Best tools in the Futures Game
July, 11, 2013
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
Ken Babbitt/Four Seam Images/AP ImagesBoston's Xander Bogaerts is one of the best power-hitting prospects in this year's Futures Game.Sunday's MLB Futures Game, airing on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET, features a large proportion of the best prospects in the minors, including a number of players whose tools or pitches grade out at 70 or even 80 on the 20-80 scale. Here's a look, tool by tool and pitch by pitch, at the best this year's rosters have to offer.
For a full breakdown of the U.S. roster, click here. For the international roster, click here.
(Note: You will see me refer to scouting grades throughout this piece. For those unfamiliar, scouts grade tools on a 20-80 scale. It's rare to see a grade of 80, and 50 is considered league-average.)
Best hit tool
Cleveland's Francisco Lindor has an advanced approach for someone so young; he won't turn 20 until just before Thanksgiving and is already playing extremely well in high Class A, with nearly as many walks as strikeouts and the third-highest average in the league. He doesn't have the huge ceiling of many of the other prospects in this game, mostly because he's not likely to hit for power, but a true shortstop who can post a high OBP and has some foot speed will be a valuable big leaguer for a long time.