OAK)
Cliff Floyd, hitting coach (1997 World Series champion Marlins -- MLB Network)
Al Leiter, pitching coach (1997 World Series champion Marlins -- MLB Network)
Jerry Manuel, bench coach (1997 World Series champion Marlins coaching staff)
Jared Sandberg, first-base coach (Manager, Triple-A Durham -- TB)
Tommy Thompson, bullpen coach (Minor League camp coordinator/assistant, Player Development -- CWS)
Brian Bopier, trainer (PHI)
World Team manager and coaches
Edgar Renteria, manager (1997 World Series champion Marlins)
Chino Cadahia, hitting coach (Senior Coordinator, Player Development -- KC)
Luis Castillo, bench coach (2003 World Series champion Marlin)
Alex Fernandez, pitching coach (1997 World Series champion Marlin)
Livan Hernandez, pitching coach (1997 World Series champion Marlin)
Luis Matos, first-base coach (Coach, Triple-A Oklahoma City -- LA)
Luis Sierra, coach (Pregame instructor -- CWS)
Luis Urueta, third-base coach (Minor League Field Coordinator -- ARI)
Troy Hoppier, trainer (MIA)