The annual Arizona Fall League Rising stars all-star game, also known as the AFL Futures game will feature some of the game’s brightest talents. It’s considered as the showcase for top prospects. The yearly exhibition game will see the game’s top prospects battle it out, while being shown on the MLB Network. The seventh annual exhibition game pits the eastern division all-stars against the western division all-stars while being played at Talking Stick at Salt River Fields tomorrow night at 8PM eastern time. You can watch the game live on MLB.com and the MLB network. Getting the start for the eastern all-stars is Houston Astros top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart. The right handed youngster is ranked number 76 overall on the top 100 prospects list, and number four on the Houston top 20 list. Opposing him for the West all-stars will be Twin’s prospect Kyle Gibson.
Cosart called the game a “great honor”, as the game will showcase some of the best up and coming talent. One of the top youngsters taking the field tomorrow will be the number 44 prospect overall Mike Zunino. Zunino is a top catching prospect in the Seattle Mariner’s system. Zunino ascended through the system quickly, reaching the double-A level in just his first season of professional Baseball. The 2012 Golden Spikes winner, is known to have a powerful bat, with great bat speed, and a strong throwing arm. He’s one of many young stars that will have the spotlight shined upon during the game tomorrow.Another one of the Mariner’s top prospects Nick Franklin, who was the 2011 Rising Stars game MVP, will also be playing. Last year he pulled in the honors with a 4 for 5 home run, two doubles, and four RBI performance. Joining him will be fellow Seattle prospect James Paxton. All three prospects are ranked in the top 100.Joining Zunino on the East roster is other top Houston prospects Jonathon Singleton, and George Springer. Tiger’s top hitting prospect Nick Castellanos will join other top hitting prospects like the National’s Anthony Rendon, Arizona’s Matt Davidson, Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, and outfielder Gary Brown of the Giants.
The west roster is just as good. Their team will feature the Red’s speester Billy Hamilton, Christian Yelich of the Marlins, Hak-Ju Lee of the Rays system, and Rymer Liriano of the Padres. Yelich is very interesting. He was sidelined with a concussion in early June, but that didn’t stop him from getting the call for the West division roster. Yelich finished third in batting for the South Atlantic League in 2011, and is known to have good speed, and is a solid outfielder. The left handed hitting 19 year old is ranked at number 17 on the top 100 prospects list.
The 2009 game saw 28 of the players make it to the majors the following season. In 2010 there were 12 players who made it, and last season the game saw 18 players reach the big league level the next year. Many remember last year’s game featuring Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout.
You can check out the rest of the rosters below.
rising stars rosters
|East Division||West Division|
|Chase Anderson||ARI||P||Michael Brady||MIA|
|Aaron Barrett||WAS||P||Grant Dayton||MIA|
|Mike Belfiore||BAL||P||Kyle Gibson||MIN|
|Victor Black||PIT||P||Johnny Hellweg||MIL|
|Jarred Cosart||HOU||P||Chase Huchingson||NYM|
|Trey Haley||CLE||P||Curtis Partch||CIN|
|Heath Hembree||SF||P||James Paxton||SEA|
|Mark Montgomery||NYY||P||Kevin Quackenbush||SD|
|Santos Rodriguez||CWS||P||C.J. Riefenhauser||TB|
|Coty Woods||COL||P||James Simmons||OAK|
|Tony Zych||CHC||P||Michael Tonkin||MIN|
|Alex Monsalve||CLE||C||Tommy Joseph||PHI|
|Austin Romine||NYY||C||Mike Zunino||SEA|
|Corey Dickerson||COL||OF/IF||Michael Almanzar||BOS|
|David Adams||NYY||INF||Nick Ahmed||ATL|
|Kaleb Cowart||LAA||INF||Cody Asche||PHI|
|Ricky Oropesa||SF||INF||Nick Franklin||SEA|
|Chris Owings||ARI||INF||Hak-Ju Lee||TB|
|Anthony Rendon||WAS||INF||Chris McGuiness||TEX|
|Jonathan Schoop||BAL||INF||Hunter Morris||MIL|
|Jonathan Singleton||HOU||INF||Kolten Wong||STL|
|Gary Brown||SF||OF||Bryce Brentz||BOS|
|Nick Castellanos||DET||OF||Brian Fletcher||KC|
|Brian Goodwin||WAS||OF||Billy Hamilton||CIN|
|Joc Pederson||LAD||OF||Rymer Liriano||SD|
|George Springer||HOU||OF||Christian Yelich||MIA|
The Rising stars game is more than just an exhibition game. It’s a way for young players on the upswing to showcase their skills and show their teams they’re ready for the major leagues. Their teams will get a chance to evaluate their growth before the long winter begins. It could be considered as a natural pre-curser to the majors for many of these young players. Again, you can check out the game tomorrow on MLB.com, and the MLB Network at 8PM eastern, 5PM Pacific time.