MLB: 6 Players to Watch From the 2019 Futures Game
Each year during its All-Star Break, MLB offers a glimpse ahead to the stars of tomorrow with its annual Futures Game. The Futures Game pits some of the top prospects from both the AL and NL against each other in a single game.
This year’s tilt had plenty of future star power. Here are six players to watch from the 2019 Futures Game along with how they performed.
At 21 years old, Carter Kieboom is currently part of the Washington Nationals’ AAA affiliate the Fresno Grizzlies in the Pacific Coast League. This season he’s batting .309 with a .418 on-base percentage and 14 home runs in 71 games. The Nationals drafted him in 2012 and in 2017, MLB.com ranked him as the Nationals fourth-best prospect.
In the Futures Game, Kieboom collected the game’s first hit as well as scoring its first run.
At the big league level, the Baltimore Orioles may be struggling at the moment, but help is on the way. That help may come in the form of stud pitcher DL Hall.
Hall had a nice performance in the Futures Game where his fastball consistently hit the high 90s. The lefthander is currently playing for the O’s at high A-ball for the Frederick Keys. In 13 starts this season he’s 3-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 87 strikeouts. In three years in the Orioles’ system, his highest total has been 100 strikeouts, so he’s almost certain to clear that this year.
The 22-year-old Nate Pearson has one of the top fastballs in minor league baseball. This season while splitting time between A and AA he has a record of 3-2 with an ERA of 2.42 and 69 strikeouts.
Pearson’s fastball was particularly impressive in the Futures Game, topping 100 mph four times. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning with two strikeouts, making hitters look foolish with his blistering fastball as well as his devastating slider.
This Cincinnati Reds prospect won the MVP at last season’s Futures Game, and this year his performance wasn’t bad either. He had the first RBI of the game. Taylor Trammell is currently with the Chattanooga Lookouts in the AA Southern League where he’s got an on-base percentage of .374 and an OPS of .714.
The highlight of the game for Trammell may have come on a play he was called out on. In the fourth inning, he attempted to steal home but was called out. Replays revealed he probably slid under the tag.
One of the most exciting performances from this year’s Futures Game came from right-hander Luis Patino in relief. Patino, a member of the San Diego Padres organization for the AA Lake Elsinore Storm, pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He entered the game with runners on first and third in the seventh and struck out two to end the threat. He then pitched the eighth as well without incident.
In 67.1 innings pitched this season, Patino has an ERA of 3.21 with 89 strikeouts. He hasn’t surrendered more than three earned runs in his last 10 starts.
Washington Redskins fans may do a double-take at this name, but rest assured this isn’t the former QB. This Sam Huff is a catcher and first baseman in the Texas Rangers minor league system, now playing for the Carolina League’s Down East Wood Ducks.
In 54 games, Huff has 24 home runs, 61 RBI, and a .336 on-base percentage. In the Futures Game, he hit a 418-foot home run in the seventh inning on his way to winning Futures Game MVP.