Tuesday, Baseball America released the rosters for the 2016 Futures Game to be held at Petco Park on Sunday, July 10. It will pit the top American-born prospects against the top International prospects, and there is some diversity on this year's World squad. In addition to the top Latino talent, players from Canada, Taiwan, South Africa, Lithuania and even New Jersey will participate. The Americans will be looking for their seventh straight win after 2015's blowout victory that saw Kyle Schwarber take home MVP honors.
Willy Adames, 20, is the marquee name from the Rays contingent. Acquired from the Tigers in 2014 in the David Price trade, the Dominican shortstop is in the midst of a breakout season. He's batting .273 with a .365 on-base percentage and .473 slugging percentage, all career-highs, for Double-A Montgomery. His 20.1 percent strikeout rate and 12.4 percent walk rate are his best rates since he arrived in the U.S.
He'll be joined by the 22-year-old Chih-Wei Hu. The Taiwanese right-handed pitchers also arrived in a trade with the Rays acquiring him along with Alexis Tapia from Minnesota for reliever Kevin Jepsen last season. Aside from his blender injury, Hu has been very good with the Rays. In 73 innings with Montgomery, he's striking out 21.7 percent of opponents and walking 7.0 percent. He has continued to excel keeping the ball in the ballpark, having only allowed three home runs. He also made a spot start with Triple-A Durham.
They'll be opposed by 24-year-old right-hander Ryne Stanek. Since the Rays drafted him in 2014, the results have been inconsistent for him despite great stuff. Also with Montgomery, he has taken off since being moved to the bullpen. In six relief appearances, he's limited batters to a .430 OPS, striking out 25.4 percent of opponents and walking 8.5.
As always, there will be plenty of other players to watch. Hu is joined by Washington's Reynaldo Lopez and St. Louis' Alex Reyes on the World pitching staff, and Adames will share an infield with a pair of star prospects from rivals: New York's Jorge Mateo and Boston's Yoan Moncada.
In addition to Stanek, the U.S. will feature top draft picks on the mound like San Francisco's Phil Bickford, White Sox righty Carson Fulmer and Colorado's Jeff Hoffman, picked up by Toronto in last summer's Troy Tulowitzki trade. It'll be a loaded lineup with the top two picks from the 2015 draft, shortstops Dansby Swanson (Atlanta) and Alex Bregman (Houston). The deep outfield includes Boston's Alex Benintendi, Pittsburgh's Austin Meadows, Cleveland's Clint Frazier and Philadelphia's Dylan Cozens, tied for the minor league lead in home runs with 20.
Past Rays and Devil Rays participants in the Futures Game include Evan Longoria (2007), Matt Moore (2011), Wil Myers (2011-2012 representing Kansas City), Jake Odorizzi (2012, also representing Kansas City), Blake Snell (2015), Enny Romero (every season since the start of time), Oswaldo Arcia (2012 representing Minnesota), Josh Hamilton (2000) and Toby Hall, who was named MVP in the 2001 edition.