Futures Game 2024: Five Players With The Fastest Paths To MLB

& 0

Image credit: Brooks Lee (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

Last year, a handful of players like Tyler Soderstrom, Heston Kjerstad, Lawrence Butler, Kyle Harrison, Jordan Lawlar, Noelvi Marte, Pete Crow-Armstrong and Endy Rodriguez were among the those named to the Futures Game who went on to appear in the majors before the season was complete.

With the 2024 Futures Game rosters now set, here’s our predictions for which of this year’s participants could soon be playing in MLB stadiums regularly.

1. Brooks Lee, 2B/SS, Twins

If the Twins had a need, Lee could be up tomorrow. He missed much of the first half with a back injury, but he’s hit for average and powersix home runs in 19 games at St. Paulsince returning. Lee has primarily played shortstop, but he’s playable at third, second or short. What’s keeping him from a call-up is the Twins’ infield depth. Carlos Correa and Royce Lewis are fixtures at shortstop and third base if healthy, while Willi Castro (who can play anywhere) and Austin Martin are fine at second base. Jose Miranda also gets at-bats at third base, and Eduoard Julien is in Triple-A trying to find a way back to the big leagues. But Lee is one of the best pure hitters in the upper minors, and none of that will keep him from an eventual MLB job so long as his back doesn’t flare up.

2. Tink Hence, RHP, Cardinals

Hence missed a few weeks in June with “tightness” in his back, but he’s returned to the mound and has generally dominated the Texas League. He’s one of the most dominating pitchers in the minors when he’s on, and he now has nearly 110 innings in Double-A. The Cardinals’ rotation has been much more stable this year than it was in 2023, but arms like Hence’s are special. If St. Louis remains in the playoff hunt in the second half, he could help either as a fill-in starter or as a power arm in the pen.

3. Rhett Lowder, RHP, Reds

The Reds are hovering on the edge of the playoff race, and they could make moves to snag a wild card spot or decide to sell off some veteran talent. The Reds don’t currently need Lowder in the rotation, but if there’s an injury, he could provide a boost. And if there’s a sell-off that sees veterans like Frankie Montas traded away, he could give the Reds a fully homegrown rotation that includes Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Andrew Abbott and Carson Spiers.

4. Colson Montgomery, SS, White Sox

When the White Sox conduct their everything-can-go fire sale this month, the team will likely say goodbye to a number of veteran stars. Once that happens, Chicago will need to fill roster spots. It will also need to offer some semblance of a reason for anyone to pay attention to the team over the final two months of the season. Getting Montgomery, the team’s best positional prospect, a low-pressure chance to get comfortable in the majors makes a lot of sense. Montgomery has struggled at Triple-A, so the White Sox may decide to wait until the 22-year-old has more success before promoting him. But there’s also good reason to give fans a glimpse of hope for the future in an otherwise hopeless season.

5. Brandon Sproat, RHP, Mets

So far, the Mets have been unable to find a level that’s challenging enough for Sproat. He cruised through the South Atlantic League, going 2-1 with a 1.07 ERA in six appearances. A bump up to Double-A Binghamton has seen his ERA barely budge (3-0, 1.94 in 41.2 innings). New York may decide to wait til next year to see if Sproat can join the rotation, but he’s showing signs he could help sooner rather than later.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone