The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game routinely creates many must-see matchups, and this year's starting pitchers were no different. Left-hander Henry Owens, ranked No. 25 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, started for the U.S. team, while right-hander Jose Berrios, No. 70 on the Top 100, took the ball for the World team. They both lived up to expectations, whiffing a batter and throwing a scoreless inning at Target Field on July 13.
Fans that watched Owens and Berrios in the Futures Game and want to see them duel each other for a full game are in luck. Thursday, in a rematch of the Futures Game, they will face off in a more competitive environment as Double-A Portland visits New Britain. Fans can watch the game, which begins at 7:05 p.m. ET, on MiLB.TV.
Owens has been a magnet for other Top 100 pitching prospects this season. He matched up against Jesse Biddle (No. 43) on Opening Day, twice dueled Aaron Sanchez (No. 18) and faced Daniel Norris (No. 92) just five days ago.
While Owens has had some tough competition, he shone in the pitchers' duels. He started the season with a six-inning no-hitter against Biddle and hasn't looked back, winning all four of his starts against a fellow Top 100 pitcher.
Owens' brilliance hasn't been limited to the marquee matchups however. He is 13-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 112 innings this season. The Red Sox's No. 1 prospect leads the Eastern League in wins, ERA, strikeouts and WHIP (1.06). Owens enters Thursday on a nine-start winning streak that dates back to May.
Berrios, the Twins' No. 5 prospect, began the season at Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Berrios went 9-3 with a 1.96 ERA and struck out 109 batters in 96 1/3 innings for the Miracle. The 20-year old earned a promotion to Double-A just before the Futures Game.
Thursday will be Berrios' third start with New Britain. He has lost both of his outings with the Rock Cats, but he delivered a quality start his last time out. Berrios struck out five batters in six innings and held Reading to one run on four hits.
In addition to Owens and Berrios, a few other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 who are scheduled to start, including Mark Appel (No. 13), Robert Stephenson (No. 15), Justin Nicolino (No. 61), Nick Kingham (No. 83) and Daniel Norris (No. 92). Fans can watch Stephenson, Nicolino, Kingham and Norris on MiLB.TV, beginning with Norris and Double-A New Hampshire taking on Nationals' No. 3 prospect Michael Taylor and Harrisburg at 7 p.m. ET.
Appel, the Astros' No. 2 prospect, is slated to start for Class A Advanced Lancaster at Stockton at 10:05 p.m. Originally scheduled to go Tuesday, Appel was pushed back as Houston continues to try to help him get his season back on track. Appel was the top overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, but he has struggled this season, going 1-5 with a 10.80 ERA in 11 starts.
Top prospect probables
Tyler Anderson (Rockies' No. 10), Tulsa at Springfield
Mark Appel (Astros' No. 2), Lancaster at Stockton
Jayson Aquino (Rockies' No. 17), Modesto vs. Inland Empire
Chris Beck (White Sox No. 8), Birmingham at Jacksonville
Jose Berrios (Twins' No. 5), New Britain vs. Portland
Parker Bridwell (Orioles' No. 15), Frederick at Myrtle Beach
Alex Colome (Rays' No. 5), Durham vs. Rochester
Jonathon Crawford (Tigers' No. 3), West Michigan at Clinton
Zach Davies (Orioles' No. 12), Bowie vs. Altoona
Chase De Jong (Blue Jays' No. 12), Lansing at Peoria
Edwin Diaz (Mariners' No. 4), Clinton vs. West Michigan
Zach Eflin (Padres' No. 12), Lake Elsinore vs. Bakersfield
Grayson Garvin (Rays' No. 18), Montgomery at Chattanooga
Tyrell Jenkins (Cardinals' No. 15), Palm Beach at Brevard County
Jake Johansen (Nationals' No. 12), Hagerstown vs. Kannapolis
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 9), Elizabethton at Bluefield
Nick Kingham (Pirates' No. 8), Indianapolis vs. Charlotte
Jairo Labourt (Blue Jays' No. 11), Vancouver vs. Hillsboro
Trevor May (Twins' No. 11), Rochester at Durham
Simon Mercedes (Red Sox's No. 20), Salem vs. Lynchburg
Justin Nicolino (Marlins' No. 3), Jacksonville vs. Birmingham
Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' No. 9), Dunedin vs. Charlotte
Daniel Norris (Blue Jays' No. 3), New Hampshire at Harrisburg
Henry Owens (Red Sox's No. 1), Portland at New Britain
Zach Petrick (Cardinals' No. 16), Memphis vs. Omaha
Chris Reed (Dodgers' No. 6), Chattanooga vs. Montgomery
Victor Sanchez (Mariners' No. 6), Jackson vs. Huntsville
Luis Severino (Yankees' No. 9), Trenton vs. Binghamton
Nate Smith (Angels' No. 18), Arkansas vs. Tulsa
Robert Stephenson (Reds' No. 1), Pensacola vs. Mobile
Chris Stratton (Giants' No. 7), San Jose at Visalia
Lewis Thorpe (Twins' No. 6), Cedar Rapids at Bowling Green
Logan Verrett (Mets' No. 18), Las Vegas at Tacoma