A quick look at last year's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game rosters should provide enough motivation to tune in to the prospect-laden game on All-Star Sunday, July 12, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Even with all of those callups, there's still a ton of talent to be found on the United States and World rosters, which were released on Thursday. A total of 23 members of that Top 100 are on the teams, including current No. 4 prospect Lucas Giolito.
"It definitely means a whole lot," said Giolito, the top prospect in the Nationals' Minor League system who attended his first Futures Game last year in Minnesota. "I had a ton of fun last year. I'm looking forward to going again and hopefully performing a little better in the game than I did last year."
Giolito served up a home run to Javier Baez and gave up two runs in what ended up being a 3-2 U.S. victory. The U.S. team has won each of the past five contests and leads the all-time series, 10-6.
The 17th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 3 p.m. ET on July 12, and it can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com, with Matt Vasgersian, Dan Plesac, Heidi Watney and I on the call live. In addition, SiriusXM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio (XM channel 89; Sirius channel 209). MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @FuturesGame on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Major League Baseball -- in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs -- selected the 25-man rosters for both clubs. Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
Two Reds greats will be managing the squads. Hall of Famer Tony Perez will be in the World dugout, while Ken Griffey Sr. will be the man on the U.S. side.
The attention, understandably, won't be on the past. And there aren't just the Top 100 guys to focus on. All but two of the 50 players are on their team's Top 30 Prospect list. Six are the top prospect in their respective organization. Seventeen farm systems will be represented by a prospect ranked in its top three.
"It's always great to face the top competition in the Minor Leagues, because those are the guys you're going to face in the years to come," Giolito said. "I face my fair share of good hitters, but to see these guys even for one inning, it's good to see those things and get a feel for it."
The World team features players from seven countries and territories outside the 50 United States. The Dominican Republic is represented by 13 players, followed by Venezuela (five) and Puerto Rico (three). Curacao, Germany, Nicaragua and Taiwan are each represented by one player.
The teams feature 13 former first-round Draft picks (all U.S.), four players picked in Compensation Round A (U.S., 3; World, 1) and two second-round picks (both U.S.). Among the 13 first-round picks, six were selected in the 2014 Draft, three in the 2013 Draft, two in the 2012 Draft and two in the 2011 Draft.
One of those 2014 first-rounders in the game is the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber (No. 4 overall in 2014 Draft), who's had himself quite the past week and change. He got his first taste of the big leagues, serving as the designated hitter in Interleague Play with the Cubs. The No. 40 prospect went 8-for-22 with his first Major League home run. Now back in the Minors in Triple-A, Schwarber will get back to a big league field sooner than he may have thought, in a town he knows very well.
"I'm still excited," said the native of Middletown, Ohio, which is about 20 minutes from Cincinnati. "Getting to play in the big leagues was a great time and a cool experience and a great opportunity I had. I know what it takes to prepare for a big league game.
"It's time to get back to work, and now I've made the Futures Game. Especially being in Cincinnati, close to where I grew up, it's going to be an awesome experience with a talented group of players."
Mark Appel, Astros
Tyler Beede, Giants
Zach Davies, Orioles
Carl Edwards Jr., Cubs
Amir Garrett, Reds
Lucas Giolito, Nationals
Sean Newcomb, Angels
Aaron Nola, Phillies
Colin Rea, Padres
Blake Snell, Rays
Michael Conforto, Mets
Aaron Judge, Yankees
Brandon Nimmo, Mets
Kyle Waldrop, Reds
Nick Williams, Rangers
Bradley Zimmer, Indians
Jose Berrios, Twins
Edwin Diaz, Mariners
Jarlin Garcia, Marlins
Juan Gonzalez, Dodgers
Wei-Chieh Huang, Diamondbacks
Joe Jimenez, Tigers
Jairo Labourt, Blue Jays
Keury Mella, Giants
Frankie Montas, White Sox
Alex Reyes, Cardinals
Elias Diaz, Pirates
Gary Sanchez, Yankees