The All-Star Game’s week-long festivities are not just to celebrate the best in today’s game. They are also to put the best of baseball’s future on the national stage. And we now know who will be representing the Nationals on that stage in just over a week.
Cade Cavalli and Darren Baker have been selected to represent the Nationals in the 2022 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, Major League Baseball announced today on MLB Network’s “MLB Central.” The 23rd All-Star Futures Game features the top prospects across the minor leagues as they’ll compete as part of the first-ever All-Star Saturday on July 16.
Cavalli, 23, will be appearing in his second straight All-Star Futures Game after representing the Nats in Colorado last year. The 2020 first-round pick pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the National League side while matching his two walks with two strikeouts and touching 100 mph with his fastball three times.
Currently the Nats’ top prospect, according to both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, Cavalli is tied for third in the system with 68 strikeouts after being one of the strikeout leaders in all the minor leagues in 2021. In 14 starts for Triple-A Rochester, he is 4-3 with a 4.54 ERA and 9.1 K/9. But Cavalli has upped his game recently, going 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA, 41 strikeouts and a .182 batting average against over his last seven starts.
That includes last night, when the right-hander enjoyed one his most impressive outings to date, retiring the first 17 batters he faced en route to completing seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball at Lehigh Valley. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Baseball America rates Cavalli as the No. 35 prospect in all the minor leagues, while MLBPipeline.com puts him at No. 48.
Meanwhile, Baker is hitting .264 with 13 doubles, one triple, one home run, 20 RBIs, 20 walks, 10 stolen bases and 36 runs scored in 55 games with high Single-A Wilmington. The 2021 10th-round pick out of the University of California-Berkeley hit safely in 33 of his first 39 games of the season, posting a .304/.351/.418 slash line during this stretch.
In two seasons on the Nats farm, the 23-year-old infielder has hit .283 with 17 doubles, two triples, one home run, 26 RBIs, 26 walks, 12 stolen bases and 41 runs scored in 77 games.
Baker, of course, is the son of former Nationals manager and current Astros skipper Dusty Baker, who will manage the American League All-Star team as the defending league champions. It should be a very special week for the Baker family.
The 2022 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game will be played at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 16, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Scheduled for seven innings, the game will be live on Peacock and SiriusXM, with MLB Network re-airing the contest beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 17.