Futures Night is a pretty awesome promotion, way better than most. What's not to like about giving your top Minor Leaguers a chance to be on a big league field and get the star treatment, while being introduced to thousands of fans? It's perfect for an organization trying to build success from within, and as good a way as any for Dayton Moore to put fans face-to-face with The Process (for better or worse).
What kind of big league games do the little prospects in their Sunday best get to witness on their special day? I went back to 2007, which was the start of the promotion according to Mike Swanson, VP of Communications and Broadcasting.
The lists of Futures Night honorees are just highlights (or lowlights, depending on the year), not complete listings.
2007 - Futures Night September 28
CLE - 5
Kyle Davies pitched in a way that, as we look back now, we would expect to see Kyle Davies pitch. He went 3.2 innings without striking anyone out, walked a handful of Racists, and was pulled for John Bale, who was followed by Joel "Suitcase" Peralta and Jimmy Gobble. Ahhhh, 2007. What a horrible time to be a Royals fan.
The Royals honored Rowdy Hardy, Joe Dickerson, Mike Aviles, and others. Oh, and some guys named Moustakas and Holland. So many of these guys fade away and get forgotten, you know.
2008 - Futures Night September 19
CHI - 9
KC - 4
Brian Bannister got rocked, responsible for 7 earned runs. Two White Sox homered off him in the 6th inning alone. Ryan Shealy AND Kila Ka'aihue had plate appearances for the Royals.
Danny Duffy and Dan Cortes were both guests of honor for Futures Night, but Duffy was billed as "Daniel" Duffy, which just sounds weird now. Other honorees included Ka'aihue, Mitch Maier and Deon Lowery, who each also appeared in the game. Moustakas was honored again, as was Mike Montgomery, Derrick Robinson, and Kelvin Herrera.
2009 - Futures Night September 25
MIN - 9
KC - 4
The Royals scored all their runs off Minnesota starter Carl Pavano. Robinson Tejeda started for KC, and walked got Little Thing'd to death by the Twins. Seven walks will do that. At the plate, Willie Bloomquist led off. Billy Butler homered, his 21st of that season.
Futures guys included Moustakas again, two similarly last-named fellows in Rainier Bello and Greg Billo, David Lough, John Lamb, and Lenny DiNardo, somehow, though he elected not to attend.
2010 -Futures Night October (!!) 1
KC - 7
TB - 0
Because baseball is hilarious in its randomness, Bruce Chen beat James Shields in what must have been a small game. The Royals battered Shields with 12 hits and 7 runs (6 earned). Chen pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout, naturally. Butler, Gordon, and Dyson - now all teammates of BGJ - all had hits off him. The game was 2 hours and 22 minutes.
Minor leaguers included an infant Wil Myers, who was still a catcher, Chris Dwyer, Lamb again, and Clint Robinson.
2011 - Futures Night September 16
KC - 7
CHI - 6
The Royals beat the Pale Hoes 7-6 behind an okay start by Felipe Paulino. Moustakas homered in the game.
Futures honorees included Jake Odorizzi, Anthony Seratelli, and Edwin Carl. Remember Edwin Carl?
2012 - Futures Night September 14
ANA - 9
KC - 7
Jason Bourgeois was the Royals' leadoff batter, something I had already repressed. As with 2010, Bruce Chen started for KC, but this time only made it 6.1 innings in, and was followed by a parade of relievers that included Vin Mazzaro. Ahhh, September baseball. Butler, Moustakas, and Jeff Francoeur all homered.
Honorees included Bubba Starling and Christian Colon. Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi were celebrated but not present, as they were trying (unsuccessfully, it turned out) to win a Pacific Coast League title.
2013 - Futures Night September 20
KC - 2
TEX - 1
This game's losing pitcher was Jason Frasor. Ervin Santana pitched for KC, going 7.1 innings and giving up the only run Texas would score. Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland brought it home with 1.2 perfect innings between them. The Royals runs came from a Justin Maxwell double and a bases-loaded walk to Alcides Escobar.
The Futures Night fellows included Raul Mondesi, Colon again, Aaron Brooks, Matt Fields, Hunter Dozier and Christian Binford.
2014 - Futures Night just happened.
DET - 10
KC - 1
We probably don't need to relive too much of Friday night's game.
Some of the Minor Leaguers at the K who were probably hoped this terrible game wasn't their future included Whit Merrifield, Aaron Brooks again, Dozier again, Glenn Sparkman, Frank Schwindel, and Lane Adams, who appeared in the game.
Overall, Kansas City is 3-5 on Futures Nights. The honorees have witnessed great games and nightmare ones.