As time advances the rate of pro players who passed through Future Stars Series events grows exponentially, and this year’s MLB Pipeline Top 100 boasts of 19 FSS alum.
COMING SOON: Joe Doyle’s Team-by-Team Top 30s
Among those 19 are two in the top 11:
Crews, 22 next month, appeared in three FSS events, including Nationals in 2019 and International Week later that fall. In his FSS scouting report, his future tools grade were plus across the board, led by 65 hit and power.
He destroyed Class-A pitching after the draft last summer and flashed in Double-A to end the season. The Nationals figure to start their top prospects back in Double-A and the chances he sees the bigs in 2024 are relatively high.
Lawlar has cruised through the minors rapidly, hitting at every stop and making his debut in the majors last season at age 21. There’s plenty of power and defense, plus enough hit tool for all-star seasons with superstar upside.
There are several near-ready arms, too:
- 23. Kyle Harrison, LHP — San Francisco Giants
- 29. Ricky Tiedemann, LHP — Toronto Blue Jays
- 36. Robby Snelling, LHP — San Diego Padres
- 49. Mick Abel, RHP — Philadelphia Phillies
- 62. Jared Jones, RHP — Pittsburgh Pirates
- 64. Tink Hence, RHP — St. Louis Cardinals
- 82. Anthony Solometo, LHP — Pittsburgh Pirates
- 92. Chase Hampton, RHP — New York Yankees
- 100. Daniel Espino, RHP — Cleveland Guardians
The 22-year-old Harrison, who made his MLB debut in 2023, is the top lefty and No. 2 overall arm in Pipeline’s rankings. He’s likely to be a part of the Giants’ rotation for years.
He came through Future Stars Series by way of the NorCal World Series in 2018 and received high future grades for his fastball, slider, and control/command.
Future Stars Series president of baseball operations Jeremy Booth on Harrison, 2018:
No. 3 starter in ML role with fallback role of a shutdown reliever. LH with big velocity ceiling and a future plus slider makes him a safe high school pick. Role is dictated by overall feel as he develops. Will touch every level but will get all the chances in the world to become something with his makeup and tool set. Can see him pitching for a long time with success. Either a top of the draft pick or an overpay. Impact arm. Reminds of Kirk Rueter.
Harrison has added velocity from the 89 mph fastball he displayed at age 16, touching as high as 97 in 2023, and his profile has been pushed forward a bit.
Tiedemann, just 21, reached Triple-A a year ago and has a shot to hit the majors in 2024, thanks to big-time swing-and-miss stuff led by a plus fastball and slider.
The southpaw stood out at the New Balance Future Stars International Week in 2019, garbering above-average to plus grades with his two best pitches, including specific notes about the fastball movement and spin on the breaker, as well as mention of the funk in his delivery which creates deception with angles.
Snelling appeared in four FSS events, including the Los Angeles Combine as a 13-year-old in 2017, showing off as a centerfielder as well as on the mound. He ultimately was the No. 39 overall pick in the 2022 Draft.
The 20-year-old figures into the Padres’ plans as early as this spring after reaching Double-A late last summer.
Abel, a first-round pick in 2020, made it all the way to Triple-A a year ago flashing two plus to double-plus pitched in a fastball and slider, but also has an above-averag curveball and a changeup that may give him one of the more complete arsenals in the minors.
Throwing consistent strikes has been a bit of a battle, but he’s just 22 and the stuff should lead the way.
Abel appeared in back-to-back NBFSS International Week events, culminating in one of the more impressive prep pitcher scouting reports in recent years.
Booth on Abel, September 2018:
No. 2 starter big-league role. Live-bodied athlete with fast twitch everything, similar to Kris Benson. Seen him since he was a colt at 15 and it continues to progress the way it should. Natural easy arm speed. Feel to repeat his delivery at a young age continues to improve. Advanced feel to execute his fastball and protect it with secondary … Has thrown both breaking balls but SL has emerged as the favorite in development now. Power arm who can move the ball east and west. Advanced instincts for the game and 80 makeup.
Jones, the Pirates’ second-round in 2020, pitched well in Triple-A in 2023 and is on the brink of the majors on the strength of a big fastball-slider combo.
He’s lived up to his FSS scouting report from spring 2019, which included three future plus offerings and a chance at four pitches. He’s essentially ditched his curveball, but it’s three quality offerings that will play up with improved command.
Hence is a special athlete up to 99 mph who sat 92-96 in his first full season starting in pro ball. It’s a full assortment of pitches, including a plus changeup inducing whiffs and a chance at two average or better breaking balls.
From a 2018 Scout Day to 2019 International Week, Hence performed in four FSS events as both a pitcher and shortstop. As an arm, he received a future 70 fastball grade/
The 21-year-old right-hander concluded his 2023 campaign with 12 starts in Double-A Springfield and could head back there to start 2024 with a chance to end the year with the big club.
Solometo also made 12 starts in Double-A a year ago after 12 in High-A. He didn’t miss bats in the upper level, but he did throw a lot more strikes.
It’s not big velocity, but deception, consistent secondaries, and projectable command suggest a mid-rotation profile, and the lefty has improved his stuff as he’s moved through pro ball. He toyched 97 as an amateur, including NBFSS International Week in 2020.
Booth on Solometo in 2020:
Simply put facing him isn;t fun. Well wishes are extended to the hitters as they must bring their ‘A’ focus to compete. Relentless with control and stuff to match, Anthony is the the type of left handed starter that comes along once a decade. He will scare people with the delivery but it works for him and as long as he maintains his body, he will go through a stretch in the big leagues of 10-12 years where he’s eating innings and providing value. Has a fallback role later in his career of a reliever similar to a Dan Plesac when its time to go there. Will pitch as long as he wants to. Madison Bumgardner comp.
Hampton, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, is a four-pitch arm despite a lagging changeup, and his cutter and both traditional breakers have been weapons versus left-handed batters.
He’s 22 and in Year 1 of pro ball reached Double-A and may push through the majors as early as this coming season.
He showed off his long-term potential as an amateur back in 2020 at Scout Games where FSS staff raved about a loose arm and projetable major-league stuff.
Espino, the Guardians first-round pick in 2019, but has made just four starts since his 2021 campaign. When healthy, he’s missed a ton of bats in pro ball and may have the minors’ best fastball, which has reached 103 mph.
Espino also has flashed a devastating slider and both his curveball and changeup have plenty of promise. If healthy, 2024 is a reasonable ETA for him, even if it’s a late-season relief role to manage his workload. The stuff is going to play.
Future Stars Series has also hosted a number of hitters in addition to Carter and Crews.
- 31. Chase DeLauter, OF — Cleveland Guardians
- 43. Masyn Winn, SS — St. Louis Cardinals
- 44. Termarr Johnson, 2B — Pittsburgh Pirates
- 47. Owen Caissie, OF — Chicago Cubs
- 53. Drew Gilbert, CF — New York Mets
- 67. Edwin Arroyo, SS — Cincinnati Reds
- 71. Sebastian Walcott, SS — Texas Rangers
- 74. Tommy Troy, 2B — Arizona Diamondbacks
DeLauter, the Guardians’2022 first-round pick, spent his first pro season racing through three levels, raking at all three, and landing in Double-A for a week to finish it off.
There hasn’t been much power yet, but enough bat speed exists to project at least average levels of long ball production down the road as the former James Madison star learn to generate consistent backspin.
Winn, a two-way prep star who touched the mid-90s from the mound, made his debut with the Cards last summer after posting a highly-impressive slash of .288/.359/.474 with 18 homers. He makes contact, can run, and has every shot to not just stick at shortstop but stay there a long time.
Caissie brings huge raw power and a chance to hit for average and post big OBP marks
Johnson, a left-handed hitting second baseman, is a master at working deep counts and hitting the ball hard. There’s at least average power here despite a 5-foot-8, 180-pound frame.
He’s probably a year or two from the big leagues, but won’t be 20 years of age until June and likely starts 2024 in High-A.
Gilbert, traded from the Houston Astros to the New York Mets as part of the deal that landed Justin Verlander back in Space City, is a high-probability prospect with a chance to stay in center, steal bases, and hit for average.
After the deadline last summer, Gilbert switched from Double-A Corpus Christi to Double-A Binghamton and went on a tear at the plate, batting .325/.423/.561 with six homers in 35 games.
Gilbert, who was in two NBFSS events including 2018 International Week, is on the brink of a big-league call-up.
Arroyo was traded from Seattle to Cincinnati when the Reds sent right-hander Luis Castillo to the Mariners in 2022. He may end up at second, and it may be compromised hitting approach, but it’s a bit a baby-Lindor attack plan with .250 averages and 15-homer power to go with average shortstop defense or perhaps above-average glove value at second.
Arroyo performed at International Week in 2020 among two FSS events, garnering numerous future big-league grades, including hitting, power, and defense, and is now a year or so from popping into the majors.
Walcott and Troy were each 2023 draftees, Walcott a prep star and Troy a college performer.
Troy figures to move quickly through the minors into the D-Backs lineup within a year or two, while Walcott is mostly tools and projection at age 17 but projects to huge power numbers and a chance to make a major impact with the glove.
Troy took part in the San Bruno/NorCal Combine in 2018 and 2018 International Week, garnering future big-league grades across the board and comps to Brett Lawrie and Bret Booone.
Walcott showed out in the Viera Event in 2021 on the mound (up to 87 mph) and as a position player, but it;s his future plus to plus-plus power and size-athleticism combo the FSS staff raved about most.
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