A Mariners-Centric Futures Game Preview

Justin Dunn - Photo credit Vince Schmidt @AZ108365 on Instagram, @AZ108365 on Twitter

On Friday, June 28th the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game rosters were announced and the Mariners organization had three players selected to play in the contest. This equals the number of Mariners that have competed in the game the last three years combined. Seattle’s overall number prospect Jarred Kelenic headlines the trio which also includes first baseman Evan White and right handed pitcher Justin Dunn. Both Kelenic and Dunn were the two top prospects received in the trade for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, which is beginning to look like a lopsided trade in the Mariners favor.

The game, which will be held on July 7 in Cleveland during the All Star Break features a who’s who of Major League prospects. In addition to the three from the Seattle organization, baseball’s overall number one prospect Wander Franco (Rays), Royce Lewis (Twins), Jo Adell (Angels), Luis Robert (White Sox), Brendan McKay (Rays), Matt Manning (Tigers) and Nick Madrigal (White Sox) lead the powerful American League squad. They will face a National League roster which features Mackenzie Gore (Padres), Sixto Sanchez (Marlins), Cristian Pache (Braves), Carter Kieboom (Nationals), Gavin Lux (Dodgers), Ian Anderson (Braves) and 2018 Futures Game MVP Taylor Trammell (Reds).

The NL vs AL format is a change from prior year games which pitted the United States against the World. The other major change made this year is reducing the game from the traditional nine to seven innings. This feels counter productive as the showcase is becoming more and more popular among casual baseball viewers and has been moved into a 7PM time slot to allow for maximum viewership.  By reducing the length of the game, multiple players may not even see the field as 18 pitchers are on the rosters combined. With that said, for many viewers, the game will be a first time introduction to many of baseball’s stars of the future.

Mariners Futures Game Representatives, How did they get here?

Jarred Kelenic, OF
The nineteen year old exceeded expectations from the start with the West Virginia Power with a .394/.586/.981 slash line while hitting 11 home runs in 50 games. This breakthrough led to a quick promotion to High-A Modesto where he promptly continued where he left off back east. In his opening game with the Nuts he homered in his third at bat and was knocking around California League pitching until suffering a minor wrist early in early June. After returning on June 20, he has slumped a little bit while trying to regain form. The future looks bright for the outfielder and baseball fans in Seattle are anxious for his eventual debut, which may come as early as 2021.

Evan White, 1B
The defensive stalwart was the Mariners first round pick in the 2017 draft. The first couple of months of the 2019 campaign were a little bit of a see-saw at the plate for White as he adjusted to AA pitching with the Arkansas Travelers. However, he has been on fire the last few weeks, which probably solidified his roster spot in the Futures Game. His slash line on the year is a solid .302/.363/.485 while showing some signs of power with 9 home runs so far this year. White is likely to make his MLB debut during the 2020 season.

Justin Dunn, RHP
Dunn looks to be a future part of the Mariners rotation. With Arkansas he has started 14 games going 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He has exhibited good command with 90/21 strikeout to walk ratio. His fastball has been in 93-95 MPH range. In his last two outings he has 18 K’s in 11.1 innings. It’s possible that the 23-year-old spends September with the big club.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.