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Ride along on Cespedes Family BBQ/Cut4 road trip

July 9, 2016

The 2016 Prospectpalooza tour has completed its long journey to San Diego.Our friends Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Cespedes Family Barbecue have embarked on a month-long coast-to-coast road trip, during which they'll drop in on as many top prospects as possible en route to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game

The 2016 Prospectpalooza tour has completed its long journey to San Diego.
Our friends Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Cespedes Family Barbecue have embarked on a month-long coast-to-coast road trip, during which they'll drop in on as many top prospects as possible en route to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in San Diego. All the while, they'll be documenting their travels with stories and videos on Cut4.
All told, they'll travel through more than 30 states, spend at least 90 hours in the car together and see over 30 of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects.

Below is the itinerary for their trip. So ride along with them (not literally) and learn a little bit about some of the game's future stars as Jake and Jordan go behind the scenes at a Minor League ballpark (probably) near you.
July 8: Made it San Diego
We did it. We drove across the country, spent more than 90 hours driving and made it to San Diego before the first pitch in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Speaking of which, we spoke to Mets prospect Dominic Smith for a second time on our trip and he told us about about the time he played at Dodgers Stadium in high school.

July 7: The Grand Canyon
No Minor League games today, which helped considering it was our longest day in the car. We decided to answer a question that fans had been asking us quite some time: "Can Jake Mintz hit a home run at the Grand Canyon Recreation Center?"

July 6: El Paso @ Albuquerque
Our long day of driving included some boring stretches but was highlighted by a few enjoyable strange landmarks, including Cadillac Ranch. We had a fun interview with Rockies prospectJeff Hoffman before catching up with San Diego prospectCarlos Asuaje, both of whom will be in the Futures Game. Finally, we caught a game between the Isotopes and the Chihuahuas that was simply full of talent.

July 5: Colorado @ Oklahoma City
With the Fourth of July wrapped up, we went to Oklahoma City, where the big news is the departure of Kevin Durant. We spoke to some prospects, including Dodgers No. 2 Jose De Leon, about stepping up as the superstar to fill Durant's shoes and what it's like to be friends with baseball's No. 2 prospect Julio Urias. We also chatted with the Brewers' Tim Dillard about his outrageous short films.

July 4: Frisco @ Northwest Arkansas
No better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with some bat flipping (which we took care of earlier in the aptly named town of Flippin, Arkansas) and Minor League baseball. Before watching Yu Darvish make a rehab start in Springfield, we spoke to Naturals pitchers Kyle Bartsch, Mark Peterson and Eric Stout about fireworks and one of the greatest baseball movies ever, "The Sandlot."

July 3: Mississippi @ Jackson
It's not easy to ask the tough questions, but someone has to do it. We sat down with Dansby Swanson, the Braves' top prospect and the No. 6 prospect in baseball, before the game in Jackson and asked him hard-hitting questions, such as "If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?"

July 2: Biloxi @ Birmingham
Our day at Regions Field allowed us to look back and appreciate Michael Jordan's baseball career, challenge top White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer to a game of fungo golf and talk to former Major Leaguer and current coach Aaron Rowand about ping pong. We also did a Facebook Live chat with Brewers prospect Brett Philips, owner of the best laugh in baseball, before catching our first extra-innings game of the trip.

July 1: Mobile @ Montgomery
We started the day off by visiting the Ty Cobb Museum, surprisingly located in an office building. We visited SunTrust Park, future home of the Atlanta Braves, and put ourselves in the bat flip record books there. Finally, we talked to some top Rays prospects about video games and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game before watching the Biscuits play the BayBears.

June 30: Kannapolis @ Hickory
We got a taste of the weirdness that is rural America, including a miniature stone replica of Shangri La. We also got to speak to 26-year-old Justin Jirschele, who recently transitioned from playing to coaching, and No. 8 White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo, who told us about his crazy journey to baseball before we saw him make an amazing throw in a game that night.

June 29: Columbia @ Hickory (Update: change of plans, we're going to D.C.)
When offered the chance to talk to baseball's No. 1 overall prospect after his Major League debut, embrace it. We took a quick detour to talk to Lucas Giolito about adjusting to the big leagues and trying to get a hit off of Matt Harvey.

June 28: Myrtle Beach @ Salem
Bat flips at Mini Fenway with Red Sox prospects, interviewing the top player in the Cubs system, and a combined 11 doubles in a seven-inning game. Our busy day included only the first half of a doubleheader in Salem, but we feel like we directly influenced it -- or at least the walk-off celebration.

June 27: Columbus @ Lehigh Valley
Bacon, mustaches and "Game of Thrones" may not have anything in common, but they all played vital roles in our visit to Lehigh Valley. Oh, did I mention there was also a human cannonball? It just all goes to show that you never know what you'll experience at a baseball game, especially one in the Minor Leagues.

June 26: Reading @ Portland
Yo, Moncada. We met up with the recently promoted Yoan Moncada, who was playing in his fifth game for the Sea Dogs. Shout out to Mauricio Dubon, the Red Sox's No. 12 prospect, who served as the translator for our interview with Moncada.

June 25: Harrisburg @ New Hampshire
We had the chance to see Nationals No. 5 prospect Reynaldo Lopez, who is in the midst of an impressive strikeout streak (at least 12 whiffs in three of past five starts heading into Saturday). Lopez shined against the Fisher Cats, striking out 10 and pumping his fastball in between 95-98 mph. We also spoke with two prospects in the Blue Jays' system, Brady Dragmire (No. 17) and Rowdy Tellez (No. 8). Dragmire and Tellez were teammates as kids, and we talked with them about how much has changed since then.

June 24: Richmond @ Binghamton
We met up with Mets top prospect Dominic Smith and talked to him about the transition to Double-A and the toughest pitchers he's faced.

June 24: Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Is a baseball road trip really a road trip if it doesn't involve a stop in Cooperstown? Of course not. We sat down with John Odell, the curator of History and Research at the Baseball Hall of Fame, who showed us some of the strangest artifacts in baseball history.

June 23 Akron @ Reading
Our first stop of the day and of the trip was in Reading, home of two hallmarks of American culture: Taylor Swift and the Fightin' Phils. In Reading, we found none other than 1,000-year baseball veteran Jake Fox. In addition to that time he hit a billion Spring Training home runs for the Orioles in 2011, the Indiana native has had quite the career. We sat down with him and Phillies first-base prospect Rhys Hoskins. More »

June 23 Toledo @ Scranton
We drove an hour and a half north to Scranton, home of the RailRiders, the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate. There we found human bicep curl, eternal bro and all-around good guy Nick Swisher. After that, we talked to Yankees prospect Aaron Judge, who happens to be second largest human being we've ever seen in person (after 7-foot-7 NBA great Gheorghe Mureșan). More »

July 10: Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego