Futures Game participants we're excited to see

Jimenez, Kopech, Bichette among prospects to watch on Sunday

Eloy Jimenez helped the World Team to an 11-3 win in last year's Futures Game in San Diego. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | July 7, 2017 2:30 PM ET

Eloy Jimenez, World OF (CHC, Myrtle Beach): The Cubs' top prospect nearly stole the show at the 2016 Futures Game in San Diego when he homered and made a spectacular catch in right field. Instead, he lost out on MVP honors to Yoan Moncada, now the top overall prospect in baseball. One year later, the award could be ripe for Jimenez's taking. After missing the start of the season with a shoulder bruise, the 20-year-old outfielder has continued to be an offensive force with a .272/.349/.497 line and eight homers in 41 games at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. His legend grew a few weeks ago when one his long balls in the Carolina League Home Run Derby shattered a light in left field. The Futures Game is a place for showoff performances -- Joey Gallo memorably smashed a windshield of a car during batting practice in 2014 -- and Jimenez has the plus power to put on one of his own in South Beach. -- Sam Dykstra

Scott Kingery, U.S. 2B (PHI, Lehigh Valley): While Kingery himself will tell you he's been as surprised as anyone by his power display this season, it's been impressive nonetheless. Known as "Scotty Jetpax" on Twitter, the Phillies' No. 11 prospect has lived up to his handle with 22 homers and 22 steals across Double-A and Triple-A through July 6. Kingery ranks among the top sluggers in the Minors after leaving the yard just eight times in his first 783 at-bats across his first two pro seasons. While Monday will bring the heavy MLB All-Star Home Run Derby hitters, like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, the 5-foot-10 second baseman could put on his own power show Sunday. -- Kelsie Heneghan

Rafael Devers, World 3B (BOS, Portland): Carrying the banner as the Red Sox top prospect following Yoan Moncada's departure and Andrew Benintendi's graduation, Devers has not disappointed. Through 75 games this season with Double-A Portland, the 20-year-old third baseman has already surpassed by a wide margin his home run total of 11 from last season as a pair of multi-homer games on May 2 and June 28 have contributed to his total of 18. The left-handed hitter has shown the ability to hit to all fields this year, and expect that to be on full display in Sunday's showcase. -- Michael Peng

Michael Kopech, U.S. RHP (CWS, Birmingham): An 80-grade fastball fired by the No. 2 White Sox prospect in a short-work setting such as the Futures Game can provide the same amount of pure entertainment that people get from watching fireworks and breaking out the tape measure when Aaron Judge takes batting practice. Seeing the radar gun consistently light up with triple digits could provide the brightest shine for an already gleaming class of White Sox talent that will be present at Marlins Park. Even with his control issues for Double-A Birmingham this year -- 53 walks in 78 1/3 innings -- the 101 K's posted by the 11th-ranked prospect in baseball show that he can be consistently dominate when on top of his game. -- Gerard Gilberto

Lucius Fox, World SS (TB, Bowling Green): After signing with the Giants in 2016 for the largest bonus ever given to a non-Cuban international amateur player, Fox entered pro ball with a good amount of hype but didn't immediately live up to it. Following a lengthy layoff between inking his contract and making his debut, the toolsy shortstop batted just .207/.305/.277 in 75 games with Class A Augusta as an 18-year-old last year. San Francisco then shipped the Nassau, Bahamas native to Tampa Bay last August as part of a swap for big league starting pitcher Matt Duffy. The Rays are now seeing the results the Giants were hoping for. Fox just turned 20 on July 2 but is impressing with Class A Bowling Green, batting .273/.357/.352. His blazing speed -- a 70-grade tool according to MLB.com -- has netted him 50 steals through 143 professional games, including 25 this year. He might not be the biggest name in a talented World infield, but he's got the talent to hang with them. -- Tyler Maun

Ronald Acuna, World OF (ATL, Mississippi): Even though he is one of the youngest players at Double-A, the Braves' No. 7 prospect has been nothing short of dynamic through the first three months of the season. After 28 impressive games with Class A Advanced Florida, the 19-year-old was promoted to Mississippi and has taken his game to another level. He's a player to dream on, a talismanic-type who has the talent and athleticism to captivate you with seemingly ordinary plays. -- Michael Leboff

Brendan Rodgers, U.S. SS (COL, Hartford): Rodgers hit an otherworldly .400/.419/.700 in 48 games with Class A Advanced Lancaster, forcing the Rockies to promote him to Double-A coming out of the California League All-Star break. He struggled on offense and defense in his first 13 games with the Yard Goats, hitting .184 without an extra-base hit through 54 plate appearances and committing five errors -- the same number he had in 44 games at shortstop with the JetHawks. Rodgers finally broke out Thursday against Bowie, finishing a triple shy of the cycle while recording his second three-hit game since his promotion and building momentum to bring into the elite environment of the Futures Game. The hope here is that he takes that offensive turnaround with him to Miami because when he's on at the plate, there are few prospects who can hit like he does. -- Chris Tripodi

Bo Bichette, U.S. SS (TOR, Lansing): A year ago, Eloy Jimenez produced eye-popping numbers in Class A during the first half before truly putting himself on the map with a standout performance for the World Team. He went on to elevate himself from an under-the-radar international signee to one of the top handful of prospects in the game. This season, Bichette has a chance to make a similar statement with Team USA. The Blue Jays' second-round pick from 2016 bludgeoned Class A pitching with Lansing this season, producing a .384/.448/.623 slash line with 45 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and 12 stolen bases, and will be on the move to Class A Advanced Dunedin following his trip to Miami. As one of the game's most youthful participants this year, the 19-year-old can demonstrate why he deserves to enter the conversation with baseball's most exciting young shortstops. -- Alex Kraft

Triston McKenzie, U.S. RHP (CLE, Lynchburg): Here's a 19-year-old hurler who's achieved everything anybody could possibly have expected in the first half of his first full season. He's whiffed 115 batters over 89 2/3 innings. He's held Carolina League hitters to a .187 average while going 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA over 16 starts. And yet it's totally reasonable that Cleveland hasn't pushed him up to Double-A -- he doesn't turn 20 until Aug. 2. (And not everybody is Mike Soroka.) The Futures Game gives McKenzie a fun atmosphere to test his stuff not only against more seasoned hitters, but against the best of the best. However it turns out, I'll be on the edge of my seat when he gets the ball. -- Josh Jackson

Amed Rosario, World SS (NYM, Las Vegas): The 21-year-old's offensive breakout 2016 has carried over to this season, and it leaves him pounding on the door to the Majors. The Mets' top prospect carries a .327/.365/.474 slash line through his first 83 games in Triple-A. Rosario hit .324 between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton last season and displayed a strong arm and terrific range at shortstop. Mets fans have been clamoring to see MLB.com's No. 3 overall prospect promoted to The Show for weeks, but so far the club has resisted. The Futures Game will provide them with their best look yet at the organization's shortstop of the future. -- Michael Avallone

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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