This Sunday is one of our favorite All-Star week activities: The Futures Game, in which the next generation of frantic fantasy baseball waiver-wire pickups make their debut for nerds like us who watch minor leaguers play on a summer Sunday afternoon. This year, you'll have a chance to watch the Mets' Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores and the Yankees' Tyler Austin. Which dovetails perfectly with John Sickels' mid-season top 120 prospect list.
If you don't know Sickels, he (along with ESPN's Keith Law, we'd say) is the premier minor-league analyst in the game, and yesterday, in time for the All-Star Game, he put out his new top 120 list. This list drops players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, who led the last list, and also accounts for performance improvements in the first half of the season. It's the type of thing prospect nerds like ourselves just lap up.
The top prospect in the game, now that Harper and Trout have been promoted, is Jurickson Profar, a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, followed by Royals outfielder Will Myers, Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer (who was just promoted himself), Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy, and Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker. So, where are the Mets and Yankees, you ask?
The Mets have five players in the top 120. First is super phenom (and Carlos Beltran trade booty) Zack Wheeler, who is 13th overall, up from 36 preseason. Next is fellow starter Matt Harvey at 33, up from No. 35; Harvey is almost certain to be in the majors before Wheeler, perhaps as early as this September. The others: third baseman Wilmer Flores (76), outfielder Brandon Nimmo (96, and currently playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones), and pitcher Jeurys Familia (98).
The Yankees are less represented, with four players, generally lower on the list. The top prospect is catcher Gary Sanchez, at 31, shooting up from 61 preseason. Also: outfielder Mason Williams (37, up from 92), outfielder Tyler Austin (67), and old reliable lefthander Manny Banuelos (82).
So, now you know who will be playing for the Mets soon and whom the Yankees will be trading. Go ye forth with thy wisdom.