I think it’s fair to say that the average Cubs fan focus is definitely on the talent that is coming up through the minor league pipeline. Whether you agree with building for the future or not the plan is definitely slanted for building up the farm. So it figures that the focus on the MLB Futures Game has increased a lot with Cubs fans as the long view becomes the primary view point.
It looked like the Cubs would be sending two representatives to the game, which is the maximum allowed per team by MLB rules. Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara were selected to the World roster, but Soler hurt his shin which forced him to miss the game. Javier Baez was a part of the final fan vote for a roster spot after the Soler injury news but he lost that contest to Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros.
Soler’s gotten a lot of press as he is considered by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus as a top 3 prospect in the Cubs system, so lets take a moment to talk about Arismendy for a bit.
I’ve talked to a few people about Alcantara and he’s gotten a lot of positive feedback. People around baseball are starting to take notice as well. Here’s what Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus had to say about Alcantara:
— Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) July 14, 2013
We might be dealing with a bad motherfucker with Alcantara.
Alcantara has some surprising pop, and one of the things I loved from the game was this swing off Anthony Ranaudo in the 4th inning:
That’s big boy power from a little guy.
Alcantara isn’t an elite level prospect, but he is having a breakout year down on the farm. Expect him to crack top 100 prospect lists during the 2014 preseason rankings season.
Other things I loved:
Jesse Biddle threw a curveball that I want to have a long and meaningful relationship with. Biddle’s main issue is with inconsistency with the breaker but if he can ever find a consistent release point (big if from what I hear) he’s gonna be a relief monster.
Christian Yelich has a gorgeous swing. He’s in the Marlin’s system and I would expect him up for good after the Super-2 date next year.
Eddie Butler from the Rockies threw a 90 MPH changeup that had some #wiggle. That’s just ridiculous.
Andre Rienzo from the White Sox showed off a good cutter in his one inning of work. The White Sox are a cutter organization, it helped salvage Jose Quintana‘s career and it looks like they found another prospect with a good one.
Austin Hedges is my catcher crush. Hedges is in the Padres organization and he paints a nice, quiet target behind the dish and he showed off impressive hip snap on this caught stealing. Dude is a monster.
Speaking of Rick Sutcliffe he had a really good booth day. Dropped some great pitching mechanics knowledge and some decent scouting work up there. He excelled in the role.
The United States topped the World 4-2 but the results were secondary to the talent that was showcased. There’s a lot of good youth knocking on the door, the game is going to be in good hands for a long, long time.