Dayton, Ohio-The Cincinnati Reds will visit Fifth Third Field in Dayton when they battle their top prospects in a "Futures Game" on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 1:35 p.m. The game will feature current Reds players against the organization's top Minor League talent in the stadium where many of the current Reds players and top prospects once played.
The game will open the 2017 baseball season in Dayton as the Reds take the field against a team consisting of their best minor league prospects currently playing at the Triple-A, Double-A, and Single-A levels. Dragons fans will have the opportunity to see today's Reds players as well as many of the players expected to be key contributors in Cincinnati in years to come-all on the same day.
The game will mark the second Reds "Futures Game" at Fifth Third Field. The first, played on April 4, 2009, was an immediate sell-out when ticket sales began. The game was the first of its kind in baseball and received national media attention. Baseball America published an article titled Dayton, Reds hit on Home Run Idea as columnist Will Lingo called the event "a brilliant idea…we could all be the beneficiaries."
Dragons season ticket holders, corporate partners, and suite holders are being given the first opportunity to order tickets as a benefit for their support of Dragons baseball. The Dragons organization will also be mailing out information to these groups on how to order tickets. Anyone who is not a Dragons season ticket holder, corporate partner, or suite holder can add their name to the Futures Game ticket wait list by signing up at this link: http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20161114&content_id=208813284&fext=.jsp&sid=t459&vkey= or by calling the front office.
Ticket packages for the 2017 season, which include the option to purchase tickets to the Futures Game, are available now by calling the Dragons at (937) 228-2287.
"This game will be an exciting event for our fans at Fifth Third Field," said Robert Murphy, President of the Dragons. "Many of the top Dragons players from past years will play in this game, either as members of the Reds or with the Futures team. It is a rare opportunity to see the Reds' major leaguers and their top prospects from all levels of the minor leagues, all on the same field in Dayton. We look forward to welcoming back our former Dragons players who have gone on to become Major Leaguers, and this game also allows our fans to see recent Dragons players who are still climbing through the farm system."
The Reds defeated the Futures team, 9-6, in 2009 in a game that featured five home runs including shots by Edwin Encarnacion for the big league club and a three-run homer by then-prospect Todd Frazier, playing for the Futures Team, that landed on the roof of the concessions building in left field. Soon-to-be all-star Johnny Cueto was the starting pitcher for the Reds. The Futures Team also included Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco, and Juan Francisco among others.
The Reds 2017 roster is certain to include many former Dragons. The current Reds roster includes former Dragons Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, Homer Bailey, Tucker Barnhart, Michael Lorenzen, Robert Stephenson, Steve Selsky, and Wandy Peralta as well as former Dragons Cozart and Mesoraco, who played for the Reds Futures team in Dayton in the 2009 exhibition game.
Former Dragons who are currently rated among the top prospects in the Reds organization include outfielder Jesse Winker; pitchers Amir Garrett, Sal Romano, Nick Travieso, and Tyler Mahle; and infielders Nick Senzel, Alex Blandino, and Shed Long. Other top Reds prospects who are former Dragons include outfielders Phillip Ervin and Aristides Aquino; pitchers Jackson Stephens, Ismael Guillon, and Ariel Hernandez; catcher Chris Okey; and infielder Gavin LaValley.