The 2022 MLB Futures Game is one of the most entertaining events of the All-Star week.
This year, it will be held in Los Angeles on July 16, at 7 p.m. ET.
The rosters have already been announced, and two members of the Cleveland Guardians are making it: Jhonkensy Noel and George Valera.
Jhonkensy Noel and George Valera on the roster representing Cleveland⬇️ https://t.co/w3u0YFNRBd
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) July 7, 2022
Noel is a corner infielder who can play both first and third base.
He is a true slugger: this year, he belted 19 home runs in High-A, before being promoted to Double-A.
The 19 homers, however, came with a .219 average and a 31.7 percent strikeout rate, so evidently he has some contact issues to solve before realizing his potential.
Noel Has Some Impressive Power
He has had an auspicious Double-A showing in his first seven games, though, hitting .276/.400/.828 with five homers.
FanGraphs’ prospect evaluator Eric Longenhagen had this to say about Noel:
“While he doesn’t have a chiseled physique (in fact, while he’s not yet 21, Noel’s build could limit him to 1B/DH in short order), he is an explosive rotational athlete, which you can see in the way his hips fire throughout his swing. His hips clear and his hands rip through the zone with big uppercut, enabling Noel to strike the baseball in the air with consistency and get to his power in games.”
Valera, on the other hand, is a 21-year-old outfielder who has been thriving in Double-A all year.
He is hitting .285/.391/.512 with 13 homers in 307 plate appearances, and shows plus on-base skills and good game power.
Longenhagen says his idea of the strike zone seems to be “quite good”, and that gives him a nice floor.
Guards fans will get to see two of their most exciting prospects in the Futures Game.
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