2024 Futures Game: Digging Deeper On Players To Know In Dallas

& 0

Image credit: Noah Schultz (Tony Farlow/Four Seam Images)

We are counting down the days until the 25th Futures Game arrives. To get you ready, we wanted to highlight a number of the players coming to Dallas (and why), as well as pick out some names we are disappointed aren’t making the trip.

You can also find the five players we think you’ll see soon in the majors.

Five Players We’re Most Excited To See

We’re not going to just give you a list of our top-ranked prospects. The players we are most excited to see are going to skew a little younger, as they are the top prospects who have been breakout stars during the 2024 season.

1. Noah Schultz, LHP, White Sox

With the graduation of Paul Skenes, Schultz is now the No. 2 pitching prospect in the game behind Jackson Jobe. He is the pitcher most likely to ‘wow’ with multiple pitches. His high-90s fastball is electric, but it’s the appetizer that sets up his low-80s slider. And Schultz isn’t just rearing back and throwing. He has advanced control for his age, especially with that slider.

2. Aidan Miller, SS, Phillies

It’s been a breakout season for the Phillies’ 2023 first rounder. He made quick work of the Florida State League, where he impressed over the opening months of the season. Miller is still getting his footing at High-A, but he brings an advanced hit tool, power and the ability to handle multiple positions in the infield to the Futures Game. 

3. Thomas White, LHP, Marlins

Pretty much everything we wrote about Schultz could be said in a slightly more subdued form for White. He’s a massive lefty with a 98 mph fastball that can overpower hitters. His inning of work should be must-see TV.

4. Xavier Isaac, 1B, Rays 

Every season, one of the best moments of the Futures Game is batting practice. With some of the top prospects in the game involved, round after round is impressive. The early favorite for the most impressive BP round goes to the Rays’ Xavier Isaac. Blessed with double-plus raw power and feel to hit, Isaac is arguably the premier power prospect in the game. 

5. Quinn Mathews, LHP, Cardinals 

Mathews development from soft-tossing lefty with a rubber arm to one of the best lefthanded pitchers in the minors happened overnight. With his newfound mid-90s fastball velocity, Mathews pairs above-average stuff with advanced feel for pitching and strike throwing. 

Four Players We Wish Were On The Roster

Not everyone can make it to the Futures Game. Teams are limited to two prospects per organization on the initial rosters (although sometimes the host team will get a third player). Here are a few prospects we are disappointed to not see making the trip.

1. Carson Williams, SS, Rays

The Rays continue to have a ton of fascinating, top-tier prospects. Xavier Isaac is the best first base prospect in the game, and that’s always a tough position to fill on the roster. Chandler Simpson is the minors batting leader right now and is arguably the fastest player in baseball. Both are excellent choices for this game. But the two-player limit means that Williams— who is one of the best prospects in baseball and a solid candidate for MiLB Player of the Year—was left off. If a roster spot opens up because of injury or a promotion, getting Williams to Texas would make an excellent game even better.

2. Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles

Yes. Holliday was here last year, so he’s already been to a Futures Game. And he’s currently recovering from an elbow injury that has limited him to DH for now. So it’s completely understandable why Holliday isn’t on the roster. But we’re being greedy. Holliday remains a top-tier prospect and one who would make the Futures Game even better.

3. Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers

Jobe just returned from a stint on the injured list for a hamstring strain, but it’s pretty remarkable that the best pitching prospect in baseball may never make a Futures Game appearance. Jobe can light up a radar gun, but he also has one of the best arrays of secondary offerings in the minors.

4. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Twins

Rodriguez is the most patient hitter in the minors. He rarely swings, and it’s possible that an E-Rod Futures Game appearance would end with an 0-for-0 entry in the box score and two walks. But when he does swing, he can hit long, towering home runs. His power would put on a show during batting practice and his swing-rarely, walk-often, power-heavy approach would have been a fascinating watch.

Five Lesser-Know Names Who Could Pop At The Futures Game

You’re Baseball America readers. We won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting there are players in this game you haven’t heard of, as we’ve written extensively about almost everyone invited. But here’s a look at some younger players and 2024 breakouts who have loud tools and could star in Dallas.

1. Jeral Perez, INF, Dodgers

Perez popped early this season, as he’s hit .283/.403/.443 with strong underlying data to back it. Perez, like many Dodgers prospects in recent years, has a strong balance of bat-to-ball skills (14.8% in-zone whiff), approach and power. The 19-year-old shows off impressive exit velocities despite average size, and he’s hit a ball above 110 mph this season. Perez can impact the game in a variety of ways and has been one of the standout performers in Low-A over the first half.  

2. Brandon Sproat, RHP, Mets

In just a few years, the Mets have revitalized their pitching development, and their farm system is now beginning to bear fruit. Sproat was twice drafted by the Mets, first in the third round in 2022, and again in the second round of the 2023 draft. Sproat split the first half between High-A and Double-A and has shown the ability to miss bats, generate groundballs and throw strikes. He’s showing improved command and brings legit stuff to the table. His fastball sits 95-97 mph and can touch 99 mph in short spurts. 

3. Hao-Yu Lee, 2B, Tigers

Acquired by the Tigers from the Phillies at last year’s trade deadline, Lee has put together an excellent season at Double-A. An incredibly well-rounded hitter with above-average contact, approach and power hitting, he’s slashing.300/.374/.518 with 11 home runs. Lee has the ability to break out onto the national scene with a strong performance in the Futures Game. 

4. Emiliano Teodo, RHP, Rangers

The fireballing righthander is certain to light up the radar gun during his Futures Game appearance. Teodo sits 98-99 mph on his two-seam and has been clocked as high as 102 this season. While it’s not going to get the same headlines, Teodo’s slider, which sits high-80s with cut, might be his best pitch. Teodo will likely provide one of the most exciting innings of the event. 

5. Ralphy Velazquez, 1B, Guardians

Velazquez enjoyed a notable high school career at Southern California powerhouse Huntington Beach and had one of the best combinations of contact and power in last year’s draft. He has nine home runs and a 15.4% walk rate this year in Low-A. Velazquez has posted impressive exit velocities this year, including a ball hit at 112 mph.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone