The annual MLB Futures Game was played yesterday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Washington Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito and Minnesota Twins prospect Jose Berrios started the game for Team USA and Team World respectively.
Giolito looked impressive in the two innings he pitched for Team USA, striking out one and only allowing two hits while walking none. Giolito’s command was a little shaky, but flashed his plus fastball and curveball against the World’s batters. In the first inning, he had a 3-2 count against Yorman Rodriguez and blew his fastball right by him. It was easy to see why Giolito is considered the best pitching prospect in baseball at this point as it only took the right-hander 20 pitches to get through two innings of work today.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Amir Garrett took over for Giolito in the third inning and allowed a couple hits, one earned run, and struck out one. The inning almost got burst wide open when Ozhaino Albies singled to left and Ketel Marte was racing for home, but Michael Conforto made an impressive play throwing out Marte at home to end the inning. Josh Bell started off the bottom of the third inning with a strikeout, but then Conforto singled which started the momentum shift towards Team USA as he ended up scoring on an RBI single by J.P. Crawford. The inning was truly burst wide open when Kyle Schwarber hit a two run double down the right field line, which made the score 3-1 for the USA.
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The World squad was sat down pretty quick by San Francisco Giants 2014 first round pick Tyler Beede in the top of the fourth. The only hit he allowed was to New York Yankees catching prospect Gary Sanchez. Team USA built on their lead in the bottom half of the inning when Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell hit a 388 foot bomb that plated two runs, which made the score 5-1. The next inning and a half were pretty uneventful where both clubs failed to score a run.
We also saw one of the Nationals top position player prospects, Trea Turner, come into the game and boy was he playing like he had his hair on fire. He ripped a double down the left field line in the sixth inning, which scored two runs and made the game 10-1. Turner also had another hit in the bottom of the eighth when hit into the left center gap and was able to motor around the bases for a triple. The game ended with Team USA winning their sixth straight Futures Game, 10-1.
Nationals fans have much to be excited about with these two prospects as they performed at a very high level today against great competition. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they played the best out of their respective positions. The future is very bright for these players and organization.