We’re coming up on mid season across the board and that means that the All Star break is right around the corner. While we love the Mid-Summer Popularity Contest it’s the Futures Game that takes place during All-Star weekend that makes us stop everything we’re doing and watch every pitch. The Game has seen the likes of Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano, Josh Beckett, Starlin Castro, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Garza, Gio Gonzalez, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Evan Longoria and the list goes on for days.
Most recently we’ve witnessed Jeremy Hellickson, Brett Lawrie and Jose Altuve take a bow on the national stage before taking MLB by storm. This years class is no less talented than in the past and may have some of the biggest names ever to grace the Futures Game when all is said and done. So we’re going to got through each of the rosters starting with the US and then the World roster.
US Team Roster
|Matt Barnes||BOS||A+||R||R||6-4||205||06/17/1990||Danbury, CT|
|Trevor Bauer||ARI||AAA||R||R||6-1||185||01/17/1991||Panorama City, CA|
|Dylan Bundy||BAL||A+||S||R||6-1||195||11/15/1992||Tulsa, OK|
|Gerrit Cole||PIT||AA||R||R||6-4||220||09/08/1990||Newport Beach, CA|
|Danny Hultzen||SEA||AAA||L||L||6-3||200||11/28/1989||Bethesda, MD|
|Alex Meyer||WAS||A||R||R||6-9||220||01/03/1990||Greensburg, IN|
|Jake Odorizzi||KC||AAA||R||R||6-2||185||03/27/1990||Breese, IL|
|Jameson Taillon||PIT||A+||L||R||6-6||225||11/18/1991||Lakeland, FL|
|Taijuan Walker||SEA||AA||R||R||6-4||210||08/13/1992||Shreveport, LA|
|Zack Wheeler||NYM||AA||R||R||6-4||185||05/30/1990||Smyrna, GA|
Matt Barnes, rhp
Team: high Class A Salem (Carolina)
Organization: Red Sox
Our Instinct – Barnes has completely out-performed even our lofty pre-season expectations. He dismantled Sally League batting orders and a bump to the Carolina League hasn’t fazed him. His stuff is actually getting better in his first pro season, so even our high ranking for him in our Pre-Draft last year is looking like it was a touch off. He’s 7-1 with a 0.99 ERA and the strikeout rate is off the charts at 43% in the Sally and now 30.5% in the Carolina League. The walk rate? sub 5%. He’s pitching at an elite level and making the projection of a future #2 look like a possible under-evalution. It’s still early, but he’s looking good. He’s moved up from the #51 ranking on our Baseball Instinct 360°.
Trevor Bauer, rhp
Team: Triple-A Reno (Pacific Coast)
Our Instinct – Bauer has struggled with his walk rate and is still working on refining his command. But this is more of an issue of his mastering things than it is him not being able to settle in. His K rate is upper level and his just 21 years old in Triple-A. The future is bright and this will be the first taste of the spotlight for Bauer. We expect to see him with the Diamondbacks some time during the 2H.
Dylan Bundy, rhp
Team: high Class A Frederick (Carolina)
Our Instinct – Bundy tore up the Sally League much like Barnes did but he’s more than 2 years younger. The upside for Bundy is the Ace for the Orioles. He was the #1 overall talent in the 2011 Draft based on our Draft Preview and the Orioles #1 prospect is proving worthy of that ranking by striking out more than 11 per 9 and keeping an elite walk rate of near 5% as a 19 year old in his first taste of pro ball. It’s evidently clear that he’s not just hype.
Gerrit Cole, rhp
Team: Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Our Instinct – Cole worked his way through the FSL and has made the jump to Double-A. We got the chance to see him this year and can attest to his elite stuff. He’s still learning how to harness it all in one package though and isn’t a complete package yet. He should spend the rest of the season in Altoona. The #1 pick from 2011 profiles as a high level #2 starter right now. But maturity can turn his approach into something that could push him into #1 territory. He has the raw stuff.
Danny Hultzen, lhp
Team: Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast)
Our Instinct – Recently bumped to Triple-A, Hultzen dominated AA with a 1.19 ERA and a 27% K rate. Expecting some reversion to the mean, his ERA should settle in near sub 3.00 with the jump to Triple-A, but the K rate is for real and he’s going to be a very high end #3 starter or above average #2 for the M’s.
Alex Meyer, rhp
Team: low Class A Hagerstown (South Atlantic)
Our Instinct – Meyer’s is certainly one of if not the top arm in the Nats system, at least until Lucas Giolito gets signed. The big power righty has a lot of development before his upside can be reached though. He’s only in Low-A but has more than a K per inning and his walk rate better than expected at 9.6%. Clearly a number than needs continued development though. One thing that’s is for sure though, he’s going to look like a presence on the mound at 6’7″ and 220.
Jake Odorizzi, rhp
Team: Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Our Instinct – A top prospect with the Brewers traded to KC for Zack Greinke is very close to paying possible big dividends for the Royals. He’s going to get a shot at the spot light at the home town diggs. Just 22 years old, Odorizzi dominated Double-A with a 31% K rate and 6.6% walk rate to go along with a 2.20 FIP. Now in Triple-A he’s touting a 2.72 ERA supported by a 2.85 FIP, 22.2% K rate and 7% walk rate. He’s really growing as a pitcher and seems poised to take a spot in the 2013 KC rotation.
Jameson Taillon, rhp
Team: high Class A Bradenton (Florida State)
Our Instinct – Taillon started the season as the #2 to Gerrit Cole’s #1 in the Bradenton rotation. Now Taillon takes the helm for the Marauders with Cole moving to Altoona. Taillon is a step behind in development but is also just 20 years old. He’s still developing but could have an even higher upside than Cole. His K rate of 21.5% is strong and his 6.4% walk rate is excellent for a 20 year old. His FIP is a strong 3.03. He’ll spend the rest of 2012 in the FSL. Possibly with Mark Appel. If the Pirates can get Appel to sign that is.
Taijuan Walker, rhp
Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Our Instinct – The M’s have a bounty of arms and Walker has the Ace potential in that group. He’s just 19 and has shown signs of dominance in Double-A. His k/9 is 9+ while his walk rate of 9.4% is where the focus must remain. He’s still working on becoming a complete pitcher and once his command of strike zone hits its full stride he may eventually be the one to displace King Felix in Seattle. It’s a tall order, but Walker has that type of upside.
Zack Wheeler, rhp
Team: Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
Our Instinct – The Mets got Wheeler in a deadline deal for Carlos Beltran. A deal the Giants will deny regretting. But a deal that their future will suffer for anyway. Wheeler is still raw and working on refining his command, but can be near un-hittable at times. His raw stuff is elite and his 26% K rate and 1.88 ERA show how dominant he has been. His FIP of 2.77 suggests some regression if he doesn’t lower the walk rate, but he’s getting close to putting it all together.
The US Pitching staff is lined with elite level talent throughout and it’s going to be fun watching them all take a turn. But they’ll be going against a World Roster lineup that includes the likes of Jurickson Profar, Jean Segura and Oscar Taveras and more fire-power behind them. Next we’ll take a look at the US Roster Hitters. Check the hyperlinks for each of the segments.
Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.