Outside of the San Diego Padres trio of prospects, there are a few very intriguing names on both the USA and World rosters.
Every single prospect on these rosters is worth the price of admission or a few hours of your time on a Sunday afternoon. I’m not going to go through each prospect and I’m sure I will miss discussing a few future MLB All-Stars, however, I want to highlight a few prospects that aren’t under the national spotlight, yet.
For Team USA, keep an eye on Bo Bichette (Toronto) and Carter Kieboom (Washington). Bichette (son of Dante Bichette) hit .362 with 41 doubles, 14 home runs, and a .423 OBP in 2017, between full-season A-ball and High-A. Now playing Double-A ball in New Hampshire, Bichette has 23 doubles and has already set career-highs in triples (5) and stolen bases (26). He’s becoming more of a complete player and will be an exciting player to watch in Toronto, alongside Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.
Kieboom will be the local superstar of the afternoon. The Nationals’ prospect has hit .305 since his promotion to AA Harrisburg (20 games). The 20-year-old shortstop can hit for power and average and has been given a 55 FV grade by many prospect evaluators. These words from his Manager perfectly sum up his playing style.
As for the World roster, there are a few high-risk prospects who bring an elite tool to the table that is worth watching. Take Seuly Matias, for example.
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
Matias is just 19 years old, playing for the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League (Kansas City Royals). Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Matias has 26 home runs under his belt this season. However, he’s hitting just .213 with a .293 OBP and a 36% strikeout rate.
Fangraphs ranks Matias as the top prospect in the Royals’ system, giving him a 50 FV, 70 raw power grade, and a 70-grade arm. According to their data, over 25% of his batted balls were hit at 105 mph or harder.
The last name I want to throw out there is Minnesota Twins prospect, LHP Lewis Thorpe. Thorpe, out of Melbourne, Australia, is currently with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League (AA). He’s made 17 starts and has 106 strikeouts in 84 innings of work. In his 283 career minor league innings, Thorpe has 341 strikeouts, a 3.24 ERA, and has allowed 253 hits.
Thorpe missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons after falling victim to Tommy John surgery and then contracting mono, which halted his rehab/comeback attempt in 2016. The 11th-ranked prospect within the Twins’ organization could find himself in the major league rotation next year.
Starting Lineups announced
U.S. Team starting lineup
1. CF: Jo Adell, Angels
2. SS: Bo Bichette, Blue Jays
3. 2B: Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
4. 1B: Nate Lowe, Rays
5. DH: Keston Hiura, Brewers
6. RF: Alex Kirilloff, Twins
7. C: Danny Jansen, Blue Jays
8. LF: Kyle Lewis, Mariners
9. 3B: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates
U.S. Team starting pitcher
RHP: Mitch Keller, Pirates
World Team starting lineup
1. CF: Luis Alexander Basabe (Venezuela), White Sox
2. SS: Fernando Tatis Jr. (D.R.), Padres
3. LF: Yusniel Diaz (Cuba), Dodgers
4. DH: Seuly Matias (D.R.), Royals
5. 1B: Yordan Alvarez (Cuba), Astros
6. 2B: Luis Urias (Mexico), Padres
7. RF: Jesus Sanchez (D.R.), Rays
8. C: Miguel Amaya (Panama), Cubs
9. 3B: Dawel Lugo (D.R.), Tigers
World Team starting pitcher
LHP: Jesus Luzardo (Venezuela), A’s
This year’s Futures Game will take place Sunday (July 15th) at 1 pm EST at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. You can watch the game on MLB Network or online at MLB.com.