Future Stars Series pro ball alumni update

March 12, 2023

The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series has helped produce dozens of players who have gone on to play professional baseball, and many of them are currently in big league spring training, or in the case of Bo Naylor, representing their country at the World Baseball Classic.

After a stay with the Cleveland Guardians, with whom he made his major-league debut at the end of last season, in big-league camp, Naylor was permitted to join Team Canada for the WBC, where he’ll likely make his debut in the nationally televised game against Great Britain, set for 3 PM ET on FS1.  Naylor isn’t the only FSS alum at the WBC; Benji Gil, who served as the infield coordinator in the early years of Program 15, is serving as the manager of Team Mexico.

Naylor, who was optioned to Triple-A Columbus earlier this week, where he’ll get regular playing time as he awaits a regular opportunity in the majors, wrapped up his stay in MLB spring training with a bang, smacking an eighth inning double in a 4-4 tie against the Oakland Athletics on March 4.

Edwin Arroyo has continued to make a big impression in his new organization.  One of the key pieces in the return for the Cincinnati Reds in their trade deadline deal last year that sent Luis Castillo to the the Seattle Mariners, Arroyo is making the most of an extended look in spring training.

A consensus Top 100 prospect in all of baseball, the 19-year-old is hitting .400 with an RBI in four big league games this spring, and has also dazzled defensively at shortstop, although he continued to show off some of his defensive versatility this winter in playing both second and third base for Mayaguez in the PRWL.

Tink Hence first jumped onto the national scene with a dazzling performance for the National Team at Fenway Park at International Week in 2019, and hasn’t looked back since.  Another consensus Top 100 prospect, Hence has made the most of his first call to the Grapefruit League, opening even more eyes with some brief, but effective showings for the St. Louis Cardinals in big league camp.

That continued with his latest outing, in which he spun a scoreless frame against the Houston Astros last Monday, reaching 97.1 MPH with his fastball in needing just 18 pitches to strike out the first two batters he faced before inducing an inning-ending groundout.

This may very well be Drew Romo‘s last big league spring training as a non-roster invitee.  The 21-year-old backstop may be on track to make his big league debut at the end of this year if he’s able to maintain this torrid pace.  Future Stars Series scouts identified him as “one of the top catching prospects in the country” back when he was a standout for the Scorpions at the 2019 National Tournaments, and certainly weren’t wrong; the bat has certainly caught up to his elite defensive skills, as evidenced by a 6-for-12 showing this spring with the Colorado Rockies, including a stunning 3-for-3 showing with four RBI in his debut back on February 26.

In his second big league spring training, Dasan Brown continues to show he has a big league future with the Toronto Blue Jays.  An ultra-athletic outfielder who is likely ticketed for his Double-A debut this year, the 21-year-old Canada native — and fellow product of the Ontario Blue Jays program, like Naylor — Brown has hits in two of his three appearances this season, including an RBI single against the Detroit Tigers on March 4, showing a 97 MPH exit velocity on a hard shot to right field.

Mike Ashmore
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