Sunday marks the 20th year of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which features some of the best young talent baseball has to offer sharing the same playing field. The showcase is the first of several exciting festivities surrounding the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::This
Sunday marks the 20th year of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which features some of the best young talent baseball has to offer sharing the same playing field. The showcase is the first of several exciting festivities surrounding the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::
This year's showcase includes 28 of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects, a prolific group that will put its skills on display at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Many of the former gifted Minor Leaguers who participated in the event in years past are now contributing in a major way on the game's biggest stage. The Futures Game is where some of Major League Baseball's brightest up-and-coming stars first shine on the national stage.
A search through all the Futures Game rosters since the inaugural game at Fenway Park in 1999 and this year's MLB All-Star Game rosters reveals 27 players, not including Camping World Final Vote candidates, are alumni of the prestigious event for the next wave of premier talent. Seven 2018 MLB All-Stars -- Nolan Arenado, Gerrit Cole, Scooter Gennett, Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Felipe Vazquez and Christian Yelich -- were named to the '12 Futures Game alone, with several more making appearances in other years.
MLB.com will live stream and MLB Network will exclusively televise the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at 4 p.m. ET, with Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, Lauren Shehadi and Jim Callis calling the contest live from Nationals Park. The game will also be available to SiriusXM subscribers.
Here's a look at 10 Futures Game graduates -- the best from each position, with designated hitter replacing catcher because no catcher from this year's MLB All-Star Game participated in a Futures Game -- who will take the field Tuesday at the Midsummer Classic:
First base: Joey Votto, 2006-07
Votto was the starting first baseman for the 2006 Futures Game World Team at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, where he went 1-for-2 before being removed in favor of Pablo Sandoval. He was named to the team again in '07 and made more of a name for himself, crushing a solo home run at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Second base: Jose Altuve, 2011
Never highly regarded as a prospect, Altuve was in the midst of a breakout season and was recently promoted to Double-A when he was named to the World Team at the 2011 Futures Game at Chase Field in Phoenix. The undersized yet supremely talented infielder was one of many Venezuelan-born prospects on his squad, but he stood out the most, going 2-for-3 with a double as the starter at second base.
Third base: Nolan Arenado, 2011-12
Prior to setting the league on fire right out of the gate as a big leaguer, Arenado made his presence felt in back-to-back years at the Futures Game. The multi-skilled infielder went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI after entering the 2011 contest as a defensive replacement and followed it up by going 1-for-3 with a run scored in '12.
Shortstop: Manny Machado, 2011-12
After going hitless in his Futures Game debut in 2011, Machado returned to the event looking for redemption a year later. He entered as a replacement at shortstop for Billy Hamilton in his second appearance at the showcase, ripping a two-run double in three at-bats. Machado helped the U.S. Team tally 17 runs, which still stands as the team scoring record at the event.
Left field: Nelson Cruz, 2005
Cruz was crushing in the Southern League well before making his slugging ways known in the big leagues, batting .306/.388/.577 with 16 homers in 68 games for Double-A Huntsville. He went hitless in the showcase, but had a tall task in facing Justin Verlander in the first of his two at-bats.
Center field: Michael Trout, 2010-11
Trout was already tearing the cover off the ball for Class A Cedar Rapids prior to appearing in front of his hometown fans at the 2010 Futures Game at Angel Stadium. The then-18-year-old phenom went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored after entering the contest as a pinch-runner for the U.S. Team in the first inning. He was named to the U.S. Team again in '11, but did not participate, as he had already been called up to the big leagues by then.
Right field: Bryce Harper, 2011
Harper was one of the most hyped prospects ever before participating in the Futures Game at Chase Field in Phoenix. Fresh off a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg, Harper went hitless for the U.S. Team in the event, but it didn't stop him from putting on a show. The 18-year-old unleashed a rocket throw from left field, giving fans a glimpse of how his cannon arm would hold up in the Majors.
Designated hitter: Paul Goldschmidt, 2011
Goldschmidt was lethal at the plate for Mobile in the season's first half in 2011, hitting .328/.450/.656 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in 70 Double-A games before being named to the Futures Game U.S. Team that season. He was unable to record a hit in from of his hometown fans, but did swipe a tag on World Team second baseman Jonathan Schoop at first base as part of the only pickoff of the contest.
Left-handed pitcher: Felipe Vazquez, 2012
Vazquez, who was then known as Felipe Rivero, worked mainly as a starter for Class A Bowling Green in the first half of 2012, going 6-5 with a 2.42 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings for the Hot Rods before being named to the Futures Game World Team. Though Vazquez struggled with his command in his only inning of work, he flashed his impressive heater, showcasing his potential to be a dominant reliever in the big leagues.
Right-handed pitcher: Justin Verlander, 2005
Verlander was promoted to Double-A Erie about three weeks prior to making an appearance in the Futures Game and struck out each of the first seven batters he faced with the Seawolves. He got the start for the U.S. Team just one season after being drafted No. 3 overall by the Tigers, and made quick work of the top of the World Team lineup, allowing just one hit and no walks in his lone inning on the mound.
Here's the complete list of 2018 All-Stars who previously played in the Futures Game:
Ozzie Albies: 2015 World
Jose Altuve: 2011 World
Nolan Arenado: 2011-12 U.S.
Javy Baez: 2014 World
Jose Berrios: 2014-15 World
Alex Bregman: 2016 U.S.
Shin-Soo Choo: 2002, '03-04 World
Gerritt Cole: 2012 U.S.
Nelson Cruz: 2005 U.S.
Edwin Diaz: 2015 World
Scooter Gennett: 2012 U.S.
Paul Goldschmidt: 2011 U.S.
Josh Hader: 2016 U.S.
Bryce Harper: 2011 U.S.
Joe Jimenez: 2015-16 World
Aaron Judge: 2015 U.S.
Francisco Lindor: 2012-13-14 World
Manny Machado: 2011-12 World
Aaron Nola: 2015 U.S.
Luis Severino: 2014 World
George Springer: 2013 U.S.
Trevor Story; 2015 U.S.
Mike Trout: 2010-11 U.S.
Felipe Vasquez: 2012 World
Justin Verlander: 2005 U.S.
Joey Votto: 2006-07 World
Christian Yelich: 2012-13 U.S.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com.