2018 MLB Futures Game: Start time, TV schedule, live stream info, things to know
Here is everything you need to know about Sunday afternoon's Futures Game
On Sunday afternoon, the 2018 MLB All-Star Game festivities begin with the Futures Game at Nationals Park. Each year baseball rounds up its most talented minor-leaguers and gets them on the field for what amounts to a top prospect showcase game. The Futures Game is exactly what it sounds like: a game showing off the future of baseball.
Here's how you can watch the 2018 Futures Game:
. The rosters are picked by MLB with assistance from the MLB Scouting Bureau, MLBPipeline.com, and Baseball America. Here are seven things to know about the 2018 Futures Game.
So many of baseball's top prospects will play
This goes without saying. Can't hold a top prospects showcase without top prospects, after all. According to MLBPipeline.com's midseason rankings, a total of 30 top-100 prospects will participate in the 2018 Futures Game, including nine of the top 25:
SS Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres (No. 3)
SS Brendan Rodgers, Rockies (No. 6)
SS Bo Bichette, Blue Jays (No. 7)
RHP Forrest Whitley, Astros (No. 9)
RHP Mitch Keller, Pirates (No. 12)
C Francisco Mejia, Indians (No. 15)
RHP Hunter Greene, Reds (No. 18)
LHP Jesus Luzardo, Athletics (No. 20)
RHP Kyle Wright, Braves (No. 25)
Team USA has a decided advantage in prospect star power. Nineteen of those 30 top-100 prospects will suit up for Team USA. The two Futures Game rosters are 25 players deep, keep in mind. That means only six Team USA players are not top-100 prospects.
Vlad Jr. will not be there, however
Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball, will not participate in the Futures Game this year. , and while he recently started playing in rehab games, he won't be ready in time for the Futures Game. That's a bummer.
The 19-year-old Guerrero was hitting .407/.457/.667 with 30 extra base hits, 20 walks, and 21 strikeouts in 53 Double-A games before the injury.
Other top prospects may have been held out
And not for injury reasons. Although MLB ultimately compiles the Futures Game rosters, the teams do have some input, and sometimes they request specific prospects be held out of the game because a big-league call-up may be imminent. The most notable example of this came back in 2015, when the Yankees held Luis Severino out of the Futures Game, then called him up shortly after the All-Star break. Undoubtedly some top prospects were held out of this year's Futures Game at their parent team's request.
Many of these players will reach MLB this year
Inevitably, several players who participate in the 2018 Futures Game will be called up to the big leagues later this season. Most notably, sluggers Rhys Hoskins and Rafael Devers were called up a few weeks after the Futures Game last season by the Phillies and Red Sox, respectively.
Marlins third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson, Cardinals righty Jack Flaherty, Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon, Nationals outfielder Victor Robles, and Mets shortstop Amed Rosario were among the prospects who made their MLB debuts shortly after playing in the Futures Game last year.
Some of these players will be traded away at the deadline
Yes, this happens too. Undoubtedly a 2018 Futures Game prospect or three will be used as a trade chip at the July 31 deadline. Last year the Cubs traded top prospect Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana deal just days after Jimenez played in the Futures Game. In previous years other prospects like Clint Frazier, Adalberto Mejia, and Jharel Cotton were traded soon after participating in the Futures Game.
It'll happen again this year, for sure. Whether he knows it or not, there will be a player at the Futures Game who is in his final weeks with his organization.
Hunter and Ortiz will manage
Normally the host team picks two franchise legends to manage to the Futures Game. Last season Edgar Renteria and Charles Johnson managed at Marlins Park. The year before Trevor Hoffman managed in the Futures Game at San Diego's Petco Park. Makes sense, right?
The Nationals are going against the grain this year. Torii Hunter will manage Team USA and David Ortiz will manage the World Team. Neither player ever suited up for the Expos/Nationals franchise. Interesting choices! The Nationals have not been around all that long and perhaps they didn't want to use Expos legends for the Futures Game. Either way, Hunter and Ortiz will manage this Sunday.
Team USA has dominated the Futures Game
Seven times in the last eight years Team USA emerged victorious in the Futures Game, and that includes last season. The World Team won six of their first 11 Futures Games, including three straight from 2007-09, but it has been all Team USA since then. Here are the results the last five years:
USA 4, World 2
USA 3, World 2
Great American Ball Park
USA 10, World 1
Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
World 11, USA 3
Yoan Moncada, Red Sox
USA 7, World 6
Team USA leads all the all-time Futures Game series 12-7 and they've outscored the World Team 90-78 in the 19 games. The World Team scored blowout wins in 1999 (7-0) and 2016 (11-3) to salvage their run differential a bit.
All things considered, the Futures Game has been lopsided in favor of Team USA historically, and especially so over the last eight years.
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