Before the current MLB All-Stars take the field Tuesday in Cincinnati, the next generation of stars will be on display Sunday at the 2015 MLB Futures Game.

This exhibition—unlike the other All-Star Game, this one doesn’t “count” for anything—pits the top minor league prospects from the United States against those originating from everywhere else in the world. This ends up creating a chance for scouts and fans alike to see the young players who are truly the future of the sport.

Considering you only have to look back to last year’s version to see contributing players like Maikel Franco, Noah Syndergaard and 2015 MLB All-Star Kris Bryant, you know there will be some stars to watch this time around.

Out of the entire roster, though, these are the players you really want to watch for in the upcoming game.


Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals

Based on talent alone, Lucas Giolito was a steal for the Washington Nationals with the 16th pick in 2012. Everyone knew he had the pure stuff to succeed at the highest levels, but he slipped from a potential top-three pick due to an injury that caused him to immediately get Tommy John surgery.

Fortunately, he is back on track and starting to dominate the minor leagues. He recently pitched seven no-hit innings in relief of rehabbing starter Aaron Barrett and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The pitcher recently discussed his improvements since the start of the season, per Alex Kraft of

I had a little bit of a rough start, especially since I kind of had an augmented Spring Training throwing program. I showed up to the team late, but I feel like I’ve definitely been able to internalize some things and make some good adjustments on some of the things I was doing incorrectly earlier this year — both from the mental side and the physical side. I’m feeling very good right now.

Giolito can blow hitters away with his upper-90s fastball, although he also has both a curve and a developing changeup. If he can put it all together, there is no question he has the potential to be an elite starter in the majors.


Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Considering he is just 20 years old, Orlando Arcia has been quite impressive playing the full year at Double-A. 

While he doesn’t walk much, he gets hits with power that is only improving as he grows. Right now, the quality hits are doubles instead of home runs, but eventually, these balls will leave the park and Arcia will become a truly feared hitter around baseball.

Additionally, Arcia has showcased plenty of speed in the minors, totaling 51 stolen bases over the past two seasons at various levels.

There is clearly a lot for the shortstop to work on, from consistency to having a more patient approach at the plate to improving his stolen-base rate, but the fact that he is performing so well against much older competition is very encouraging. Baseball America already named him “the best player in the Southern League as a 20-year-old.”

If the Brewers give him time to develop, Arcia could become a star.


Kyle Schwarber, C, Chicago Cubs

It seems like the Chicago Cubs have an endless supply of top prospects. Just when you thought all of their minor league talent was already playing at Wrigley Field, Kyle Schwarber reminds people there are still big names on the way.

Although he needs to improve his defensive work behind the plate, Schwarber is one of the best hitters currently in the minors.

In 58 games in Double-A, he hit .320 with a .438 on-base percentage and 13 home runs. When the Cubs needed him at the big league level, the catcher more than held his own, going 8-for-22 (.364 batting average) with a home run and six RBI.

While he is now back in the minors destroying Triple-A pitchers, it is only a matter of time until Chicago brings up the 22-year-old star for good.


J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Hitting is obviously an important part of having a successful baseball career as a position player, but playing great defense at a premium position will ensure you stick around for a long time.

This is the case with J.P. Crawford, who is one of the best defenders at any spot in the minors and could match quite a few major league shortstops with his glove. Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle recently quoted manager Dusty Wathan discussing the shortstop’s play:

He is smooth on routine plays and makes the tougher ones look easier than they really are.

Although he hasn’t blown anyone away with the bat since his promotion to Double-A, he hit .392 in 21 games in High-A ball to start the year, so the talent is clearly there to succeed at the plate as well. Considering he is just 20 years old, Crawford has a lot of upside with seemingly very little risk.


Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Read more MLB news on