It was a banner year for the New Balance Future Stars Series in many ways — one that’s far from over with a bevy of signature events still to come — but sending four alums to the big leagues this season, including three first-timers, may very well take the cake.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHSP — Baltimore Orioles
Rodriguez was considered the consensus top prospect in baseball for a while before ultimately getting called up after just one start in the minors this year. He struggled at times in his first ten big league starts, and was sent back to Triple-A Norfolk for a bit, where he regained his confidence and has shown glimpses of his top of the rotation ceiling.
The 23-year-old righty, who told FSS Plus earlier this year that his big-league run has been a “dream come true,” is 5-4 with a 4.88 ERA in his first 20 starts in 2023, racking up 110 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings of work. His August 28 outing against the Chicago White Sox was arguably the best of his MLB career thus far; he spun six scoreless frames of one-run ball en route to picking up the win.
Bo Naylor, C — Cleveland Guardians
Naylor was the first FSS alum to play in the big leagues, earning a cup of coffee September call-up last year before returning to Triple-A to start this season. He received a brief promotion as the 27th man in a May doubleheader before getting summoned back to “The Show” for good in mid-June.
Since then, he’s performed well, delivering 11 multi-hit games thus far, including a 2-for-4 showing on September 8, just one game after smacking his eighth home run of the year.
Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B — Oakland Athletics
Soderstrom got the call at just 21 years old, making his debut for the Oakland Athletics on July 14, capping off a meteoric rise through the system after going off the board at No. 26 in the 2020 MLB Draft. While he’s struggled to find consistency at the game’s highest level, he’s also shown flashes of what he’s capable of, including his most recent September 10 showing in Texas, in which he went deep for the third time in 2023.
Kyren Paris, SS — Los Angeles Angels
Also just 21 years old at the time of his promotion, Paris skipped Triple-A entirely to get there, making his debut as a September call-up with the Angels just ten days ago. He’s been a regular in the lineup ever since and has recorded his first hit and stolen base (September 2) and RBI (September 7) in the process.
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