Baltimore Orioles: A History Of O’s Prospects In MLB Futures Game
By Nick Stevens
A history of Baltimore Orioles prospects playing in the MLB Futures Game.
2009: LHP Brian Matusz
A fourth overall pick of the O’s in 2008, Matusz was never able to live up to the hype, ending his eight-year career with a 27-41 record and 4.92 ERA in 280 appearances (69 starts). He climbed as high as #5 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list and may have been something if the Orioles would have used him as a reliever and not continued to trot him out as a starter, but he’s just another big “what if” pitching story for the O’s.
2010: LHP Zack Britton
He may be Zack Britton now, but he will always be Zach to O’s fans. Britton appeared for Team USA back in 2010, a game that saw Hank Congar take home MVP honors over Mike Trout. Hmm. Britton has since been a 2x-All-Star, AL Reliever of the Year, and will always be remembered as the guy left in the bullpen while a playoff game was left up to Ubaldo Jimenez.
Britton was one of the more dominant relievers in all of baseball from 2014-2017, including that fantastic 2016 season where he posted a 0.54 ERA in 69 games while leading the league with 47 saves. In his eight years in Birdland, Britton recorded 139 saves with a 30-22 record and 3.22 ERA. He was traded to the New York Yankees in 2018 for pitchers Josh Rogers, Dillon Tate, and Cody Carroll. So far, the trade appears to be a massive win for the Yankees.
2011: 2B Jonathan Schoop and SS Manny Machado (also 2012)
One of the most beloved duos in the history of Baltimore baseball, Schoop now makes his home in Minnesota with the Twins, while Machado has teamed with super-prospect Feranando Tatis Jr in San Diego to form one of the most entertaining left side of the infields in baseball.
In six seasons with the Orioles, Schoop was a .261/.296/.450 hitter with 106 home runs, and 126 doubles in 635 games. He was traded in 2018 to the Milwaukee Brewers for IF Jonathan Villar, IF Jean Carmona, and pitcher Luis Ortiz. Machado was shipped to Los Angeles at around the same time for OF Yusniel Diaz, IF Rylan Bannon, RHP Zach Pop, RHP Dean Kremer, and IF Breyvic Velera. He was a .283 hitter with 162 home runs in seven seasons with the Orioles.
2012: RHP Dylan Bundy
Formally one of the top prospects in all of baseball and considered by many to be a dominant starting pitcher for years to come for the Orioles, Bundy now finds himself struggling to find his footing after leading all of baseball with 16 losses 41 home runs allowed in 2018. Backed by a Manny Machado two-run double, Bundy was the winning pitcher of the 2012 Futures Game, giving up no runs on three hits while walking none and striking out none. The game also featured two men of note- OF Oscar Tavares and RHP Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs replaced Bundy and pitched a clean fifth inning to keep Team USA’s lead intact.
2013: OF Henry Urrutia and 1B Christian Walker
There always appeared to be something there with Henry Urrutia, but the outfielder was unable to put it all together at the major league level. After signing with the O’s in 2013, he torched his way through Bowie and Norfolk, playing in 24 games at the big league level in his first year in the organization. Over the next four seasons, he would bounce around between the minors and major league roster before being released in 2017. In just 34 pro games, Urrutia hit .272 with one home run. He’s been in Mexico since 2017 and was just traded (June 2019) for Dariel Alvarez, someone we will talk about next.
Things seemed to take off for Walker after his Futures Game appearance, climbing up the ladder to Double-A the next season where he hit 20 home runs and a .301 average for the Baysox. He would make his MLB debut later that season, managing just three hits in 18 at-bats. Walker would play in seven more games with the O’s before being DFA’d in 2017. After leaving the Orioles, Walker joined Arizona, hit 32 home runs in AAA and was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Year. Now in 2019, he’s finally having a breakout campaign, slugging 17 home runs in 85 games for the Diamondbacks.
2014: OF Dariel Alvarez and RHP Hunter Harvey
Dariel Alvarez was supposed to be a power-hitting outfielder for the Orioles, another dream which never came to fruition. After racking up big batting averages and double-digit home run totals, Alvarez was called up to the big leagues in 2015, but played in just a handful of games. He was converted to a pitcher in 2017, but immediately went under the knife for Tommy John surgery and was never able to recover. The Orioles gave him one more shot in 2018, but ultimately, Alvarez elected free agency and has been playing as an outfielder again in Mexico.
We just discussed Hunter Harvey’s new role as a reliever and the success he is having, so I won’t jinx it by continuing to sing his praises. Instead, you can read that story here and continue to send positive vibes Harvey’s way.