Each year, the All-Star festivities begin with the annual Futures Game, which features baseball's very best prospects. The 2016 Futures Game will be played in San Diego's Petco Park on Sunday, July 10.
MLB announced the 2016 Futures Game rosters Tuesday afternoon, and, as usual, the teams are loaded with future big leaguers and All-Stars. Just last season Aaron Nola, Kyle Schwarber, Trevor Story, Michael Conforto, Max Kepler, and Nomar Mazara played in the Futures Game. They've all gone on to have an impact in the big leagues.
As always, the Futures Game format is Team USA and the World Team. Here is the Team USA roster:
The headliners for Team USA are Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and Astros shortstop/third baseman Alex Bregman. They were the No. 1 and 2 picks in the 2015 draft last year, respectively. Swanson, of course, was selected first overall by the Diamondbacks, who sent him to Atlanta in the Shelby Miller trade over the winter.
Also of note is Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who was the No. 7 pick in last year's draft. Benintendi has a chance to come up in the second half and do what Schwarber and Conforto did last season, especially since left field in Boston only seems to be becoming more and more of a problem.
Now here is the World Team roster.
Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada is the biggest name on the World roster. Now that Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito has been called up, Moncada may very well be the best prospect in the minors. The BoSox signed him for $31.5 million last year -- they also paid another $30 million or so in penalties after going over their international spending pool -- and he's developed into a future star as hoped.
The Futures Game is essentially a top prospect All-Star Game, and each team will use a different pitcher each inning. If you're into following prospects, there's no better way to see the game's best future big leaguers all in one place competing against each other.