Later this month, on Saturday, July 16 at 7:00 pm, the MLB futures game with leading players from throughout the minor league system will be played, with the broadcast on Sirius XM and Peacock. Each MLB team can have up to two players representing them and all teams have players in the game. The players are selected by a committee of baseball minds and the list of the 2022 futures game roster was released on Thursday, July 7. The Astros have two named to the roster one of each of the two categories for the American League roster, one pitcher, and one position player, and I’m not sure anyone could have guessed one of the two.
Hunter Brown is the first man off the board and an easy pick for the committee. Brown is having a career year and has seen a drastic increase in his numbers compared to last year in AAA. The star pitcher has his K/9 ratio back up to form at 12.13 and his BB/9 is the lowest in his professional career at 4. Brown’s exceptional pitch speed, along a strong arsenal overall, has resulted in his lowest HR/9 at 0.38 and his astounding 2.38 ERA is also his best ever. Brown is a clear frontrunner to be called up this September by the Astros, and his career year at AAA shows why the 2019 fifth round pick is on the verge of his major league debut.
Yanier Diaz’s meteoric rise from low A in 2021 to AAA with Sugar Land in 2022 is just one of his exciting traits. His rise has been mostly due to his impressive production at the plate. Prior to joining the Space Cowboys, he crushed 9 home runs and 48 RBI with a BA of .316 and a BABIP of .345 with an OPS of .871. Diaz is only 13 games into his AAA tenure and is hitting .240 so far with 4 home runs and 13 RBI. Diaz’s production has continued in Sugar Land and his OPS sits at .844, not skipping much of a beat from his AA Corpus days. He has some versatility as well, as he plays catcher and first base. Fans can look forward to seeing how the Astros farm system stacks up against the rest of the league.