As we hit the actual halfway point in the season on Wednesday with game 81, the colloquial halfway point, the All-Star break, is coming up quickly as well. The festivities in Denver will kick off that Sunday starting July 11. That final Sunday before the break is also the day the Futures Game takes place, which is a showcase for some of the top prospects in the sport. In the past, the event was set up as a United States versus The World. That was changed a couple of years ago to being American League versus National League, with every team having at least one representative.
The rosters for this year’s game were released on Wednesday, and the Red Sox will indeed have only one representative. Jeter Downs will be representing Boston’s system in the game. The infield prospect is generally regarded as number three in the system, though he’s had a little bit of a down season. Spending the year at Triple-A Worcester, Downs is hitting .243/.323/.410 with a concerning 31 percent strikeout rate. On the other hand, he has been swinging a better bat of late. It should also be mentioned that Downs left Tuesday’s game with an apparent injury. That could affect whether or not he actually plays in this game.
While it is certainly nice to see Downs on the roster, it is a bit surprising that neither Triston Casas nor Jarren Duran, the team’s other two top 100 prospects, are there. Casas hasn’t had a huge season, but he’s still been solid with a 111 wRC+ in Double-A and is generally regarded as one of the top first base prospects in all of baseball. To that latter point, however, the Tigers’ Spencer Torkelson being in the same league hurts him here. As for Duran, we all know he’s had a monster season and his hype is growing, so I am really curious what happened here. Chris Hatfield of Sox Prospects has an interesting theory regarding both Duran’s and Casas’s status with Team USA.
Either way, it will be Downs and only Downs at this year’s event in Denver, but there will be others of the game’s top prospects in attendance as well. Some other notable prospects will be Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman, Seattle’s Jared Kelenic, and New York’s Jasson Dominguez, who will be the first player to ever participate in this game before having reached full-season ball. The game will be on July 11 at 3:00 PM ET.