As in every year, the rosters that are selected for the Futures Game never end up representing the actual roster of players who make it to the game. This year is no exception, as major league promotions and injuries have taken their usual toll.
For example, did you know Cardinals outfield prospect Colby Rasmus was supposed to be in the game on the United States team? Well, that’s because he was selected to replace Twins outfielder Denard Span, who was called up to the big leagues, but then had to be replaced himself because of a hip injury. So he was only a phantom member of the team for a week or so.
Rasmus’ injury means Jamie D’Antona of the Diamondbacks will take his place. D’Antona’s selection reflects one of the different aspects of this year’s game, with USA Baseball selecting the United States roster as a step in its process of picking the final roster for the Beijing Olympics in August. The players it has picked for the Futures Games represent the younger members of the 60 or so players (non-major leaguers on 40-man rosters) who represent the Olympic selection pool.
So D’Antona, 26, will become one of the oldest players in Futures Game history in his sixth season in the Diamondbacks organization. He’s batting .376/.416/.611 at Triple-A Tucscon, and while he’s not the prototype for the Futures Game, he does seems like a good Olympic candidate. He can play either infield corner and pitch in at catcher once in a while, as he has this season, and has been a consistent producer with the bat.
With D’Antona’s selection, new Indians prospect Matt LaPorta is more appropriately listed in the outfield (he had been originally designated as an infielder).
In other changes to the U.S. roster, Rangers infielder Chris Davis looks like he’ll be in the big leagues for a while, so he was replaced by Indians third baseman Wes Hodges, who was batting .315/.386/.475 at Double-A Akron. The only change to the pitching staff came when Giants righthander Kevin Jepsen had to drop out at the last minute. He will not be replaced.