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Higlighting a Few Names in the Futures Game

The Futures Game rosters have been announced and if we prospect nerds had our way, the game itself would be a national holiday (we should probably get our petition for Opening Day started first). I know you’re being bombarded with Futures Game roster articles, so I wanted to give your eyes something different to take in. Let’s highlight the top pitcher and position player to watch for each roster.

If you haven’t checked out the rosters yet, I’d encourage you to do so HERE. Even fans who don’t follow the Minor Leagues closely will recognize most of these names. While you’re there, check out the coaching staffs as well.

U.S. Team

Pitcher to Watch: RHP Mitch Keller – Pittsburgh Pirates

I’ve been on the Mitch Keller hype train for the last few years and believe this guy is the real deal. The 22 year old is pretty much the consensus choice as the Pirates top prospect and now he will get an opportunity to showcase his stuff on the national stage.

Keller has the stuff that front offices want to see, a high 90’s fastball with a good breaking pitch and a promising change up. His command is what truly sets him apart though. The Iowa native has always been able to hit his spots, but when he started throwing his breaking ball for strikes is when he really started giving opposing hitters fits. I wouldn’t be surprised if Keller gets a taste of the big leagues sooner rather than later unless the Pirates want to manipulate his service time. Perhaps a September call up?

Position Player to Watch: INF Keston Hiura – Milwaukee Brewers

This one was tough. But, you’ve seen how loaded these rosters are, you can pick anyone! I know you’ve read plenty about Bo Bichette and the likes, so I thought I’d highlight Keston Hiura, who is no doubt going to be a dominating force in the bigs some day.

The Brewers number one prospect has gone through four different levels in one year and has dominated at all of them. His most recent stint in the Southern League has really put folks on notice. His production has never wavered and the fact that he puts up consistent numbers, even against some of the best Minor League pitching in the Southern League, shows that Hiura can hit anything. The UC Irvine product has a career .895 OPS.

World Team

Pitcher to Watch: LHP Lewis Thorpe – Minnesota Twins

There are a ton of recognizable names on the World Team roster, but Lewis Thorpe may be somewhat of a dark horse here. The Melbourne, Australia native has been battling injury his entire career and is finally back to being healthy.

The 6’1 lefty’s claim to fame will be his command. He has good control of his entire repertoire with a nice fastball/change up combo. Thorpe is my guy for you to watch because of his developed pitches. The 22 year old already has a major league ready change up and he can strike guys out with both of his breaking balls.

Position Player to Watch: OF Seuly Matias – Kansas City Royals

Again, you know the top names like Tatis, Urias, and Mejia, so how about a look at a guy that is mashing baseballs in the Royals organization? Prospect fiends remember the name Seuly Matias from the 2016 international signing period. He was one of the top targets due to his power with the bat, his storng arm, and overall athleticism for a 17 year old.

Matias has been everything the Royals were hoping he would be. While some may scoff at his .219 batting average and his high strikeout rates, the power is extremely encouraging. He has to be one of the strongest 19 year olds in professional baseball and he can launch homers while making it look easy. Don’t expect anyone to tag up when he fields a ball in right field either, he can gun runners down with ease.

The Futures Game is next Sunday July 15th. Enjoy the prospects!

Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at You can also reach out to Jake at

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