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2018 Futures Game US Team Capsules

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Brendan Rodgers (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Shaun Anderson, RHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond)
Age: 23. HT: 6-4. WT: 225. B-T: R-R.
Source: Florida.
How Acquired: Traded by Red Sox with RHP Gregory Santos to Giants for 3B Eduardo Nunez, July 25, 2017.

Background: Florida’s starting rotation was so loaded that Anderson was a versatile reliever in college, but he’s a full-time starter in pro ball.

What To Watch For: Anderson possesses a low- to mid-90s fastball and above-average slider, but his best attribute is his above-average control.

Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Age: 22. HT: 6-2. WT: 190. B-T: R-R.
Source: Milton (Ga.) HS.
How Acquired: Traded by Cubs with OF Eloy Jimenez and two others to White Sox for LHP Jose Quintana, July 13, 2017.

Background: A 2014 sixth-rounder by the Cubs, Cease has consistently shown the high-end arsenal that made him highly regarded.

What To Watch For: Despite a four-pitch mix, Cease could dominate hitters with only his mid-90s fastball and wipeout curveball.

Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (Low Class A Dayton)
Age: 18. HT: 6-4. WT: 215. B-T: R-R.
Source: Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
How Acquired: Selected by Reds in first round (second overall) of 2017 draft.

Background: Greene was considered one of the best prospects in the 2017 draft. He would have been a first-round pick as a shortstop, though he’s a pitcher only in pro ball.

What To Watch For: Greene gets to 100 mph with little effort and his ability to locate his fastball is quite advanced for his age.

Dakota Hudson, RHP, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis)
Age: 23. HT: 6-5. WT: 215. B-T: R-R.
Source: Mississippi State.
How Acquired: Selected by Cardinals in first round (34th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: Hudson was an ace at Mississippi State and is pitching like an ace in the minors. He reached Triple-A in his first full season and entered July with a 2.56 ERA in his minor league career.

What To Watch For: Hudson’s mid-90s fastball and short slider make him tough to square up, and his specialty is inducing weak ground balls.

Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis)
Age: 22. HT: 6-3. WT: 195. B-T: R-R.
Source: Xavier HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
How Acquired: Selected by Pirates in second round of 2014 draft.

Background: The brother of long-time Orioles minor league pitcher, Jon Keller, Mitch has been one of the most consistent pitching prospects in the minors as he’s steadily ascended to Triple-A.

What To Watch For: Keller combines excellent command and control with a 93-96 mph fastball with plus life and a plus curveball.

Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers (Low Class A Lakeland)
Age: 20. HT: 6-6. WT: 190. B-T: R-R.
Source: Sheldon HS, Sacramento.
How Acquired: Selected by Tigers in first round (ninth overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: A top basketball prospect in high school, Manning gets excellent extension on his pitches and has more athleticism than most pitchers.

What To Watch For: Manning has the stuff to miss bats, with a plus fastball and a putaway breaking ball that could make him a future ace.

C.D. Pelham, LHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco)
Age: 23. HT: 6-6. WT: 235. B-T: L-L.
Source: Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC.
How Acquired: Selected by Rangers in 33rd round of 2015 draft.

Background: The Rangers found Pelham at Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC and he’s blossomed since moving to the bullpen.

What To Watch For: Pelham is a 6-foot-6 lefty who releases the ball with excellent extension and can fire fastballs up to 99 mph with a swing-and-miss slider.

Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/W-B)
Age: 22. HT: 6-0. WT: 200. B-T: L-L.
Source: Tullahoma (Tenn.) HS.
How Acquired: Traded by Indians with OF Clint Frazier and two others to Yankees for LHP Andrew Miller, July 31, 2016.

Background: A first-round pick in 2014 by the Indians, Sheffield was a headlining prospect in Cleveland’s trade for Andrew Miller in 2016.

What To Watch For: Sheffield’s mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup all play as plus pitches at times.

Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi)
Age: 20. HT: 6-7. WT: 195. B-T: R-R.
Source: Alamo Heights HS, San Antonio.
How Acquired: Selected by Astros in first round (17th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: Whitley missed the first two months with a 50-game suspension, but now that he’s returned he’s reminded everyone why he’s the best pitching prospect in baseball.

What To Watch For: Whitley has shown the ability to throw five average or better pitches as a teenager.

Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
Age: 22. HT: 6-4. WT: 200. B-T: R-R.
Source: Vanderbilt.
How Acquired: Selected by Braves in first round (fifth overall) of 2017 draft.

Background: The No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft is flying through the Braves farm system. He made it to Double-A Mississippi this year.

What To Watch For: The former Vanderbilt ace works off a mid-90s fastball with good movement and can put hitters away with his breaking stuff.

Danny Jansen, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Buffalo)
Age: 23. HT: 6-2. WT: 225. B-T: R-R.
Source: Appleton (Wis.) West HS.
How Acquired: Selected by Blue Jays in 16th round of 2013 draft.

Background: Jansen moved slowly early in his pro career, but he’s made up for lost time by being one of the most productive catchers in the minors.

What To Watch For: Jansen has some of the best on-base skills of any catching prospect and possesses adequate power when he connects.

Sean Murphy, C, Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Age: 23. HT: 6-3. WT: 215. B-T: R-R.
Source: Wright State.
How Acquired: Selected by Athletics in third round of 2016 draft.

Background: At Wright State, Murphy had blossomed into a 6-foot-3, 220-pound specimen who has an ideal catcher’s body.

What To Watch For: Murphy has 20-plus home run potential to go with above-average defense and cannon arm.

Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo)
Age: 23. HT: 6-3. WT: 245. B-T: R-R.
Source: Florida.
How Acquired: Selected by Mets in second round of 2016 draft.

Background: Alonso parlayed a 14-homer season as a Florida junior into a second-round selection by the Mets.

What To Watch For: Alonso delivers premium exit velocities, and he accesses his big-time power because of a strong command of the strike zone.

Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rays (Double-A Montgomery)
Age: 22. HT: 6-4. WT: 235. B-T: L-R.
Source: Mississippi State.
How Acquired: Selected by Rays in 13th round of 2016 draft.

Background: Lowe and his younger brother Josh were both Rays draft picks in 2016. Josh was taken in the first round and Nathaniel in the 13th.

What To Watch For: Lowe is an advanced hitter who is starting to reach his above-average power.

Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Biloxi)
Age: 21. HT: 5-11. WT: 190. B-T: R-R.
Source: UC Irvine.
How Acquired: Selected by Brewers in first round (ninth overall) of 2017 draft.

Background: Hiura was one of the top college bat in his draft, but was waylaid by an elbow injury that limited him to DH all spring at UC Irvine.

What To Watch For: Hiura has a sweet, compact stroke and has quickly proved himself to be one of the minor leagues’ most polished hitters.

Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B, Rockies (Double-A Hartford)
Age: 21. HT: 6-0. WT: 180. B-T: R-R.
Source: Lake Mary (Fla.) HS.
How Acquired: Selected by Rockies in first round (third overall) of 2015 draft.

Background: One of the top hitters in the minors, Rodgers is back in the Futures Game for the second consecutive season.

What To Watch For: Rodgers has a gift for hitting any pitch hard. Combined with his slick glove, he’s a highlight waiting to happen.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (Double-A Altoona)
Age: 21. HT: 6-1. WT: 210. B-T: R-R.
Source: Concordia Lutheran HS, Tomball, Texas.
How Acquired: Selected by Pirates in first round (32nd overall) of 2015 draft.

Background: The son of long-time big leaguer Charlie Hayes, Ke’Bryan has similar tools and feel to play an excellent third base.

What To Watch For: Hayes has a short swing and doesn’t strike out much. He’s also one of the best defensive third basemen in the minors.

Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Age: 21. HT: 6-3. WT: 195. B-T: R-R.
Source: Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
How Acquired: Selected by Orioles in first round (36th overall) of 2015 draft.

Background: Mountcastle has proven himself as a solid offensive prospect at every level.

What To Watch For: There are plenty of questions about where Mountcastle will play when he reaches the majors, but there’s little doubt that he’ll hit enough to profile anywhere.

Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire)
Age: 20. HT: 6-0. WT: 200. B-T: R-R.
Source: Lakewood HS, St. Petersburg, Fla.
How Acquired: Selected by Blue Jays in second round of 2016 draft.

Background: The son of long-time big league outfielder Dante Bichette, Bo flirted with hitting .400 last season when he was in low Class A.

What To Watch For: Bichette is one of the elite hitters in the minors. He generates terrific bat speed and drives the ball to all fields.

Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
Age: 20. HT: 6-2. WT: 190. B-T: R-R.
Source: Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.
How Acquired: Selected by Nationals in first round (28th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: Kieboom is part of a trio of baseball-playing brothers, including Spencer, who is a catcher with the Nationals.

What To Watch For: Kieboom annihilated high Class A with a blend of patience and power and has done the same at Double-A.

Jo Adell, OF, Angels (High Class A Inland Empire)
Age: 19. HT: 6-3. WT: 208. B-T: R-R.
Source: Ballard HS, Louisville.
How Acquired: Selected by Angels in first round (10th overall) of 2017 draft.

Background: Adell was the first high school player selected in the first round of the 2017 draft to reach high Class A.

What To Watch For: Adell has big power, elite speed and a cannon arm. Whether it’s at the plate or in the field, he has the ability to change a game.

Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins (High Class A Fort Myers)
Age: 20. HT: 6-2. WT: 195. B-T: L-L.
Source: Plum HS, Pittsburgh.
How Acquired: Selected by Twins in first round (15th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: Kirilloff missed last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he’s already earned a promotion to high Class A.

What To Watch For: Kirilloff is a solid defensive outfielder with above-average power and hitting potential.

Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners (High Class A Modesto)
Age: 22. HT: 6-4. WT: 210. B-T: R-R.
Source: Mercer.
How Acquired: Selected by Mariners in first round (11th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: Lewis won Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in 2016. A torn ACL limited him to 79 games during his first two years, but he’s returned healthy and excelled.

What To Watch For: Lewis has all the traits of a premier middle-of-the-order hitter.

Buddy Reed, OF, Padres (High Class A Lake Elsinore)
Age: 23. HT: 6-4. WT: 210. B-T: B-R.
Source: Florida.
How Acquired: Selected by Padres in second round of 2016 draft.

Background: A standout hockey, soccer and baseball player in high school, Reed has a big arm, elite speed and some of the minors’ best defense.

What To Watch For: Reed can impact the game in a variety of ways. His speed, defense and arm are weapons, as is his improving raw power.

Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (High Class A Daytona)
Age: 20. HT: 6-2. WT: 195. B-T: L-L.
Source: Mt. Paran Christian HS, Kennesaw, Ga.
How Acquired: Selected by Reds in supp. first round (35th overall) of 2016 draft.

Background: A star running back in high school, Trammell was one of the higher-upside outfield prospects in the 2016 draft.

What To Watch For: Trammell has speed, power and one of the more advanced batting eyes.

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