Best tools in the MLB Futures Game
July, 11, 2014
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Brian WesterholtTexas prospect Joey Gallo isn't just blessed with plus-plus power; he has a huge arm at third base.
The 16th annual MLB Futures Game will take place Sunday at Target Field in Minneapolis, and yes, I'll be there, my ninth Futures Game. It's an event that brings some of the best prospects from around the minors together on one field for a nine-inning exhibition that is far more interesting than the actual All-Star Game on Tuesday. The first one I attended featured Joey Votto, Alex Gordon, Homer Bailey and Hunter Pence; the 2007 game included a 19-year-old lefty named Clayton Kershaw. Here's a quick guide to some of the 2014 players, focusing on which players grade out the best in the five hitting tools or in some of the major scouting categories for pitchers.
Best hit tool
Josh Bell, OF, Pittsburgh: Bell missed just about all of 2012 because of a bad knee injury and spent much of 2013 shaking off the rust from losing his entire first pro season. This year, however, Bell's promise in high school is showing up on the field, as he's making a ton of contact, much of it hard, with a .380 average since the start of June, and nearly equal triple-slash lines from the left and right sides. Sean Coyle, Corey Seager, D.J. Peterson and Francisco Lindor also have above-average to plus hit tools.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas: There's a ton of power in this year's Futures Game, with Gallo leading the way. He has enormous left-handed pull power, comparable to Giancarlo Stanton's, producing 93 homers already in 254 professional games, 31 this year. The U.S. team alone has at least four players with grade-70 power or more: