What if Futures rosters were selected now?

September 30th, 2021

While the playoff races are drawing most of the attention, I'm also watching the other end of the standings to see who will wind up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 Draft. The D-backs took a one-game lead with five to play when the Orioles won on Tuesday, but Baltimore holds the tiebreaker by virtue of a worse 2019 record after both clubs went 25-35 in 2020. Heading into Wednesday's action, one game also separated the Rangers and Pirates for No. 3 vs. No. 4 and the Marlins and Nationals for No. 5 vs. No. 6.

While you ponder that, let me ponder some of your questions ...

If you were to redo the rosters for the Futures Game where we are at the end of the MiLB season, what players would you add to each roster?
- @_B4billy_

An interesting question that comes as I'm getting excited thinking about seeing a bunch of prospects take the field together in the Arizona Fall League a couple of weeks from now. I'll give you two completely new rosters, and bear in mind that I'm always going to side with prospecty goodness over pure performance if it's close.

I'm looking at this if we were holding this showcase right now, so prospects who are injured or on big league rosters won't be eligible. I didn't include any 2021 draftees and followed the Futures Game guidelines of at least one, but no more than two players per organization.

Here's what I came up with:

American League
*Bryan Bello (Bos), Taj Bradley (TB), Hunter Brown (Hou), *Reid Detmers (LAA), Daniel Espino (Cle), Luis Gil (NYY), George Kirby (Sea), Grayson Rodriguez (Bal), *Cole Winn (Tex)

C: M.J. Melendez (KC), *Adley Rutschman (Bal), *Tyler Soderstrom (Oak)

INF: Orelvis Martinez (Tor), Jose Miranda (Min), Jeremy Peña (Hou), *Spencer Torkelson (Det), Anthony Volpe (NYY), *Bobby Witt Jr. (KC), Nick Yorke (Bos)

OF: Yoelqui Cespedes (CWS), Riley Greene (Det), Josh Lowe (TB), *Austin Martin (Min), *Julio Rodríguez (Sea), George Valera (Cle)

National League
P: Cade Cavalli (Was), Hunter Greene (Cin), Kyle Harrison (SF), Max Meyer (Mia), Bobby Miller (LAD), Ryne Nelson (Ari), Eury Perez (Mia), *Quinn Priester (Pit), Spencer Strider (Atl)

C: *Francisco Álvarez (NYM), *Luis Campusano (SD), Shea Langeliers (Atl)

INF: Brett Baty (NYM), Nick Gonzales (Pit), Nolan Gorman (StL), *Marco Luciano (SF), Elehuris Montero (Col), *Bryson Stott (Phi), Jordan Walker (StL)

OF: *Brennen Davis (ChC), Robert Hassell (SD), Andy Pages (LAD), *Alek Thomas (Ari), Zac Veen (Col), Joey Wiemer (Mil)

*Selected for actual Futures Game in July.

If Luis García (who is still just 21 years old) was still prospect eligible where do you think he would rank in the Nationals farm system/Top 100 MLB prospects?
- @TFalsone13

García was the youngest player in MLB in 2020 and still ranks as the youngest in the National League this season. While he lost his rookie/prospect eligibility last year, he's still younger than 65 members of MLB Pipeline's current Top 100 Prospects list.

If he still counted as a prospect, García would rank third on our Nationals Top 30 behind right-hander Cade Cavalli and shortstop Brady House. I'm not sure he'd quite crack the Top 100, however, because I don't know that he'll make a huge impact with his bat or middle-infield defense. He has performed well for his age against older competition but never has posted an OPS higher than .742 in any of his five pro seasons, and his floor stands out to me more than his ceiling.

I know they’re different pitchers, but who do you think has a higher ceiling? Ryan Pepiot or Bobby Miller?
- @Davithoughts

I ranked Pepiot slightly ahead of Miller when I updated our Dodgers Top 30 in August, but I'd flip the right-handers if I were revising the list again six weeks later. They're both Top 100 Prospects and Miller has a higher likelihood of pitching in the front half of a rotation. 

They both sit in the mid-90s with their fastballs, with Miller having a tick more upper-end velocity. Pepiot's plus-plus changeup is the best pitch that either of them possess -- and one of the best changeups anywhere in the Minors -- though Miller has superior breaking stuff. The biggest difference for me is that Miller has significantly better control and that will make a difference against big league hitters.

Any thoughts or industry perspective on Ryan Murphy from the Giants’ system? He had a remarkable year across two levels.
- @MichaelB8989

A fifth-round pick out of NCAA Division II Le Moyne in 2020, Murphy had a tremendous pro debut this summer. Splitting his time between Low-A and High-A, the right-hander ranked second in the Minors in strikeout percentage (39.3), third in whiffs (164 in 107 1/3 innings) and 10th in both ERA (2.52) and opponent average (.189). He capped his year by winning the High-A West playoff clincher with seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings.

Murphy has gone from a relative unknown who signed for $22,500 to a legitimate pitching prospect in a Giants system that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. His fastball plays above its 91-95 mph velocity thanks to its spin and carry, his slider is a solid No. 2 offering and he also throws strikes with his curveball and changeup. He has advanced control and command and he hides the ball well, enhancing his chances of pitching in the back half of a big league rotation.