The future of Major League Baseball will be on display Sunday afternoon when the 20th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game (4 p.m. ET on MLB Network) takes over Nationals Park in Washington DC.
The showcase event will once again serve as the official opening act for three full days worth of All-Star activities.
For many fans, it’s actually the most anticipated event of the star-studded festivities. That might be challenged this year though when Mike Oz, Jeff Passan, Tim Brown and some special guests, present the first live Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast hours before Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
What is the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game?
The concept is exactly what the name implies. Fifty of the game’s top prospects will be present and divided into teams representing the U.S. and the World (view full rosters here), and for nine innings they’ll have an opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage.
Why should you watch the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game?
It’s an exciting glimpse into baseball’s near and long-term future. Past events have featured some of MLB’s biggest current stars. The list of alumni includes future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander (2005), established MLB All-Stars such as Mike Trout (2010, 2011), Bryce Harper (2011), Jose Altuve (2011) and Noah Syndergaard (2013, 2014), and fast-rising All-Stars like Trea Turner (2015).
This year, 30 of MLB’s top 100 prospects have been invited and will participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Do you really need more incentive to watch? If so, then here are four more reasons we think you should invest your Sunday into watching the stars of tomorrow.
Hunter Greene will be there
The No. 2 overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2017 MLB Draft is among the biggest names participating. Greene got off to a slow start in his professional career, posting a 12.29 ERA over his first 10 starts. He’s bounced back very well in his last nine starts with a 2.72 ERA over 46.1 innings.
Those numbers mean little to the Reds. Greene’s talent and potential to be a difference maker is why they selected him, and it’s why he’s been selected to play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The 18-year-old right-hander features a fastball that’s touched 102 mph. He was even touted before the draft as possibly being the best high school pitching prospect ever.
This will be the biggest stage he’s been on so far. It will be a big moment for him, and an exciting one for baseball fans.
Quite a legacy
Two of the top position player prospects in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game also had famous MLB fathers. San Diego Padres No. 3 prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. will represent Team World. The fast-rising shortstop is the son of 11-year major leaguer Fernando Tatis.
Toronto Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette will make his second appearance in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. His father is former Colorado Rockies outfielder Dante Bichette. The younger Bichette is ticketed to be Toronto’s shortstop of the future. His teammate, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., would likely be in the game too if not for an injury.
The other big arms
In addition to Greene, many of baseball’s other top pitching prospects will be on hand. Justus Sheffield, the dynmatic left-hander whom the New York Yankees seem determined not to include in any trades this summer, is among the headliners. As will Mitch Keller of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Matt Manning of the Detroit Tigers, Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox and Kyle Wright of the Atlanta Braves.
You won’t want to miss any of them as they do battle with baseball’s top hitting prospects.
David Ortiz is managing Team World
It’s been way too long since we’ve seen “Big Papi” in uniform and in the dugout. That will change here as he leads Team World into battle with Team USA and its manager, Torii Hunter.
Ortiz’s coaching staff will be star-studded too. New Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero will serve as his hitting coach, while former MLB manager Jerry Manuel handles bench coach duties.
What type of strategy will Ortiz have for his squad? We can’t wait to find out.
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