10 Futures stars who could make 2018 impact

Sheffield, Tatis could shine in DC on Sunday, MLB this summer

July 13th, 2018

Those looking to catch a glimpse of baseball's next wave of stars will want to tune into the 21st annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, when 50 of the top Minor Leaguers -- including 27 players ranked on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list -- showcase their talents live from Nationals Park at 4 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Last year's event at Marlins Park in Miami included , , , , and , all of whom have since emerged as big league regulars for their respective clubs. In terms of pitchers, and have logged important innings for the Cardinals and Angels, while Braves right-hander made his big league debut early this season at age 20 before a shoulder injury derailed his campaign.

Below are the 10 Futures Game players most likely to make a fantasy impact in 2018. The list is based solely on expected big league production for the remainder of the season, in contrast to MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, which reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.

1. , LHP, Yankees' No. 2/No. 39 overall (Previous rank: 6)

Sheffield's name has been the subject of recent trade rumors, although the Yankees aren't particularly inclined to part with the 22-year-old left-hander. He's throwing the ball as well as he has all season, sporting a 3-1 record with a 1.77 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings across his past six starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and he could be the next Yanks prospect to get a crack at the rotation when the need arises.

2. , SS, Padres' No. 1/No. 3 overall (Previous rank: 7)

Tatis, 19, put a shaky first month of the season (.564 OPS) with Double-A San Antonio behind him by posting a 1.054 OPS in May and a .941 OPS in June. He's been particularly hot of late, too, batting .417/.462/.729 amidst a 12-game hitting streak that began on June 21. After totaling 22 homers and 32 steals a year ago, Tatis is on pace for another big year with his 15 homers and 14 steals through 83 games in the Texas League. That power-speed combo will make him a valuable fantasy asset later this season if he gets the call to replace , who continues to offer below-average production at the plate.

3. , 2B, Padres' No. 3/No. 29 overall (Previous rank: NR)

By now fantasy owners know what to expect from the 21-year-old Urias -- one of the better pure hitters and on-base machines in the Minor Leagues. He represents an upgrade on both sides of the ball over (.591 OPS), and the fact that Urias also can hold his own on the left side of the infield only enhances his fantasy value.

4. , 1B, Mets' No. 2/No. 69 overall (Previous rank: 10)

The Mets' current first-base tandem of and has combined for nine homers and 30 RBIs in 2018. Alonso, meanwhile, has already established career highs in both home runs (19) and RBIs (69) while batting .277/.411/.520 and reaching Triple-A in his second full season.

5. , 2B, Brewers' No. 1/No. 30 overall (Previous rank: 8)

Shortstop has been a weak spot offensively for the Brewers this season, and the club's second basemen haven't been much better, leading the National League in strikeouts and posting a sub-.300 OBP. Hiura has scuffled lately with Double-A Biloxi, but the 2017 first-rounder still owns a .302/.362/.488 batting line with 39 extra-base hits (including nine homers) and 10 steals across two levels in his first full season.

6. Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, Astros' No. 3/No. 51 overall (Previous rank: NR)

The Astros have plenty of quality outfield options on any given night, including the recently promoted (No. 8 overall prospect). However, they're also an organization that's willing to call upon a hot hand in the Minors if the opportunity is right. The 22-year-old Alvarez could fit that mold later this season, as he recently was promoted to Triple-A Fresno after hitting .325/.389/.615 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs in 43 games with Double-A Corpus Christi.

7. , C/OF, Indians' No. 1/No. 15 overall (Previous rank: NR)

Mejia uncharacteristically struggled during the first two months of the season before righting the ship to hit .455/.476/.717 in June. But as the weakest defensive catcher of the four backstops on Cleveland's 40-man roster, the 22-year-old switch-hitter likely will need there to be an injury ahead of him to receive even semi-regular playing time in the Majors. If that were to happen, though, few catchers can rival Mejia's upside with the bat.

8. , RHP, Cardinals' No. 3 (Previous rank: NR)

Sooner or later, the Cardinals will turn to Hudson, the club's first-round pick from the 2016 Draft. He sports a 12-2 record with a 2.42 ERA and has given up just one home run over 104 1/3 innings (17 starts) with Triple-A Memphis in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. The 23-year-old righty doesn't miss many bats, but he is adept at generating weak contact and working deep into games.

9. , RHP, Phillies' No. 11 (Previous rank: NR)

The Triple-A International League's ERA leader (1.89) earned the win in his Major League debut on Tuesday against the Mets, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. It was a strong audition by the 22-year-old right-hander, who averaged 94 mph and topped out at 97.6 mph with his heater.

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates' No. 1/No. 12 overall (Previous rank: NR)

Keller has struggled so far in his introduction to the Triple-A level, though it certainly doesn't detract from his reputation as one of baseball's elite pitching prospects. It might, however, prevent the 22-year-old right-hander from reaching the Majors in 2018, which is the only reason why he checks in behind both Hudson and De Los Santos on this list.