Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and right-handed starter Lucas Giolito were named to the MLB Futures Game, which will be held on July 13 in Minnesota. The two high-ceiling prospects will represent the Nationals in the event held annually before the MLB all-star game and designed to showcase some of the top minor league talent. Taylor and Giolito will compete for the U.S. team and play against a World team comprised of prospects from outside the country.
Giolito, the No. 21 overall prospect in baseball according to Baseball America’s rankings, is the crown jewel of the Nationals’ farm system. The hard-throwing right-hander is in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Giolito has a 2.59 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate in 48 2/3 innings at Class A Hagerstown.
The 19-year-old with a 100 mph fastball is one of only two players from low-A named to the team. Even though the Nationals have monitored his workload and skipped some of his starts, Giolito is expected to participate in the event barring any issues in the meantime, according to a team official.
Taylor, the Nationals’ No. 7 overall prospect according to Baseball America, has exploded into an all-around offensive force this season. The Nationals were waiting for the elite defender’s bat to come around and it has in a big way this season at Class AA Harrisburg. The 23-year-old is hitting .333/.413/.584 with 17 home runs, 52 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 70 games.
Last season, right-handed starter A.J. Cole represented the Nationals in the game.
At least one player from each organization is named to the team, selected by the MLB, the MLB Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and with the help of each organization. The game will be held at 5 p.m. on July 13 at Target Field, two days before the All-Star Game.