2012 MLB All Star Futures Game Preview: World Team Hitters
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians: Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Aguilar has plus power packed into his 6-3, 255-pound frame. The 22-year-old is hitting .308/.388/.525 with 11 homers in 263 at-bats in Low-A. He lacks speed and isn't a great fielder, but his power stands out.
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins: Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Arcia is hitting .306/.371/.502 this year with eight homers in 265 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. An impatient hitter, he still usually makes good contact and has hit for both power and average through the minors. Age 22, he's had some problems with left-handed pitching.
Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves: Signed from Panama in 2008, Bethancourt is just 20 years old. He's not much of a hitter at this point, batting just .254/.275/.282 in Double-A, but scouts love his glove and he's gunned down 44% of runners this year.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox: Signed out of Aruba in 2009, Bogaerts is hitting .282/.361/.477 with 12 homers in 287 at-bats in High-A, at the tender age of 18. He's made big improvements with his plate discipline, establishing himself as one of the elite offensive prospects in the game. He's currently a shortstop, but is likely to end up at third base or right field as he matures physically.
Wilmer Flores, 3B, Mets: It may seem to prospect watchers like he's been around forever, but Flores is still just 20 years old. Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, he's taken a large step forward this year, showing more power and hitting .301/.348/.469 with 11 homers in 292 at-bats between High-A and Double-A, while adapting to a new position.
Yasmani Grandal, C, Padres: Age 23, the Cuban-born Grandal was drafted out of the University of Miami in 2010. He was hitting .335/.443/.521 in Triple-A before his recent promotion to the majors, while showing sound defensive skills. Since he's in the majors now, he won't be eligible to play in the Futures Game.
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF, Cubs: Signed out of South Korea in 2009, the 21-year-old is hitting .261/.329/.358 in 310 at-bats in Double-A. He runs well, throws well, and shows solid across-the-board physical tools, but lacks consistent distance power and is an unrefined player.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians: Born in Puerto Rico, Lindor went to high school in Montverde, Florida, and was drafted in the first round last year. Just 18, he's hitting .263/.352/.374 with 17 steals in 289 at-bats in Low-A, demonstrating contact hitting skills and highly-impressive defense.
Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres: Signed from the Dominican Republic in 2007, Liriano is hitting .296/.360/.439 this year with 23 steals between High-A and Double-A. Age 21, he impresses scouts with his athleticism, speed, and throwing arm, and he'll flash good power at times.
Alfredo Marte, OF, Diamondbacks: Signed from the Dominican Republic back in 2005, Marte is 23 years old and hitting .294/.365/.579 with 14 homers in Double-A. He can be impatient and spotty plate discipline held him back until this year, but his raw power stands out as a big plus.
Chih-Fang Pan, 2B, Athletics: Signed out of Taiwan in 2010, Pan is hitting .267/.327/.356 in 225 at-bats in Low-A at age 21. He is best-known for his quickness and athleticism, and he has a chance to hit for high batting averages as he gains experience and maturity. His glove is very well-regarded.
Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers: The best prospect in baseball, Profar was signed out of Curacao in 2010. Just 18 years old, he's hitting .293/.371/.479 in Double-A, showing power, contact hitting ability, and extremely impressive defense at shortstop. His makeup is as spectacular as his playing ability.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B, White Sox: Sanchez is one of the more intriguing sleeper prospects around, hitting .315/.372/.395 with 13 steals in 311 at-bats in High-A at age 19. Signed from Venezuela in 2009, he is still somewhat raw but has established himself as a sharp defender with a line drive bat.
Jean Segura, SS-2B, Angels: A Dominican signed in 2007, Segura is 22 years old and hitting .285/.330/.404 with 30 steals in 319 at-bats in Double-A. Most scouts think he will be a second baseman eventually, but his line drive hitting skills and deceptive speed stand out. He is fully recovered from a 2011 hamstring injury.
Ali Solis, C, Padres: Signed out of Mexico in 2005, Solis was named to replace Grandal on the roster. Age 24, he's hitting .298/.321/.460 in Double-A, showing power despite poor strike zone judgment. He's thrown out 29% of runners this year, still learning to use his defensive tools effectively.
Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals: Signed from the Dominican in 2008, Taveras is just 20 years old but is destroying Double-A, hitting .327/.378/.605 with 17 homers in 294 at-bats, proving that his gaudy numbers in the lower minors (he hit .386 last year in the Midwest League) were no fluke. He has an amazing knack for contact and has fully developed his power this season.