The Futures League


2020 MVP Ben Rice Recalled to Yankees as Futures League's 20th MLB Alum

WEYMOUTH, Mass. (June 20, 2024) 一 Two-time Worcester Braveheart and Dartmouth College alum Ben Rice became the 20th former Futures Leaguer to make his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut after being recalled to the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

A native of Cohasset, Mass., Rice’s promotion from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre makes the Bravehearts the third-ever Futures League organization to produce three MLB players in the league’s 14-year history. He joins pitchers Aaron Civale (Tampa Bay Rays) and Josh Walker (New York Mets) as Worcester alums in The Show, both of whom have seen action in 2024.

The Yankees’ 2023 “Hitting Prospect of the Year” according to MLB Pipeline, Rice was called up to play first base after three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo was placed on the disabled list and hit safely in each of his first two games at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles. After his Tuesday debut, he recorded his first career RBI the following night.

As for his time in a Bravehearts uniform, Rice earned first-team All-Futures League honors in both 2019 and 2020. He is the first former Futures League Most Valuable Player to play in a MLB game, having won the honor in 2020. His 16 career home runs during the regular season are tied for fifth-most in league history, while his 13 playoff RBI rank second.

With his Dartmouth career cut to only 30 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Futures League was truly Rice’s launching pad. However, he had earned a starting job behind the plate by the end of his first and only full season with the Big Green, earning 72 at-bats.

Initially joining the Bravehearts in the midst of a 2019 championship run the summer after his freshman year, Rice led the team with a .392 average and .456 on-base percentage alongside seven doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI in 27 games. In the playoffs, he slugged a key three-run homer that helped Worcester defeat the Bristol Blues in the deciding title game.

The legend of Rice in Worcester and the Futures League only grew during the incredible 2020 season, which included nine first-team All-FCBL performers who are currently playing affiliated professional baseball. Rice stood above the rest and finished “the COVID summer” hitting .398 with a league-leading 11 homers, 84 total bases and .683 slugging percentage, while pacing the regular-season champion Bravehearts with 27 RBI and 43 total hits. 

Rice had only 13 games of summer ball experience outside of the Futures League, playing for the Cape Cod League’s Cotuit Kettleers before joining the Yankees organization as their 12th-round draft pick in 2021. 

Rice’s rise to the Bronx was a quick one, as all 88 of his minor league games prior to 2023 were played at or below Single-A Tampa. He was promoted to Double-A Somerset on July 18 of last season and posted 16 homers and 48 RBI in 48 games, while playing in only 11 Triple-A games this season prior to his recall. His 1.048 OPS in 2023 led all New York farmhands.

Rice is the second Futures League alumnus to make his MLB debut this season. Former Bristol Blue and Georgia Tech product Justyn-Henry Malloy got the call from the Detroit Tigers earlier this month, playing in his first game on June 3 and hitting his first home run just two days later.

After former Brockton Rox and Sacred Heart University infielder Zack Short became the first Futures Leaguer to play for the Boston Red Sox for two games in May, Rice is the first Yankee among league alums to ascend to the major leagues. 

For the latest news and information on the Futures League all year long, visit and follow the league’s Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram pages.