Sometimes throughout the day, I deliberately day dream. I do it to keep my mind from focusing on whatever is currently on the table of reality, frustrating or angering me. Lately that has involved LBJ Freeway. Hwy 635, in it's current state of miles-long reconstruction, is designed to break a man's spirit. An endless slalom between inverted orange barrels and erector set concrete side walls; the kind of walls that look less like guardrails and more like impossibly heavy versions of the bumpers on a kid's bowling lane. Whatever your albatross, I'd like to present a suitable daydream for prospect minded mindless folks like you and me.
The Futures Game began in 1999 and it seemed like a bit of a weekend filler, something cool to those in the game, but not necessarily all that interesting to fans. It's grown every year since, and it is, obviously, my favorite part of the All-Star festivities. Who will represent Texas in the 2013 Future's Game? Welp, let's make some guesses.
As you know, each team gets two representatives; one born in the US, and one born outside the US. The teams are selected by a joint committee of MLB, MLB.com, and Baseball America folks. The last few years the rosters have been primarily comprised of mid-level kids, high-A/AA with a few AAA guys and even fewer low-A dudes sprinkled in as well. Profar went for the second time last season and was joined by Connecticut born Mike Olt. I suppose it's entirely feasible that both of those guys would be eligible again, but unless it's a bit of a publicity thing (i.e. Pro is on the cover of BA's Prospect Guide), I'm not sure either fella gets another nod. So, having said that, with lots of good candidates in the mix, without further ado, I present my choices, as of June 12, 2013, for the Texas Rangers representatives for the 2013 Futures Game scheduled for Sunday, July 13th at Bernie Madoff Field. [finishes run-on sentence and sounds the trumpet announcing an announcement]
The World Team representative could, should, might be...Jorge Alfaro. The Colombian born player appears likely to begin 2014 as the #1 prospect in the entire system. Kid is basically catching 5 days a week, hitting for power, and he has an 80 grade tool; his arm. The organizers of the game need flashy tools to give the broadcasters something to talk about. Whichever talking head they choose will spend a few minutes chatting about Jorge's arm and power, then making violently unfair comparisons to Pudge, followed by an anecdote about how the Rangers hired Pudge as a special assistant just to help develop The Legend.
Also in the mix: Luis Sardinas, Wilmer Font
The US Team representative could, should, might be...Luke Jackson. Florida-born Luke has had a growing year at Myrtle Beach, and frankly, he's right where he should be. He told me before the season he wanted to work on his fastball command, and he is. The thing about Luke is that his floor keeps going up. I know he is a starter, but the kid has closer's stuff too. In short bursts, this is a dude who can hit 99 on a gun and flash a giant hammer curve. The TV guys would have a field day with that. And since he's not going to pitch more than an inning anyway, why not dial it up a bit!
Also in the mix: Gobbles Gallo, CJ Edwards, Neil Ramirez
Another factor for my choices was the guys from Baseball America wanting to look smart. They had Jorge as their #9 preseason pick and LuJack as their #6. Thanks to a combination of their own performances, and promotions of those ahead of them, these 2 guys have done nothing but move up the list for next season's rankings. They'd be young for this game, and coming from lower levels, but they'd be right for it as well. (Hell, Jorge might be in it for the next 3 seasons!) Never said my daydreams weren't a little edgy.
So there you have it. Even if it just gives you about 3 minutes of thinking about anything other than traffic, go for it. Think about who you'd take, who should go, and who will go. Distractions are good, and this is a good distraction.
As always, enjoy baseball! Love Ya!