Aleman thrives after promotion as other FSS alums shine bright

July 23, 2023

After six years of seeing players get drafted — including at least one by all 30 MLB organizations — it’s fair to say that there’s plenty of alums of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series scattered all over professional baseball.

And while the usual suspects typically garner the attention, there’s no shortage of players who typically fly under the prospect radar who are carving out their own path to the big leagues.

One of the more unique examples of that may be Cleveland Guardians prospect Franco Aleman, who took a very circuitous route to making significant contributions in their farm system. Originally taken by the Atlanta Braves in the late rounds back in 2018 just one year after participating in the inaugural International Week event in Sugar Land, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound righty elected to instead go the college route, first pitching at FIU and then St. Johns River State College before eventually transferring to Florida, where he pitched for one year before Cleveland snagged him with the No. 306 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Aleman has had a relatively nondescript stay in the organization until now, where he’s thriving at Double-A Akron after being promoted on July 1; he’s strung together five consecutive scoreless relief outings for the RubberDucks, allowing just four hits and two walks in 8 2/3 innings of work, while racking up a whopping 15 strikeouts over that period of time. In Akron, Aleman is teammates with 2019 International Week alum Petey Halpin, who went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI on Sunday.

Dominic Pipkin, RHRP — Reading (AA) | Phillies

Another recent promoted arm is Pipkin, who also earned his first trip to Double-A in early July. A fellow 2017 International Week alum, the 23-year-old has proven to be a versatile arm in the Phillies system ever since they took him with the No. 257 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Now reunited with IW teammate Mick Abel, who is currently in Reading and recently earned the start in the prestigious Futures Game, Pipkin has allowed just two runs in his first five relief outings for Reading, posting eight strikeouts while walking just one in his first eight frames.

Mateo Gil, INF — Brooklyn (A+) | Mets

A teammate of Aleman’s on the World Team at International Week in 2017, Gil is once again hot with the bat in pro ball, having smashed three homers in his last eight games, including two more against the Hudson Valley Renegades, who he’s feasted on all season long. The one-time St. Louis Cardinals draft pick and son of former P15 staffer and current Angels coach Benji Gil produced his second multi-hit game of the month on Tuesday, hitting a double and a homer as seen below.

Mike Ashmore
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