The 91st Midsummer Classic is fast approaching, and as voting continues for the All-Star Game starters, Major League Baseball has announced the rosters for All-Star Sunday’s main event: the All-Star Futures Game. Divided into American League and National League teams for the second year, three top prospects in the Colorado Rockies organization have been named to the National League team. They join other Rockies Futures Game alumni like Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki, Raimel Tapia, Ben Petrick, Ryan McMahon and Dexter Fowler as players in the prospect showcase.
First Baseman Michael Toglia (No. 4 PuRP)
A slugging switch-hitter from UCLA, Toglia was the top pick for the Rockies in the 2019 draft, though he had long been on the Rockies’ radar. He was drafted by Colorado out of high school in 2016, but elected to pursue his college commitment instead. Now one of the Rockies’ top prospects (no. 3 within the organization), Toglia is in his second year of minor league play. In 2021 with the High-A Spokane Indians, he’s slashing .233/.344/.450 with ten home runs. He’s not hitting for average, but the power in his bat is clearly there. He also has a 14% walk rate (30) with a 27.9% strikeout rate (60), six stolen bases, and a wRC+ of 120. Toglia is estimated to be MLB-ready in 2022.
Outfielder Ryan Vilade (No. 3 PuRP)
Ryan Vilade was drafted by the Rockies as a shortstop in the second round of the 2017 draft, but has since been mostly converted to a corner outfielder. He turned heads in spring training this year by slashing .314/.385/.400 in 35 at-bats with a double and a triple while playing primarily as a left fielder. He also walked nearly as many times as he struck out with four walks to his five Ks. For his efforts, he was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque despite never playing above High-A before. Vilade is still acclimating to the higher level of play, slashing .260/.327/.356, but he’s drawing walks at a decent clip (17 for 8.7%) and his strikeouts are down from previous seasons (31 for 15.8%). He’s been starting in both left and right field for the Isotopes and is expected to be MLB-ready in 2021 or 2022.
Catcher Willie MacIver (No. 32 PuRP)
A backstop drafted in the ninth round of the 2018 draft from the University of Washington, Willie MacIver has been one of the surprises of the Rockies’ prospect class in 2021. MacIver started the season with High-A Spokane, where he slashed .286/.395/.542 with 10 home runs in 168 at-bats and a wRC+ of a whopping 157. Like Toglia and Vilade, he’s shown the ability to draw walks with 25 for a rate of 12.4% while striking out 49 times for a rate of 24.4%. He’s also shown himself to be a solid speed threat — his 10 stolen bases are tied for third on the Spokane roster alongside Niko Decolati (HM PuRP) and Jack Blomgren. MacIver was the first player in the High-A West division to reach double digits for home runs and stolen bases. For his efforts, MacIver has moved into the Rockies’ top 30 prospects (no. 30) and has been promoted to Double-A Hartford.
★ ★ ★
The All-Star Futures Game will be played during All-Star weekend on Sunday, June 11th. The National League team will be managed by former Rockies third baseman Vinny Castilla, while the American League team will be managed by former Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Other Rockies alumni such as Jamey Carroll and Marvin Freeman will be coaching in come capacity, along with Hartford Yard Goats pitching coach Frank Gonzales.
★ ★ ★