The unofficial first half of the 2017 Major League Baseball regular season is drawing near. The appetizer for the All-Star festivities on Sunday, July 9 with the Futures Game. This exhibition features two teams — Team USA and Team World — comprising of 50 of the best minor league players this season.
This year, 27 of the top 100 prospects (per MLB Pipeline) will be playing in the contest. And making the rosters for both clubs are a pair of Tigers prospects, both of whom are pitchers.
Congratulations to @TheBeauBurrows and Jairo Labourt on being named to the 2017 Futures Game!
— Erie SeaWolves (@erie_seawolves) June 29, 2017
Burrows has made 16 starts this season between High Class-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, compiling a 2.74 ERA. That has been elevated some due to a 6.56 ERA in five starts with the SeaWolves.
But Detroit’s No. 3 prospect has been superb since being selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft. In 47 games (45 starts), he’s logged a 2.78 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, with opponents hitting under .240 against him.
Labourt, for those who remember, was the third piece in the return package from Toronto when Detroit traded David Price back in 2015. He came over primarily as a starter has struggled each of the previous two seasons (5.18 ERA in 2015-16). But the Tigers morphed Labourt into full-time reliever and it has paid off in a big way.
The 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic has pitched in 26 games between Lakeland and Erie this year, good for a 1.76 ERA. He has a K:BB ratio of 6 to 1, issuing just nine base on balls in 41 innings pitched. From May 20-June 20, Labourt did not allow a run in 12 consecutive appearances (19.1 IP).
Last year, Detroit had two prospects play in the 2016 Futures Game out in San Diego, outfielder Christin Stewart and reliever Joe Jimenez. Stewart is hitting the cover off the ball once more and is on pace to potentially finish the year in Triple-A Toledo. Jimenez meanwhile got his feet wet at the big league level with the Tigers, but has done the bulk of his work this season with the Mud Hens.
To view the entire roster for both rosters in the Futures Game, click here. You can watch the minor league All-Star showdown on Sunday, July 9 at 4 p.m. ET on MLB Network.