While most baseball fans have remained focused on the majors throughout the season, it's hard to ignore the incredible numbers that some prospects have been putting up, as they work their way through the ranks of their respective farm systems. Many of the elite prospects are in their first season, and some of them may have a chance to make their first Futures game, the All-Star Game equivalent in the minors. Let's take a look at seven minor league phenoms who could be making their Futures game debuts in July.
7. Evan White- Mariners
Evan White is proving that he is the future of the Seattle Mariners at first base, with his incredible defensive play and solid bat. On the year, White has hit .286 with six homers and 17 runs batted in, with a .362 OBP at Double-A Arkansas. He'll need to tap into his power if he wants to have success in T-Mobile Park, but his defensive play and solid bat will likely secure him a slot in the Futures game, as everyone will get to see a potential future Gold Glover in action.
6. Gavin Lux- Dodgers
Despite having a small taste of Double-A last year, Gavin Lux performed well, hitting .324 with 4 homers in 28 games. He's continued that success in an extended look at the same level in 2019, as he's now hitting .299 with 11 homers and 31 RBI. Lux continues to get stronger and is using his legs to add more launch angle to his sweet left-handed stroke. His plus speed and solid hitting could have him with the Los Angeles Dodgers sometime before the season ends, but is more of a safe bet to make his MLB debut in 2020. With his fantastic play, Lux has proven worthy of a roster spot in the Futures game.
5. Brendan McKay- Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have remained committed to the two-way project that is Brendan McKay. However, if McKay makes it into the futures game, it'll be for his pitching, not for his bat. In 2019, McKay has been absolutely lethal, posting a 1.43 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A, with 76 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched. At the plate, he's hitting just .183 with 2 homers and 11 RBI across 31 games at the two minor league levels. There's a chance that he may not ever get to play in the Futures game due to the fact that he could be with the big league club by the All-Star break, but he probably would prefer a promotion.
4. Nate Pearson- Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays recently graduated Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to the majors, so all eyes have been on him. Meanwhile, Nate Pearson has been absolutely phenomenal ever since playing in the Arizona Fall League last year. Pearson's fastball sits in the upper 90s, and routinely hits triple digits. Pearson's 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame has allowed him to create a downhill angle at the plate, so he's been able to pound the zone with his fastball and slider. Because of that, he has a 1.97 ERA between Double-A and High-A in 2019, which should make him a lock for the Futures game.
3. Wander Franco- Rays
Wander Franco had a phenomenal debut season in the minors at 17, and is following it up with another great year. In 2019, Franco is hitting .322 with 6 homers and 28 RBI alongside 12 stolen bases. Franco has quickly become the best prospect in all of baseball, and the switch-hitter has the makings of a MLB star. His approach from both sides of the plate show just how advanced beyond his years he is, and could be the reason he's with the Rays by the time he's 20-years-old. Franco is an incredible talent, and an appearance in the Futures game could be the platform he needs to show the world what he can do.
2. Jarred Kelenic- Mariners
Brodie Van Wagenen must really regret trading Jarred Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners by now. In his first full season in the minors, Kelenic has posted a .316 batting average, with 13 homers and 34 RBI along with 10 stolen bases at Single-A and Single-A+. He's progressing very quickly, and it's not a stretch to say that he could finish the year at Double-A, maybe even Triple-A. This would be Kelenic's first appearance in a Futures game, and could very well be his last if he continues to tear the cover off the baseball.
1. Casey Mize- Tigers
Ever since he touched the minor leagues, Casey Mize has been absolutely lights out. In 2019, Mize has posted an insane 0.95 ERA, with 73 strikeouts in 75.2 innings pitched. He even collected his first no-hitter this year, which he managed to collect with just 98 pitches. Mize likely won't be with the Tigers until at least September, so he'll probably have a chance to play in the Futures game barring injury. With the way he's played, a spot on the Futures roster is well deserved. The Detroit Tigers look like they have themselves a future ace.