Prospects Report: Taking a glimpse at the Futures

We won't have to wait until after the All-Star break to see some of the elite prospects in baseball -- unfortunately, it will be a one-game glimpse into the future.

It doesn't quite carry the weight of the All-Star Game, but the Futures Game is one of baseball's best showcases every summer. Those of us in keeper leagues care and enjoy getting a first national TV look at the top prospects who were merely names on the Baseball America rankings or Fantasy Baseball Roster Trends for minor leaguers.

The official Futures Game rosters were announced this week and are listed below. Teams were limited to two participants and, because it is the U.S. against the World, it won't be all of the top prospects in the minor leagues (so only two O's pitching prospects make it). Just seven of the players have reached the highest level or the minors and there are no players with major league experience. So, we won't see the most-owned minor leaguers like Clay Buchholz , Matt LaPorta and Brandon Wood .

Hopefully those guys are back in the big leagues before this game is played. There is also a slim chance some of these Futures Gamers will be called up before then -- like Justin Verlander a few years ago -- and have to be replaced on the roster.

Here are our top five must-see prospects in this event, assuming they are not called up before then:

1. Madison Bumgarner , SP, Giants

The only things we know about Bumgarner is what we read on his profile. Teenager. Left-handed. And lights out.

His 15 percent ownership ties him as the most-owned player in the Futures Game.

Bumgarner is the best prospect in the minors, though, and someone we hope will get a lot of play on the broadcast. At 19, he is dominating Double-A, going 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a .223 batting-average against. He is a combined (7-2)-1.88-.221 ... as a teenager!

2. Mat Latos , SP, Padres

We have seen him rise in the Padres' system and prospect rankings real quickly this spring, but his ownership in's Fantasy leagues has been slow to respond. He is only owned in 4 percent of our leagues, but his numbers suggest that should change.

Latos, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound future front-line ace, has handled a promotion to Double-A, going 4-1 with a 2.18 and a .217 BAA. He is a combined 7-1 with a 1.39 ERA and a .177 BAA through 58 1/3 innings between Class A and Double-A. He has 64 strikeouts to 12 walks.

The Padres are not in contention this year, but their injury-hit rotation could use some reinforcements and they very well might take a look at this 22-year-old in the second half.

3. Chris Tillman , SP, Orioles

He was a De facto No. 6 in the June 1 "High Five", but an untimely leg injury kept him from being the imminent call-up by the Orioles. The expected Koji Uehara demotion or DL assignment figures to give us a look at David Hernandez on Sunday, but Tillman very well might be the Orioles best starting pitcher today and the proverbial tomorrow.

Tillman is the No. 1 most-owned minor leaguer to be selected to the game, for very good reason. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in a game this season, posting a 5-4 record with a 2.59 ERA and a .235 BAA.

As Erik Bedard tries to prove healthy in the next couple of weeks before the All-Star Game, the Mariners will be hoping they could draw talent in a trade that could come close to Tillman.

4. Josh Vitters , 3B, Cubs

Most people recognize this name because he was a often-rumored piece of the Cubs packages for Jake Peavy . The Cubs have to be happy they never made that deal, and not only because Peavy is injured.

Vitters, drafted as a high school talent out of Southern California, got off to a slow start as a professional, but he has popped this year and looks like a future Fantasy slugger, perhaps even an elite top five Fantasy third baseman-type. He could be Evan Longoria / Ryan Braun / David Wright good. The 19-year-old will need a few years, though.

In low Class A, Vitters has hit .308 with 13 homers, a .520 SLUG and a .346 OBP. He could use a little more patience as his 37-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio suggests, but how many teenage sluggers are patient?

We have to stay patient, too. It is going to be a long few years waiting for him to arrive.

5. Neftali Feliz , SP, Rangers

We had to have at least one World Team player to watch here. It is Feliz, although the Rangers' recent announcement that he will transition to relief is discouraging in keeper leagues. It is great news that he will arrive in the second half, but it is disappointing it will be as a middle reliever to help in this pennant race the Rangers find themselves in.

Feliz is the fourth-most owned Fantasy player selected to play. The 21-year-old, a key piece in the Mark Teixeira trade with the Braves a few years ago, has a lightning arm that could use a bit more command.

Feliz has held his own in Triple-A, going 3-5 with a 3.86 ERA and a .258 BAA in 60 2/3 innings. He has struck out 55 and allowed just one homer, but has walked 27. His high pitch counts might be the reason the Rangers decided he can help more this season in a Joba Chamberlain-like role. At 6-feet-3, 190 pounds, he is a rail thin Joba.

Some more talents we are curious to get a look at: Jarrod Parker , SP, ARI; Pedro Alvarez , 3B, PIT; Desmond Jennings , OF, TB; Jemile Weeks , 2B, OAK and Carlos Santana , C, CLE.

Here are the initial rosters. The numbers after 10 names are their ranking among's most-owned minor leaguers.

U.S. Team
World Team
Player POS TM Level Player POS TM Level
Jason Castro C HOU Double-A Jesus Montero C NYY Double-A
Tyler Flowers C CHW Double-A Carlos Santana C CLE Double-A
Chris C. Carter 1B OAK Double-A Angel Villalona 1B SF High Class A
Scott Sizemore 2B DET Triple-A Brett Lawrie 2B MIL Low Class A
Jemile Weeks 2B OAK High Class A Starlin Castro SS CHC High Class A
Eric Young 2B COL Triple-A Alcides Escobar #5 SS MIL Triple-A
Danny Espinosa SS WAS High Class A Wilmer Flores SS NYM Low Class A
Pedro Alvarez #3 3B PIT Double-A Pedro Baez 3B LAD High Class A
Josh Vitters 3B CHC Low Class A Alex Liddi 3B SEA High Class A
Brett Wallace #7 3B STL Triple-A Dayan Viciedo 3B CHW Double-A
Jason Heyward #6 OF ATL High Class A Luis Durango OF SD Double-A
Chris Heisey OF CIN Double-A Tyson Gillies OF SEA High Class A
Desmond Jennings OF TB Double-A Kyeong Kang OF TB Low Class A
Daryl Jones OF STL Double-A Rene Tosoni OF MIN Double-A
Giancarlo Stanton #10 OF FLA Double-A Nick Weglarz OF CLE Double-A
Madison Bumgarner #2 LHP SF Double-A Manny Banuelos LHP NYY Low Class A
Kyle Drabek RHP PHI Double-A Jhoulys Chacin RHP COL Double-A
Danny Duffy LHP KC High Class A Neftali Feliz #4 RHP TEX Triple-A
Casey Kelly RHP BOS High Class A Yohan Flande LHP PHI High Class A
Mat Latos RHP SD Double-A Chia-Jen Lo RHP HOU Double-A
Brad Lincoln RHP PIT Triple-A Jenrry Mejia RHP NYM Double-A
Brian Matusz #9 LHP BAL Double-A Luis Perez LHP TOR Double-A
Jarrod Parker #8 RHP ARI Double-A Leyson Septimo LHP ARI High Class A
Trevor Reckling RHP LAA Double-A Juan Carlos Sulbaran RHP CIN Low Class A
Chris Tillman #1 RHP BAL Triple-A Junichi Tazawa RHP BOS Double-A

The U.S. Team traditionally has the most prominent prospects because BA tends to know the most about the American players, having scouted them through high school and the First Year Player Draft. The World Team is also younger and less experienced.

It is like this most years and the World Team tends to impress and perform, perhaps because of the World players' experience in big-time competition in winter ball. Only two of the top 10 most-owned minor leaguers on will play for the World side.

Prospect watch

Every week, we break down all the minor leaguers who are owned in at least 1 percent of our Fantasy leagues. This will be your essential guide to unearthing the elite prospects before they hit the big time.'s most owned minor leaguers
Player POS TM % Player POS TM % Player POS TM %
Clay Buchholz SP BOS 37 Anthony Swarzak SP MIN 3 Conor Gillaspie 3B SF 1
Howie Kendrick 2B ANA 35 Will Inman SP SD 2 Andrew Lambo LF LA 1
Matt LaPorta OF CLE 28 Chuck Lofgren SP CLE 2 Brett Sinkbeil SP FLA 1
Roberto Hernandez SP CLE 25 Matt Maloney SP CIN 2 Joe Mather LF STL 1
Brandon Wood 3B ANA 23 Troy Patton SP BAL 2 Kasey Kiker SP TEX 1
Manny Parra SP MIL 22 Wilmer Flores SS NYM 2 Cesar Carrillo SP SD 1
Cameron Maybin CF FLA 21 Kyle Drabek SP PHI 2 Bradley Holt SP NYM 1
Homer Bailey SP CIN 18 Chad Cordero RP SEA 2 Collin Balester SP WAS 1
Travis Snider OF TOR 18 Aaron Cunningham OF OAK 2 Tyler Colvin LF CHC 1
Chris Tillman SP BAL 15 Junichi Tazawa SP BOS 2 David Cooper 1B TOR 1
Madison Bumgarner SP SF 15 Drew Stubbs OF CIN 2 Bryan Augenstein SP ARI 1
Lastings Milledge CF WAS 14 Hank Conger C ANA 2 Marc Rzepczynski SP TOR 1
Pedro Alvarez 3B PIT 12 Dallas McPherson 3B SF 2 Wes Hodges 3B CLE 1
Kyle Davies SP KC 12 Adam Miller SP CLE 2 Brandon Crawford SS SF 1
Buster Posey C SF 12 Michael Taylor LF PHI 2 Ryan Shealy 1B KC 1
Neftali Feliz SP TEX 12 Scott Elbert RP LA 2 Chin-lung Hu SS LA 1
Alcides Escobar SS MIL 11 Lou Marson C PHI 2 Barbaro Canizares OF ATL 1
Emmanuel Burriss SS SF 11 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL 2 Mark Prior SP SD 1
Jordan Schafer OF ATL 10 Brett Lawrie C MIL 2 Jason Knapp SP PHI 1
Justin Smoak 1B TEX 10 Todd Frazier SS CIN 2 Jerry Owens CF SEA 1
Jason Heyward OF ATL 10 Jordan Walden SP ANA 2 Mark Melancon RP NYY 1
Jeff Clement C SEA 9 Blake DeWitt 2B LA 2 Cole Rohrbough SP ATL 1
Carlos Carrasco SP PHI 9 Chris Valaika SS CIN 2 Ryan Kalish OF BOS 1
Lars Anderson 1B BOS 8 Andrew Brackman SP NYY 2 Brandon Allen OF CHW 1
Michael Bowden SP BOS 8 Greg Halman OF SEA 2 Mark Trumbo 1B ANA 1
Jake Arrieta SP BAL 8 Domonic Brown OF PHI 2 Brent Lillibridge SS CHW 1
Jeff Samardzija RP CHC 8 Aaron Hicks OF MIN 2 Gorkys Hernandez CF PIT 1
Wade Davis SP TB 8 David Freese 3B STL 2 Kyle Kendrick SP PHI 1
Jose Arredondo RP ANA 8 Jason Castro C HOU 2 Chris Nelson SS COL 1
Brett Wallace 3B STL 7 Adrian Cardenas SS OAK 2 Henry Rodriguez SP OAK 1
Franklin Morales SP COL 7 Jason Donald SS PHI 2 Josh Whitesell 1B ARI 1
Dana Eveland SP OAK 7 Jeremy Jeffress SP MIL 2 Jesus Guzman 3B SF 1
Jarrod Parker SP ARI 7 Bud Norris SP HOU 2 Michael Main SP TEX 1
Brian Matusz SP BAL 7 Michael Saunders 3B SEA 2 Cale Iorg SS DET 1
Mike Moustakas 3B KC 6 Ben Revere CF MIN 2 Humberto Sanchez RP NYY 1
Gaby Sanchez 1B FLA 6 Jose Ceda RP FLA 2 Deolis Guerra SP MIN 1
Tim Beckham SS TB 6 Travis Buck RF OAK 2 Eric Patterson 2B OAK 1
Austin Jackson OF NYY 6 Joe Koshansky 1B MIL 1 Greg Smith SP COL 1
Ryan Rowland-Smith SP SEA 6 Joaquin Arias 2B TEX 1 Casey Weathers RP COL 1
Tim Alderson SP SF 6 Tom Gorzelanny SP PIT 1 Daryl Jones CF STL 1
Giancarlo Stanton OF FLA 6 Kevin Frandsen 2B SF 1 Fautino De Los Santos RP OAK 1
Carlos Santana C CLE 6 Dan Cortes SP KC 1 Brandon Erbe SP BAL 1
Dayan Viciedo 3B CHW 5 Dellin Betances SP NYY 1 Yorman Bazardo RP PHI 1
Jeanmar Gomez SP CLE 5 William Rowell 3B BAL 1 Martin Perez SP TEX 1
David Purcey SP TOR 5 Ethan Martin SP LA 1 Matt Tuiasosopo 3B SEA 1
Yonder Alonso 1B CIN 5 J.R. Towles C HOU 1 Nick Weglarz 1B CLE 1
Logan Morrison 1B FLA 5 Brad Lincoln SP PIT 1 Sean Doolittle 1B OAK 1
Ryan Perry RP DET 5 Wilkin Ramirez OF DET 1 Clete Thomas LF DET 1
Desmond Jennings OF TB 5 Josh Reddick LF BOS 1 John Bowker 1B SF 1
Matt Joyce OF TB 5 Kevin Pucetas SP SF 1 Hector Rondon SP CLE 1
Josh Vitters 3B CHC 5 John Raynor OF FLA 1 Daryl Thompson SP CIN 1
Alexi Casilla 2B MIN 4 Josh Fields RP SEA 1 Bryan Anderson C STL 1
Michael Ynoa SP OAK 4 Kyle Skipworth C FLA 1 Engel Beltre OF TEX 1
Mat Latos SP SD 4 Radhames Liz SP BAL 1 Jeff Larish DH DET 1
Kila Ka'aihue DH KC 4 Cedric Hunter CF SD 1 Ike Davis 1B NYM 1
J.P. Arencibia C TOR 4 Justin Maxwell CF WAS 1 Wilson Betemit 1B CHW 1
Reid Brignac SS TB 4 Brandon Jones LF ATL 1 Joe Savery SP PHI 1
Max Ramirez C TEX 4 Brandon Snyder 1B BAL 1 Reese Havens SS NYM 1
Matt Antonelli 2B SD 4 Wilson Ramos C MIN 1 Ryan Tucker SP FLA 1
Eric Hosmer 1B KC 4 Eugenio Velez 2B SF 1 Chris Carter DH BOS 1
Angel Villalona 3B SF 4 Daniel Schlereth RP ARI 1 Andrew Cashner SP CHC 1
Jesus Montero C NYY 4 Wilin Rosario C COL 1 Chris Johnson 3B HOU 1
Ian Kennedy SP NYY 3 Ivan De Jesus SS LA 1 Trevor Reckling RP ANA 1
Carlos Triunfel SS SEA 3 Jess Todd RP STL 1 Jesse Crain RP MIN 1
Angel Salome C MIL 3 Austin Romine C NYY 1 Juan Francisco 3B CIN 1
Jose Tabata OF PIT 3 Josh Lindblom P LA 1 Nick Noonan SS SF 1
Jeremy Hellickson SP TB 3 Jemile Weeks 2B OAK 1
Players called up
Eric O. Young 2B COL 3 Chris Heisey CF CIN 1 Brett Cecil SP TOR 8
Matt Dominguez 3B FLA 3 Trevor Crowe OF CLE 1 Chris Ray RP BAL 8
Chris Marrero OF WAS 3 Daniel Moskos SP PIT 1 Gio Gonzalez SP OAK 7
Jake McGee SP TB 3 Michael Burgess RF WAS 1 James McDonald RP LA 7
Tyler Flowers C CHW 3 Kevin Mulvey SP MIN 1 Kyle Blanks 1B SD 5
Phillippe Aumont SP SEA 3 Jordan Danks CF CHW 1 Nick Evans LF NYM 1
Chris Carter 1B OAK 3 Neil Walker 3B PIT 1 Sean O'Sullivan SP ANA 1
Sean Gallagher SP OAK 3 Julio Borbon CF TEX 1 Steve Pearce RF PIT 2
David Hernandez SP BAL 3 Jon Meloan RP CLE 1 Wade LeBlanc SP SD 1
Jhoulys Chacin SP COL 3 Mitchell Boggs SP STL 1 Walter Silva RP SD 2
Beau Mills 1B CLE 3 Brian Barden 3B STL 1
Jonathon Niese SP NYM 3 Michael Brantley OF CLE 1

Rookie watch

Top AL rookies to date

  1. Rick Porcello , SP, DET -- Inning totals could make him dangerous in the second half, so you could sell high right now.
  2. Andrew Bailey , RP, OAK -- He has four blown saves, but his overall production has been clutch in Fantasy.
  3. Trevor Cahill , SP, OAK -- He has been as good as any rookie (and any vet?) of late.
  4. Nolan Reimold , OF, BAL -- He is well ahead of his highly-hyped teammate in the ROY race that's nearing the halfway point.
  5. Scott Richmond , SP, TOR -- It is crowded among starting pitchers in the AL ROY race; he figures to fall back.
  • Honorable mentions: David Price , SP, TB; Jeff Niemann , SP, TB; Matt Wieters , C, BAL; Elvis Andrus , SS, TEX; Brett Gardner , OF, NYY; Josh Outman , SP, OAK; Ricky Romero , SP, TOR; Brad Bergesen , SP, BAL; Vin Mazzaro , SP, OAK; Clayton Richard , SP, CHW; Daniel Bard , RP, BOS; Alfredo Aceves , RP, NYY; Phil Coke , RP, NYY; Chris Getz , 2B, CHW; David Huff , SP, CLE.

Top NL rookies to date

  1. Tommy Hanson , SP, ATL -- It hasn't taken long for him to get over his slow start; he looks capable of dominating.
  2. Andrew McCutchen , OF, PIT -- He has scorched out of the gate, but his ranking says a lot about this NL ROY class.
  3. Colby Rasmus , OF, STL -- He has been streaky, but his power numbers and production leads rookies to date.
  4. J.A. Happ , SP, PHI -- Phillies want a front-line starter, but they need to try to hang on to this surprise.
  5. Sean West , SP, FLA -- His numbers in the majors are more impressive than they were in Double-A; he's good, though.
  • Honorable mentions: Randy Wells , SP, CHC; Dexter Fowler , OF, COL; Omir Santos , C, NYM; Gerardo Parra , OF, ARI; Chris Dickerson , OF, CIN; Chris Coghlan , 2B, FLA; Kenshin Kawakami , SP, ATL; Shairon Martis , SP, WAS; Jordan Zimmermann , SP, WAS; Dan Meyer , RP, FLA; Ross Detwiler , SP, WAS; Casey McGehee , 2B, MIL; Jason Jaramillo , C, PIT; Travis Ishikawa , 1B, SF; and Ryan Hanigan , C, CIN.

You can e-mail Emack your Fantasy Baseball prospect questions to Be sure to put Prospects in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Full Bio

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