CLEVELAND — The National League and American League ended the 2019 MLB Futures Game in an eight-inning tie at Progressive Field on Sunday evening, 2-2. The game actually went to “extra” innings because it was scheduled to be a seven-inning game. MLB decided to cap the game at eight innings so we got the first ever tie in the Futures Game history.
Here’s the full box score from MLB.com. Here were some of the other notable things we saw.
Offense showed up late
The game was in danger of being the lowest-scoring Futures Game ever and there were zero extra-base hits heading to the bottom of the seventh (again, the final scheduled inning), but with a man on and one out in the frame, Rangers catching prospect Sam Huff tied it up with this blast:
Huff, 21, is hitting .284/.327/.559 with 21 homers and 56 RBI in 80 games between Class A and High-A this season. His clutch homer earned him MVP honors for the game.
After Huff’s blast, Tigers prospect Isaac Paredes doubled to the right center gap. That was through one out in the bottom of the seventh inning there were zero extra base hits and then there were two straight. Baseball is the best.
Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran followed with a bloop single to give the AL first and third with one out and the winning run 90 feet away. A pitching change brought in Padres prospect Luis Patino and he got two strikeouts to bring on the extra inning.
Neither team was able to get a hit in the eighth inning, during which both teams were spotted a runner on second to start.
Reds prospect Trammell excites again
Reds outfield prospect Taylor Trammell was the MVP in last year’s Futures Game after going 2 for 2 with a triple and home run. Yeah, that’s fun. Sunday, Trammell turned around a high fastball for a line drive to left field. Runs had been hard to come by and he drove home the NL’s second run with the single. Later in the inning, now on third base with a lefty on the mound, Trammell attempted a straight steal of home and nearly made it. What a jump and it was amazing it was that close. In fact, he might have actually made it, but there isn’t a great replay angle and there was no replay in this one:
Trammell, 21, is hitting .253 for Double-A Chattanooga, but he has a .377 on-base percentage. He’s 16 of 19 in stolen base attempts.
Neither team had a hit through three innings
Yes, there was dominant pitching. We got to see guys like MacKenzie Gore (Padres), Deivi Garcia (Yankees) and Ian Anderson (Braves) strut their stuff. There were actually only three strikeouts combined through those three full innings, but there was a lot of weak contact. The last few Futures Games have been slugfests, too, so this was interesting to see.
Yankees’ Garcia got promoted during the game
That was fun! The Yankees made a minor-league roster move that sent the aforementioned Garcia to Triple-A once he’s done in Cleveland. He started the game for the AL and got a strikeout and two pop outs in a quick inning of work that he made look easy.
Garcia actually started the year in High-A but now he’s one step away from looking to impact the Yankees down the stretch and that’s entirely possible. He misses bats with relative ease in the minors. In 68 2/3 innings this season, he’s struck out 114 while pitching to a 3.01 ERA. The diminutive righty (he’s 5-foot-9) is only 20 years old.
Pearson brings the heat
Blue Jays pitching prospect Nate Pearson was throwing smoke. That’s what he does. One of the hardest throwers in the minors, Pearson can top 100. He did several times Sunday. He threw 12 pitches. Ten of them were for strikes while he went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. He hit 101 four times and didn’t really have to stray from his heat.
Have a look:
Pearson, a 22-year-old, 6-foot-5 right-hander, has made 15 starts between High-A and Double-A this season. He’s pitched to a 2.39 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and has struck out 67 against eight walks in 49 innings.
One might notice the innings seem low for the number of starts and, yes, there is an innings limit on Pearson this year. The Blue Jays are looking to protect their top prospect after he missed most of last season with a broken arm (caused by a line drive).
So did Sixto
Marlins prospect Sixto Sanchez also hit 100 five times. He wasn’t quite as successful, giving up a hit in 2/3 of an inning without striking anyone out, but man, these are tiny samples and just seeing the raw stuff is fun in small bursts.
Sanchez came to the Marlins system by way of the J.T. Realmuto trade with the Phillies this past offseason. He has a very live arm and that was on display in his 13 pitches. He’s been in both High-A and Double-A this season and has 64 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. He’s still only 20, so don’t worry over his 3.88 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 10 Double-A starts. Just keep developing the raw stuff.
Speaking of the stuff, the book on Sanchez is that, in addition to his heater, his breaking ball is a plus and the change can also be a slighty above-average offering. He was mostly pumping heat on Sunday, which is understandable, but he has the full arsenal needed to remain a starter.