On July 16, the game’s brightest prospects will gather at Dodger Stadium for the 2022 Futures Game. The Futures Game is MLB’s annual showcase of the sport’s best prospective big leaguers, some of whom will make their big-league debut in the second half. And you know what? Some will be traded at the deadline. That’s how it has been throughout Futures Game history.
The 2022 Futures Game rosters will be released in full on Thursday. On Wednesday, MLB Network Radio teased the Futures Game rosters by revealing the first four players in in each league. Here are the first eight 2022 Futures Gamers and their MLB.com top 100 prospects list ranking:
- RHP Jack Leiter, Rangers (No. 18)
- 3B Curtis Mead, Rays (No. 62)
- LHP Ky Bush, Angels (not in top 100)
- OF Ceddanne Rafaela, Red Sox (not in top 100)
Leiter, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, is the headliner among the first four names in the AL. The son of longtime big leaguer AL Leiter has had an up-and-down season, if not an underwhelming season given his pedigree. The Rays acquired Mead from the Phillies for minor-league righty Cristopher Sánchez in Nov. 2019 and he’s developed into a top hitting prospect. Bush was a second-round pick in 2021, and Rafaela is having a breakout season in High Class-A and Double-A.
- OF Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks (No. 3)
- RHP Eury Pérez, Marlins (No. 17)
- OF Robert Hassell III, Padres (No. 25)
- LHP Kyle Harrison, Giants (No. 27)
Much more star power on the NL side, at least among the first four players. Carroll missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and is a dynamic power/speed threat with excellent center field defense. Pérez is tearing up Double-A as a 19-year-old, posting a 3.21 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 56 innings. The Padres selected Hassell with the No. 8 pick in the 2020 draft and Harrison leads the minors with 116 strikeouts in only 65 1/3 innings.
It should noted Cubs outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong is also reportedly heading to the Futures Game.
The Futures Game is intended to showcase the game’s best prospects and is not necessarily an All-Star Game with the top performers in the minors. That said, there’s a lot of overlap with “best prospects” and “best performers.” Cubs prospect Brennen Davis was named Futures Game MVP last year.
The Futures Game has been around since 1999 and originally featured a USA vs. World format. In 2019, MLB shortened the Futures Game to seven innings and adopted an AL vs. NL format.