Who’s ready for their close-up?
The 2022 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game is underway in Hollywood, specifically Dodger Stadium.
Twenty-eight of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects were selected to play in this year’s showcase event, and 13 clubs are represented by their No. 1 prospect. There are pure hitters like Corbin Carroll, Curtis Mead and Robert Hassell III. There are powerful sluggers in Francisco Álvarez, Jordan Walker and Gunnar Henderson. There are blazing fastballs from Bobby Miller and special offspeed pitches from Kyle Harrison and Eury Pérez.
To prepare you for this cinematic display of young baseball talent, here are scouting reports on every organization’s 2022 Futures Game representatives.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Tiedemann, a third-round pick last year, has been the breakout player of the system and punches his ticket to LA on the strength of a mid-90s fastball and two above-average offspeed pitches in his slider and change. He’s mastered Single-A and High-A so far, so more experienced NL bats could provide a nice and needed challenge next Saturday. Zulueta missed much of last season with a torn ACL but is back to throwing in the upper-90s across three levels. The Cuba native could be a Statcast darling in this exhibition if he can air it out for a few batters.
Henderson just made a big jump up 36 spots into the top five of our refreshed Top 100 list, as the left-handed hitting infielder who just turned 21 at the end of June recently got promoted to Triple-A. He has a combined .977 OPS with 13 homers and 15 steals. That 2019 Draft, with Adley Rutschman at No. 1 overall and Henderson in the second round, is looking really good right now.
Rays: Taj Bradley, RHP (No. 2/MLB No. 34); Curtis Mead, INF (No. 3/MLB No. 61)
Bradley is in the midst of his second straight season with a sub-2.00 ERA, this time at Double-A Montgomery. The 21-year-old right-hander earns raves for his mid-90s fastball and cutter-like slider. He throws plenty of strikes too and continues to make his case as one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the game. Mead similarly is building on his 2021 breakout. He showed that it was no fluke by hitting .305/.394/.548 over 56 Double-A games and has already arrived at Triple-A Durham as a 21-year-old. With experience at third, second and first, he gives AL manager Jimmy Rollins some positional flexibility.
Red Sox: Brayan Bello, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 45); Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS (No. 26)
Both Red Sox representatives were bargain signings in the 2017 international class, Bello for $28,000 out of the Dominican Republic and Rafaela for $10,000 from Curacao. Bello was promoted to the big leagues last week and subsequently replaced on the Futures Game roster. The most versatile defender and one of the best hitters in Boston's system, the 5-foot-8 Rafaela is batting .307/.350/.577 with 15 homers and 18 steals between High-A and Double-A.
Yankees: Anthony Volpe, SS (No. 1/MLB No. 8); Jasson Dominguez, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 40); Ken Waldichuk, LHP (No. 5/MLB No. 74)
MLB Pipeline's 2021 Hitting Prospect of the Year, Volpe started slowly this season but has boosted his numbers to .244/.342/.444 with 11 homers and 33 steals in 70 games as one of the youngest hitters (age 21) in Double-A. The 2019 first-rounder from a New Jersey high school still projects to be a plus hitter with power to match, not to mention solid speed and a high baseball IQ. Few international prospects have been hyped more than Dominguez, who signed for $5.1 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 and is known as "The Martian" for his otherworldly tools. He's batting .257/.368/.424 with eight homers and 16 steals in 69 Single-A contests. Far less ballyhooed than Volpe and Dominguez when he was drafted in 2019's fifth round out of Saint Mary's, Waldichuk misses bats with tremendous shape and carry on a 92-98 mph fastball and backs it up with a sweeping slider and fading changeup. He ranks seventh in the Minors in strikeout rate (13.4 per nine innings), ninth in both strikeouts (101 in 68 innings between Double-A and Triple-A) and opponent average (.183) and 10th in ERA (1.99).
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Guardians: George Valera, OF (No. 2/MLB No. 33); Jhonkensy Noel, 3B/OF (No. 13)
Valera signed for $1.3 million out of the Dominican Republic as one of the top hitters in the 2017 international class. He's thriving in Double-A at age 21, batting .285/391/.512 with 13 homers in 70 games. Noel is tied for the Minor League home run lead with 24, including five in his first seven Double-A games, and he is batting .226/.300/.545 in 69 contests. Signed for $100,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, he produces the best exit velocities in the Guardians system.
Royals: Alec Marsh, RHP (No. 10)
With Nick Pratto heading north of the border for his Major League debut, Marsh slides in as his replacement on the AL side. The 24-year-old right-hander throws his fastball in the mid-90s and can flirt with triple-digits, which could happen in an abbreviated showcase event like Saturday's. He also features two promising breaking balls in his curve and slider, so while he's struggled at points this season, the potential for a Major League starting pitcher still remains.
Tigers: Dillon Dingler, C (No. 3); Wilmer Flores, RHP (No. 14)
Detroit officials have raved about Dingler’s athleticism behind the plate since the club took him in the second round of the 2020 Draft, so he shouldn’t have an issue handling an All-Star staff. The 23-year-old is hitting .240/.325/.400 with seven homers this season for Double-A Erie. Flores -- brother of the Giants infielder of the same name -- became a popup name last season after he went unselected two years ago. His mid-90s fastball and above-average curveball give him two weapons that have helped him fan 50 batters over only 39 innings in his first taste of Double-A.
Twins: Spencer Steer, 2B/3B (No. 7); Matt Wallner, OF (No. 8)
Both of these prospects come by way of the 2019 Draft, with Steer a third-rounder and Wallner having gone No. 39 overall. Steer put himself on the map with 24 homers in 2021. He already has 19 this year, has reached Triple-A and can play three infield positions. Wallner has ridiculous raw power and would be a good choice if there were a Futures Game home run derby. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss, but he has 20 homers in Double-A.
White Sox: Oscar Colas, OF (No. 2)
Once billed as the Cuban Shohei Ohtani, Colas signed for $2.7 million in January after playing three years (mostly in the minors) in Japan. Solely an outfielder now, he produces well-above-average raw power with his bat speed and strength, and he's hitting .316/.374/.487 with seven homers in 56 games in High-A.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: Ky Bush, LHP (No. 4)
The big lefty from St. Mary’s was the Angels’ second-round pick in their 2021 all-pitching Draft and is showing he’s the advanced college arm they were hoping for. His four-pitch mix, led by a heavy fastball and excellent slider, has him among the Double-A Southern League leaders in ERA, WHIP and BAA in his first full season.
Astros: Hunter Brown, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 85); Yainer Diaz, C/1B (No. 14)
A 2019 fifth-round choice from NCAA Division II Wayne State (Mich.), Brown overpowers hitters with a mid-90s fastball that reaches 99 mph, a power curveball with tremendous depth and a hard slider. He tops the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in ERA (2.38), strikeouts (97), strikeout rate (12.1 per nine innings) and opponent average (.186). Signed for just $25,000 out of the Dominican Republic by the Guardians in 2016 and sent to the Astros in the Myles Straw trade last July, Diaz has a fluid right-handed swing and quality bat-to-ball skills. A career .322/.359/.498 hitter as a pro, he's batting .303/.356/.510 with 13 homers in 70 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
A’s: Shea Langeliers, C (No. 1/MLB No. 32); Denzel Clarke, OF (No. 14)
Acquired from the Braves in the Matt Olson deal, Langeliers continues to hit for power (14 homers) and play easily plus defense behind the plate as he awaits his first call to the big leagues. The A’s took the toolsy Clarke out of Cal State Northridge in the fourth round of the 2021 Draft, and the Toronto native is having a fine first season, with a .903 OPS and 17 steals while earning a promotion from Single-A to High-A in mid-June.
Mariners: Emerson Hancock, RHP (No. 5)
This is Futures Game invitation No. 2 for Hancock, the M’s first-rounder in 2020 (No. 6 overall), but injury kept him from attending last year. Health has been a concern, but while Seattle has been stretching him out slowly -- he pitched more than five innings for the first time in his last start -- he still has an excellent four-pitch mix, and command of it has helped him post a 2.55 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and .183 BAA over his 35 1/3 innings of work.
Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 17); Dustin Harris, 1B/3B/OF (No. 7)
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 Draft after tying Vanderbilt teammate Kumar Rocker for the NCAA Division I lead with 179 strikeouts, Leiter's best weapons are a 90-97 mph fastball with tremendous carry and a downer curveball in the upper 70s. Sent to Double-A for his pro debut, he has posted a 5.36 ERA with 60 whiffs in 48 2/3 innings. Harris, who replaced Boston's Brayan Bello on the AL roster, features an advanced feel for the strike zone and has been a productive hitter at every stop since being taken by the A's in the 11th round of the 2019 Draft. Acquired by Texas in the 2020 Mike Minor deal, Harris is now on his way to his second straight 20-20 season -- this time during his first taste of the Double-A level.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Jared Shuster, LHP (No. 8)
Selected in the first round of the 2020 Draft out of Wake Forest, Shuster reached Double-A in his first full season, but got hit in three starts. The left-hander with a plus changeup clearly has learned from that experience and currently sits second in the Southern League in strikeouts (86), WHIP (1.04) and BAA (.209) and is fourth in ERA (3.13). He commands his low-90s fastball well and continues to improve his slider.
Marlins: Eury Pérez, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 16)
Pérez continues to dominate much older competition, recording a 3.21 ERA, .196 opponent average and 77 strikeouts in 56 innings as the youngest pitcher in Double-A (age 19). Signed for $200,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2019, he has exceptional body control for a 6-foot-8 teenager as well as a mid-90s fastball, deceptive changeup and downer curveball.
Mets: Francisco Álvarez, C (No. 1/MLB No. 2); Mark Vientos (No. 5)
The 20-year-old catcher is the No. 2 prospect on our Top 100 behind Riley Greene, meaning he is the highest-ranked prospect still in the Minors. Álvarez’s plus-plus raw power has played everywhere, and he’s improved enough defensively that his glovework won’t hinder his value. Having just arrived at Triple-A Syracuse, Álvarez is likely participating in his last Futures Game, so expect a rocket show both in batting practice and the exhibition itself. Vientos joined the NL side as a late replacement for Giants first baseman David Villar. He is typically a third baseman but has played the cold corner in 20 games this season with Triple-A Syracuse. A power-first bat, the right-handed slugger owned a .251/.337/.489 line over 63 games in the International League at the time of his addition, and his 15 homers led all Triple-A hitters aged 22 or younger.
Nationals: Darren Baker, 2B (not ranked among Top 30): Jose A. Ferrer, LHP
Baker was a 2021 10th-rounder out of Cal but might be better known as the son of Astros manager Dusty Baker (and the bat boy who was famously saved by JT Snow in the 2002 World Series). The 23-year-old second baseman is hitting .271/.330/.363 with 10 steals in 61 games at High-A Wilmington. Ferrer replaces Cade Cavalli as a Nats pitching representative and earned his place with a 1.59 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings of relief at Single-A and High-A. The 6-foot-1 southpaw can touch the upper-90s with his fastball, brings a promising changeup to the table and pitches in the zone better than most relief prospects from the lower levels.
Phillies: Logan O’Hoppe, C (No. 3/MLB No. 90)
O’Hoppe won the Arizona Fall League’s Stenson Sportsmanship Award and continues to bring his plus work ethic to Double-A Reading. The 22-year-old backstop can hit with a solid approach and some pop (.905 OPS) while providing excellent defense and leadership behind the dish.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Jackson Chourio, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 37); Joey Wiemer, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 62); Antoine Kelly, LHP (No. 14)
There is only one Futures Gamer this year with a birthdate in 2004. That would be Chourio, who also happens to be our highest climber in the latest Top 100. The 18-year-old center shows advanced bat speed and an innate ability to find the barrel, skills that have helped him hit .315/.365/.591 with 12 homers in 58 games with Single-A Carolina. That after he skipped the Arizona Complex League entirely. Wiemer brings a special blend of tools to his first Futures Game as a late replacement. The 23-year-old outfielder has plus-plus raw power, good speed and a 70-grade arm that's helped him pick up 11 outfield assists this season at Double-A Biloxi. A kinetic swing with some moving parts hurts his hit tool, but when everything comes together, Wiemer can provide as many highlights as anyone playing in Saturday's showcase. Kelly is fully healthy after undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in November 2020, and he’s used a plus fastball and above-average slider to great effect at High-A Wisconsin, where he owns a 3.62 ERA with 106 K’s in 82 innings.
Cardinals: Jordan Walker, 3B (No. 1/MLB No. 7); Masyn Winn, SS (No. 4/MLB No. 91)
Half of the Double-A Springfield infield is set to reunite in Chavez Ravine. Walker’s stock has leaped this season as he’s handled the Texas League in just his age-20 season. The third baseman is hitting .310/.401/.498 with seven homers over 66 games in his first taste of the upper Minors, and he’s as capable as anyone of putting up the highest exit velocities in this year’s Futures Game. Winn could be a Statcast standout in his own right. Pay special attention to any ball hit to him at short, and watch his throw across the diamond, which could come in the high-90s out of his 80-grade arm. The 20-year-old has improved enough offensively too to force his way into the Top 100 conversation.
Cubs: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF (No. 3/MLB No. 79)
A 2020 first-round pick by the Mets out of a California high school, Crow-Armstrong went to the Cubs in the Javier Báez trade last July. One of the best center-field defenders in the Minors, he has made changes to his left-handed stroke to unlock some power and is hitting .315/.382/.523 with nine homers and 14 steals in 56 games between Single-A and High-A.
Pirates: Mike Burrows, RHP (No. 10)
The No. 1 pick in the 2021 Draft, Henry Davis, was removed from the Futures Game roster due to a wrist injury. Burrows is just 22 and already in Triple-A thanks to his plus fastball and curve, both thrown with very high spin rates, to go along with a rapidly improving changeup.
Reds: Elly De La Cruz, 3B/SS (No. 2/MLB No. 50); Andrew Abbott, LHP (No. 12)
Just 20, De La Cruz burst on the scene last year and after a somewhat pedestrian start to his 2022 season in High-A, has been going off. The infielder has tools to spare and already has 15 homers and 25 steals, standing second in the Midwest League in SLG (.561) and fourth in OPS (.910). An intense competitor who was a reliever for much of college, Abbott has the stuff to start, especially with his fastball and plus curve. He made quick work of the Midwest League and is adjusting Double-A life in his first full season.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Corbin Carroll, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 3); Jordan Lawlar, (No. 2/MLB No. 12)
If you’re looking for tools on tools, you’ve come to the right place. Carroll might be the biggest five-tool talent on display in LA this year. The 21-year-old outfielder has rebounded nicely from shoulder surgery to hit .313/.430/.643 with 16 homers and 20 steals in 58 games at Double-A Amarillo. His plus speed and above-average arm strength will give him multiple ways to contribute even in a shortened seven-inning contest. Lawlar was a late swap for Pirates catcher Henry Davis on the NL roster, thus trading the 2021 first overall pick for the 2021 sixth. The 19-year-old shortstop has already made good use of his compact, right-handed swing and projects for above-average power and plus speed by the time he reaches the Majors. Despite making the jump from the lower Minors, Lawlar has a well-rounded skillset that could give him multiple ways to contribute come Saturday.
Dodgers: Diego Cartaya, C (No. 1/MLB No. 14); Bobby Miller, RHP (No. 2/MLB No. 27); Miguel Vargas, 3B (No. 5/MLB No. 72)
MLB Pipeline's top-rated player in the 2018 international class, Cartaya signed for $2.5 million out of Venezuela after earning Salvador Perez comparisons. A more advanced hitter than Perez at the same stage, he's batting .283/.421/.566 with 14 homers in 56 games at two Class A levels. Miller famously whiffed Shohei Ohtani on a 100-mph heater in an April exhibition game and can work at 97-98 mph for several innings at a time while also flashing a well-above-average slider and changeup, both in the mid-80s. The 2020 first-rounder out of Louisville ranks third in the Double-A Texas League in opponent average (.224) and fifth in WHIP (1.23), while logging a 4.45 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. The son of Lazaro Vargas, the DH on Cuba's 1992 and 1996 Olympic champions, Vargas defected with his father in November 2015 and signed for $300,000 two years later. An advanced hitter who barrels balls and controls the strike zone with ease, he won the Double-A Central batting title (.321) last year and is hitting .292/.379/.498 with 13 homers in 79 games as one of the youngest regulars (age 22) in Triple-A.
Giants: Kyle Harrison, LHP (No. 2/MLB No. 26); David Villar, INF (unranked on Giants Top 30)
Signed for an over-slot $2,497,500 as a 2020 third-rounder from a California high school, Harrison has blossomed into baseball's best left-handed pitching prospect. He leads the Minors in strikeouts (116) and strikeout rate (16.0 per nine innings) while posting a 2.76 ERA and .181 opponent average in 65 1/3 innings between High-A and Double-A. He can make hitters look bad with a fastball that reaches 98 mph with arm-side run as well as a mid-80s slider. An 11th-round pick from South Florida in 2018, Villar possesses some of the best raw power in the Giants system. After batting .284/.409/.633 with 21 homers in 66 games, leading the Pacific Coast League in dingers and slugging, he was promoted to the big leagues and has since been replaced on the Futures Game roster.
Padres: Robert Hassell III, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 24)
If all goes according to San Diego’s plan, Hassell will eventually get used to going to Dodger Stadium a few times every year instead of this one special visit. The 2020 eighth overall pick continues to live up to the billing as a potential plus left-handed hitter with good speed and defensive skills in center. Hassell is hitting .303/.375/.462 with eight homers and 19 stolen bases in 63 games for High-A Fort Wayne this season.
Rockies: Zac Veen, OF (No. 1/MLB No. 23)
The top two Rockies prospects form one of the most dynamic Future Game duos. Veen, the 2020 first-round pick, is following up a first full season where he narrowly missed finishing with a .300/.400/.500 line, has 10 homers and 33 stolen bases in High-A with a very solid approach, and he’s just starting to tap into his power.