Dodgers: Get to know the LAD prospects selected to MLB Futures Game

Michael Busch. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Michael Busch. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

And your Los Angeles Dodgers prospects selected to the MLB Futures Game are … drumroll please …

Andre Jackson and Michael Busch!

Though there are no guarantees in modern sports, the Futures Game has served as the premier front-seat for fans to preview some of the biggest up-and-coming names in baseball.

Some current notable Major Leaguers who have graced the field of the Futures Game include our very own Clayton Kershaw (2007), Mike Trout (2010), Ronaldo Acuña Jr. (2017), and that very hated man, Fernando Tatís Jr. (2018).

Jackson’s and Busch’s selection to the game only adds more pressure on their shoulders, but as the Dodgers’ top prospects and potential big-leaguers, they better get used to it. And if you haven’t already heard of them, read on.

Jackson is the Dodgers’ 12th-round pick in 2017 out of Utah and will serve as one of nine pitchers representing the NL Futures roster.

These two prospects will represent LAD in the MLB Futures Game.

Jackson has 59 strikeouts in 43 innings of work in Tulsa, and he has only walked 6.5% of the batters he’s faced. But he owns the fifth-highest home run rate of all qualified pitchers in Double-A, so he’s not ready to wear the Dodgers’ big-league suit just yet.

His 3.77 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through 10 games are very encouraging, but he presumably has ways to go since the Dodgers’ big league roster is stacked and guys like Josiah Gray and Ryan Pepiot have the edge in the farm system right now.

But Jackson has a good opportunity of reaching the bigs as a utility pitcher with his high spin-rates and velocity. Compared to changeup master and fellow prospect Pepiot, Jackson seems like he would fare better in the bullpen, which could always use more help.

As for Busch, he’s the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2019 out of North Carolina and started this season with a smashing statement. In his first 20 games at Double-A, he hit six home runs and six doubles while walking 14.3% of the time. He was quickly making out to be a patient hitter with extreme power potential, but in the last 20 or so games, his performance sharply dropped off. His wRC+ declined from 146 in May to 109, and his strikeout rate is at 29.2%, which is above the Double-A league average.

Now he’s walking 15.7% of the time, so at least something’s been steadily improving throughout the year. Overall, he’s slashing .219/.365/.381 with 29 runs scored, six homers and 14 RBI through 43 games.

And without jinxing it, his usage in the field as second baseman hasn’t been the utter catastrophe it could have been. Busch mostly played first base and left field at North Carolina, and moving him to second felt like a risk given his minimal experience mostly from the Cape Cod League. Then again, he’s logged a solid .973 fielding percentage in his 45 games at second so far in his pro career. Not bad.

So there you have it, the two Dodgers prospects who will be playing in the Futures Game on July 11. Wish them both luck.