Futures Game Rosters Announced

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Major League Baseball just announced the rosters of the Futures Game, which pits, more or less, the top U.S. prospects against the top international prospects. The game, as usual, will take place on the Sunday afternoon before the All-Star Game. Which means that, because they do it while major league games are happening, almost no one sees the game, but that’s a rant I’ve gone on before to no effect, so whatever. The game will be on MLB Network and streaming on MLB.com.

The teams feature 15 former first round draft picks, mostly on the U.S. team due to international players, apart from those  from Canada and Puerto Rico, not being subject to the draft. Among the 15 first round picks, five were selected in the 2017 Draft, six in the 2016 Draft, three in the 2015 Draft and one in the 2014 Draft. The World Team features players representing eight different countries and territories outside the 50 United States (Puerto Rico is international for baseball purposes). The Dominican Republic is represented by nine players, Venezuela (6), Cuba (4) and Australia (2).  Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and South Africa are each represented by one player on the World Team.

It’s the 20th year for the Futures Game. The U.S. Team leads the all-time series, 12-7.  Last year the U.S. Team won, taking its seventh victory in the last eight years.

Here are the rosters and the coaching staffs:

 

World team:

 

United States team:

 

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.