The stars will align in Los Angeles on the weekend of July 16-19 (and also every other weekend of the year). This time, though, the gathering will be a part of MLB’s All-Star celebration, featuring the Futures Game, Home Run Derby, and the game itself (along with Celebrity Softball and 15 other ancillary bashes).
While the roster for the Derby and All-Star Game will be announced in the coming days (vote if you want to see your Dodgers on Tuesday!), the Futures Game group of top prospects became the first domino to drop on Thursday — and it did not disappoint.
Fans of the game’s young talent had to be satisfied by the roster release, which included one extra Dodgers rep over the typical minimum of two players per franchise, leaving some squads high and dry (notably the White Sox, with only one representative and star shortstop Colson Montgomery sitting at home).
Making the trip to LA to represent the home team will be Diego Cartaya, the Dodgers’ No. 1 overall prospect behind the plate. Bobby Miller, who threw in the Freeway Series exhibition earlier this year, as well as slugger Miguel Vargas.
No word yet on whether Vargas will just stick around when the weekend’s over and play left field.
Dodgers’ Bobby Miller, Diego Cartaya, Miguel Vargas make Futures Game
Cartaya is one of a remarkable four catchers chosen for the seven-inning contest on the NL side, so there’s absolutely no way to make things fair and equitable here. Francisco Alvarez, a top-10 prospect in baseball and representative of the Mets, will also need to get some work in to increase the showcase’s value.
Don’t be shocked if Cartaya ends up the starter behind the plate while Alvarez gets a DH gig.
The 20-year-old (!) Cartaya is triple-slashing .283/.421/.566 with 14 bombs and a .987 OPS across two levels of A-Ball, and has actually improved his production after being elevated away from Rancho Cucamonga (.318 with 5 homers in 23 games).
Bobby Miller (not to be confused with Millie Bobby Brown) has hit a rough patch of late, but still ranks as the Dodgers’ most electric pitching prospect, striking out 73 in 62.2 Double-A innings this season. Did he get a little bump because he goes with the host city? Sure! Does it matter? Nah.
Though the 22-year-old Vargas might’ve begun 2022 with the least hoopla, he’s the closest to the majors of the group. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, the kid’s punished 13 homers, 59 RBI, and is slashing .292/.379/.498. Some recent outfield work hinted that he might be used to paper over different holes in the Dodgers’ lineup in the second half of 2022 instead of the team waiting patiently for him to eventually fill Justin Turner’s shoes.
Andrew Friedman’s recent comments made that theory seem like not such a wild idea after all, for what it’s worth.
For those interested in the full roster, look no further. Alvarez, Jasson Dominguez of the Yankees, and the Red Sox’ Brayan Bello are all returning from 2021, too.
If you don’t have your tickets yet, snag your tickets. If you’re not familiar with the other extremely impressive names joining the NL and AL squads, you will be soon enough.
The cheapest event of All-Star Weekend may end up bringing the best value — and the most Dodgers-related firepower — after all.