Friday, June 23, 2006

Futures Game

A couple of days ago the rosters were released for the Futures Game, one of baseball's smarter ideas of recent years. Minor League All-Star games are ridiculous, especially the AAA game if you're looking for prospects, as half the All-Stars are 30 year olds with plenty of big league experience. The Futures game is about prospects (sort of).

Past MVPs of the futures game include Jose Reyes, Alfonso Soriano, and Grady Sizemore.

While I don't know all of the rules, it seems baseball has taken the approach of getting all the fans excited about the game, by making sure each team has at least one player in the game, and it seems like they do not allow any franchise to have more than two players. With a 25-man roster for the American team, and a 25-man roster for the World team, there are 10 franchises left with only one "Futures" player.

Of the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox, the Yankees definitely have the best representation. The Devil Rays, due to injuries and head-cases, ended up with only one player in the game. The ten teams with just one player: Red Sox, Mets, D-Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Twins, Marlins (as all their prospects are on their Major League roster), Nationals, Braves, and Cardinals.

If Lastings Milledge hadn't been brought up to the Majors, the Mets would probably still only have one representative. Matt Lindstrom made the team from the Mets' organization. Lindstrom is 25 years old, and has pitched 30 innnigs of relief this season. He had a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings in A-Ball, and a 6.00 ERA in 12 innings in AA.

The Red Sox are being represnted on the World team by Edgar Martinez, who needs to change his name, as with a name like that he should be able to hit. Edgar is 23-years old in AA, and has a 3.69 ERA in 25 relief appearances. He does have 33 relief K's with only 9 walks allowed in 32 innings. Obviously Lester would have made the team over Martinez if he hadn't been called up.

Of course, because of the way the rosters work, and they need people at every position, a team isn't necessarily going to have it's best prospect there, especailly if there is another team with a similar level prospect at the same position, and no other decent selection. So it's a weird process. Evidently, by who they chose from the Mets and Red Sox, these teams needed relief pitchers.

The Yankees on the other hand got well represented for their organization. Unlike the Mets and Red Sox, the Yankees are represented by the organizations' top two prospects. Phillip Hughes, who turns 20 tomorrow, will be on the US team, while 17-year old Jose Tabata will be the youngest player in the Futures Game as he plays on the World team.

I wonder how being in the Futures Game helps the value of prospects. Will Edgar Martinez and Matt Lindstrom have more trade value if they pitch one perfect inning with 2 K's in the Futures Game?


Warren said...

I don't recall how they make these decisions. The Mets have a clear top pitching prospect right now in Mike Pelfrey, so I'm not sure what about the process lent them to choose Lindstrom. I'm not sure how players' major league history factors in - clearly they can't play in they're in the majors, but Howie Kendrick, for example, already had a callup this year and is on the U.S. roster.

Just glancing at the rosters, the U.S. team looks much better than the World team.

Ross said...

The decision on no Pelfrey really makes no sense. There really isn't a good reason in a game like this to take relief pitchers over starting pitchers unless they really are a better prospect, as either way the starters probably only go one inning anyway.

Mets fans would watch to see Pelfrey. I'm not so sure they are going to care to see Lindstrom. That was a horrible decision.