Springer, Owings among red-hot Futures Gamers
Several top prospects putting up gaudy numbers in days preceding event
Unlike the All-Star Game, the Futures Game doesn't include a home run derby. So Tuesday night, separated by a few states, shortstop Chris Owings and outfielder George Springer held an impromptu, unofficial home run derby.
Both Owings and Springer are on the U.S. roster for the 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which takes place at 2 p.m. ET on All-Star Sunday at Citi Field in New York and can be seen live on MLB.com, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Springer, the Astros' No. 3 prospect, kicked things off Tuesday with a pair of home runs for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He finished his night in Round Rock, Texas, 4-for-5 and fell a double shy of the cycle.
A few hours later and 1,600 miles away in Fresno, Calif., Owings, the D-backs' No. 4 prospect, one-upped Springer with three home runs for Triple-A Reno. Owings went 4-for-4, matching his season high for hits.
Springer and Owings are both riding hot streaks as the Futures Game approaches. Springer, who is ranked No. 47 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has a 12-game hitting streak. He is hitting .422 with six home runs since being promoted to Oklahoma City on June 27.
Owings, meanwhile, has hit well all season for Reno. Since the calendar flipped to July, Owings is hitting .350 with a .675 slugging percentage. Owings is ranked as the No. 91 prospect by MLB.com.
And it's not just Owings and Springer who are putting on a show before Sunday's game. Several other players who will make the trip to Citi Field this weekend are in top form.
• Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who won the fan vote for the final spot on the World team, was named Player of the Month for Class A Quad Cities in June. Correa, who is ranked as the Astros' No. 1 prospect, posted a .370/.413/.510 hitting line in 25 games last month.
• Since being promoted to Triple-A Columbus in late June, Indians right-hander C.C. Lee has dominated hitters. He has struck out 12 batters in five appearances totaling 5 2/3 innings. Lee, who is ranked as the Indians' No. 20 prospect, has allowed just one run on two hits, all coming in his first game after the promotion.
• Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is having a breakout season. He began the year in Class A Advanced Clearwater and has continued to hit since being promoted to Double-A Reading. Franco, who is No. 96 on MLB.com's Top 100, is hitting .413 with a .707 slugging percentage in 18 games at Double-A. He has a six-game hitting streak.
• A strained oblique kept Giants right-hander Kyle Crick out for two months this season, but he is back at peak form. Crick, the Giants' No. 1 prospect, has struck out 32 batters and posted a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings since returning from the disabled list June 21.
• Outfielder Byron Buxton, the Twins' No. 2 prospect, took the baseball world by storm this spring with his outstanding start in Class A Cedar Rapids. Buxton was promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach in late June and has continued to rake. In his first 12 games at Palm Beach, Buxton is hitting .340 with a .480 slugging percentage.
• Right-hander Noah Syndergaard, the Mets' No. 3 prospect, has also excelled after a promotion. In his first three starts at Double-A Binghamton, Syndergaard has struck out 23 batters and posted a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings.