Cubs' Futures Game selections serve as a reminder that hope is on the horizon

Moises Ballesteros, Matt Shaw and Owen Caissie will represent Chicago in the event.
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

July has come to feel a bit repetitive since 2021 in Wrigleyville, with the Chicago Cubs poised to wind up sellers yet again at the trade deadline. A last-minute hot streak narrowly prevented the team from selling last summer and, if not for that, Jed Hoyer would be staring at a fourth-straight go-round on the wrong side of that buyer-seller equation.

Amidst the endless cycle of doom and gloom that's settled over the Friendly Confines over the last two months, today's release of this year's Futures Game rosters offers at least a brief respite. With top prospect Cade Horton sidelined by injury, Chicago will send three players to Arlington in the form of Moises Ballesteros, Matt Shaw and Owen Caissie.

Trio of top Cubs prospects set to take the national stage in Texas

Much has been made of Ballesteros lately given the Cubs' woes behind the plate and all he's done since earning a promotion to Triple-A Iowa is continue to rake. In 11 games there, he's put up an eye-catching .378/.417/.556 line, an improvement over the already-impressive .299/.372/.495 he had in 57 games at Double-A to open the year.

He could soon force his way onto the big league roster thanks to his bat in a very Kyle Schwarber-esque way. But the team's plans for the second half will surely be determined in the coming weeks as the team charts its path leading into the deadline. Either way, the 20-year-old has a bright future on the horizon.

Similar to Ballesteros, fans have been clamoring for Caissie to get the call in desperate hopes of jump-starting a Cubs offense that's looked lifeless for much of the year. In his first taste of Triple-A action, the highly-touted outfield prospect has a .283/.392/.450 slash line with Iowa, mirroring what he's done at the plate at every step of his minor league journey.

Figuring out how Ballesteros could fit into the big league picture sooner rather than later is pretty straightforward, but with Caissie it's more complicated given Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ are both under contract through 2026. Regardless of what happens with Cody Bellinger and his opt-out at season's end (or if he gets moved at the deadline), Pete Crow-Armstrong figures to be the center fielder moving forward - so there are a lot of moving parts that could dictate when Caissie makes it to Chicago.

Last, but certainly not least, Matt Shaw earns his first Futures Game selection. His bat has cooled this year at Double-A, but his hit tool is still widely regarded as one of the best in the organization. He'll likely make the jump to Iowa before year's end and, if he plays well, could get a look in spring training next year.

All this to say, it's been an insufferable first half for the Cubs and the fanbase. But some of the fruits of the rebuild are drawing ever nearer to making their debuts and we'll get a glimpse at them in a little over a week when MLB takes over the Lone Star State for All-Star Week.