2015 MLB Futures Game: World Team position players
Here’s a brief look at the position players recently named to the 2015 MLB Futures Game World Team.
Elias Diaz, C, Pirates: Age 24, signed out of Venezuela by the Pirates in 2009, right-handed hitter batting .276/.339/.387 through 58 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, draws praise for excellent defensive skills.
Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees: Age 22, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, right-handed hitter batting .256/.313/.432 through 45 games at Double-A Trenton. Respected for power and overall offensive upside though defense remains troublesome, an effective thrower against runners but receiving still needs work. Currently on disabled list with hand injury.
Ozhaino Albies, SS, Braves: Age 18, switch-hitter signed out of Curacao in 2013, hitting .325/.374/.411 with 22 steals in 70 games for Low-A Rome. Defense, speed are big positives, lacks home run power but has hit for high averages so far, .341 on his career. Status continues to grow.
Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers: Age 20, signed out of Venezuela in 2010, younger brother of Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia. Right-handed hitter batting .313/.356/.455 through 69 games at Double-A Biloxi, showing increasing gap power with 21 doubles. Another strong defender.
Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B-3B, Royals: Age 22, signed out of Nicaragua in 2009, right-handed batter hitting .260/.325/.396 in 73 games for Triple-A Omaha. Has shown big improvement on defense this year, raising hopes that permanent switch to first base is not inevitable. Line drive bat with decent strike zone judgment but lacks big power.
Rafael Devers, 3B,Red Sox: Age 18, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013, left-handed hitter batting .306/.336/.449 in 61 games for Low-A Greenville, outstanding for a player his age at that level. Projects to hit for both power and average, may be just scratching the surface this year.
Max Kepler, 1B-OF, Twins: Age 22, signed out of Germany in 2009, left-handed batter hitting .349/.422/.560 in 57 games for Double-A Chattanooga. Breakout season with 21 doubles, 12 steals, sound strike zone judgment and remaining power projection. Solid defender at first base and outfield corners.
Ketel Marte, SS-2B, Mariners: Age 21, switch-hitter from Dominican Republic signed in 2010, batting .343/.394/.434 in 51 games for Triple-A Tacoma, draws praise for speed, defense, contact hitting, and success at a young age against high-level competition. Currently on disabled list with wrist injury.
Raul Mondesi, SS-2B, Royals: Age 19, son of former major league outfielder, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, switch-hitter batting .270/.289/.426 in 32 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Struggles with the strike zone (four walks, 31 strikeouts) but is young for the level and has been pushed very quickly by the Royals. Outstanding tools but skills remain raw.
Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics: Age 21, right-handed hitter signed out of Venezuela in 2010, hitting .248/.314/.432 with 10 homers in 51 games for Double-A Midland. Hit 29 homers in the California League last year, power is the best asset here, still working on defense and contact.
Socrates Brito, OF, Diamondbacks: Age 22, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2010, hitting .266/.296/.388 in 70 games for Double-A Mobile. Looks great in uniform, fast, strong, powerful throwing arm, but impatient approach cuts into offensive performance.
Manuel Margot, OF, Red Sox: Age 20, right-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hit .282/.321/.420 with 20 steals in 46 games for High-A Salem, recently promoted to Double-A Portland. Runs well, fields well, flashes power, hit .296 with 12 homers and 42 steals in 2014.
Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers: Age 20, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hitting .288/.365/.455 with nine homers in 72 games for Double-A Frisco. Excellent power is developing nicely and he’s added plate discipline while reducing strikeouts, making him more than just a brute slugger.
Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds: Age 22, right-handed hitter signed out of Venezuela in 2008, hitting .277/.318/.438 with eight homers in 73 games for Triple-A Louisville. Has been on prospect lists for years but still young, power , throwing arm, and defense are best assets but still fights impatient approach.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies: Age 21, left-handed hitter signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, hitting .305/.328/.459 with 14 steals in 71 games for High-A Modesto. Intriguing speed/power combination with career .315 average in 389 games, high-average hitter but seldom draws walks, approach will be tested at higher levels.