The 2016 Prospectpalooza tour has completed its long journey to San Diego.
Our friends Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Cespedes Family Barbecue have embarked on a month-long coast-to-coast road trip, during which they'll drop in on as many top prospects as possible en route to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in San Diego. All the while, they'll be documenting their travels with stories and videos on Cut4.
Below is the itinerary for their trip. So ride along with them (not literally) and learn a little bit about some of the game's future stars as Jake and Jordan go behind the scenes at a Minor League ballpark (probably) near you.
July 8: Made it San Diego
We did it. We drove across the country, spent more than 90 hours driving and made it to San Diego before the first pitch in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Speaking of which, we spoke to Mets prospect Dominic Smith for a second time on our trip and he told us about about the time he played at Dodgers Stadium in high school.
July 7: The Grand Canyon
No Minor League games today, which helped considering it was our longest day in the car. We decided to answer a question that fans had been asking us quite some time: "Can Jake Mintz hit a home run at the Grand Canyon Recreation Center?"
July 6: El Paso @ Albuquerque Our long day of driving included some boring stretches but was highlighted by a few enjoyable strange landmarks, including Cadillac Ranch. We had a fun interview with Rockies prospectJeff Hoffman before catching up with San Diego prospectCarlos Asuaje, both of whom will be in the Futures Game. Finally, we caught a game between the Isotopes and the Chihuahuas that was simply full of talent.
July 4: Frisco @ Northwest Arkansas
No better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with some bat flipping (which we took care of earlier in the aptly named town of Flippin, Arkansas) and Minor League baseball. Before watching Yu Darvish make a rehab start in Springfield, we spoke to Naturals pitchers Kyle Bartsch, Mark Peterson and Eric Stout about fireworks and one of the greatest baseball movies ever, "The Sandlot."
June 27: Columbus @ Lehigh Valley
Bacon, mustaches and "Game of Thrones" may not have anything in common, but they all played vital roles in our visit to Lehigh Valley. Oh, did I mention there was also a human cannonball? It just all goes to show that you never know what you'll experience at a baseball game, especially one in the Minor Leagues.
June 26: Reading @ Portland
Yo, Moncada. We met up with the recently promoted Yoan Moncada, who was playing in his fifth game for the Sea Dogs. Shout out to Mauricio Dubon, the Red Sox's No. 12 prospect, who served as the translator for our interview with Moncada.
June 25: Harrisburg @ New Hampshire
We had the chance to see Nationals No. 5 prospect Reynaldo Lopez, who is in the midst of an impressive strikeout streak (at least 12 whiffs in three of past five starts heading into Saturday). Lopez shined against the Fisher Cats, striking out 10 and pumping his fastball in between 95-98 mph. We also spoke with two prospects in the Blue Jays' system, Brady Dragmire (No. 17) and Rowdy Tellez (No. 8). Dragmire and Tellez were teammates as kids, and we talked with them about how much has changed since then.
June 24: Richmond @ Binghamton
We met up with Mets top prospect Dominic Smith and talked to him about the transition to Double-A and the toughest pitchers he's faced.
June 24: Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Is a baseball road trip really a road trip if it doesn't involve a stop in Cooperstown? Of course not. We sat down with John Odell, the curator of History and Research at the Baseball Hall of Fame, who showed us some of the strangest artifacts in baseball history.
June 23 Akron @ Reading
Our first stop of the day and of the trip was in Reading, home of two hallmarks of American culture: Taylor Swift and the Fightin' Phils. In Reading, we found none other than 1,000-year baseball veteran Jake Fox. In addition to that time he hit a billion Spring Training home runs for the Orioles in 2011, the Indiana native has had quite the career. We sat down with him and Phillies first-base prospect Rhys Hoskins. More »
June 23 Toledo @ Scranton
We drove an hour and a half north to Scranton, home of the RailRiders, the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate. There we found human bicep curl, eternal bro and all-around good guy Nick Swisher. After that, we talked to Yankees prospect Aaron Judge, who happens to be second largest human being we've ever seen in person (after 7-foot-7 NBA great Gheorghe Mureșan). More »
July 10: Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego