2017 Futures Game

From BR Bullpen

The 2017 Futures Game was played on July 9th at Marlins Park, site of the 2017 All-Star Game. The United States team won the game, 7-6 over the World team, after taking an early 7-0 lead then seeing the World players claw back that lead, to the point where they had the tying run on base when the game ended. P Brent Honeywell was named the winner of the Larry Doby Award as the game's Most Valuable Player after getting the US team off to a great by muzzling the World's batters over the first two innings.

The World team was managed by Edgar Renteria and the US team by Charles Johnson. Both were members of the Florida Marlins' 1997 Championship team and were assisted by coaches who were also members of that team, such as Al Leiter, Cliff Floyd and Livan Hernandez.

Honeywell got the U.S. team off to a good start with a perfect 1st inning, including a pair of strikeouts. For the World team, Yadier Alvarez retired the first two batters he faced, but then Derek Fisher drew a walk and 1B Rhys Hoskins and 3B Nick Senzel followed with singles to account for a first run. Honeywell came back for the 2nd and continued to dominate, after allowing a lead-off single to 3B Rafael Devers. After one out, Devers moved to second on a wild pitch, but RF Eloy Jimenez and DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both struck out to end the inning, giving Honeywell 4 Ks over his two frames. In the bottom of the inning, the U.S. went to work on Cal Quantrill, however, to build a substantial lead. DH Brian Anderson led off with a double, then C Chance Sisco tripled him in. 2B Brendan Rodgers followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Michael Kopech, known as the hardest thrower in the minor leagues, lived up to his reputation in the 3rd, retiring the side in order and finishing with a strikeout of minor league teammate 2B Yoan Moncada; he flashed triple digits on the radar gun on a number of pitches on a day where very hard throwers were abundant. The U.S. then added to its lead against another Canadian pitcher, Mike Soroka, as Hoskins was hit by a pitch but was forced out by Senzel. Hoskins advanced to second when Moncada's throw on an attempted double play went wide, and RF Kyle Tucker followed with a double down the left field line to make the score 4-0. Beau Burrows then made it 9 straight outs for the U.S. moundsmen with a perfect top of the 4th, picking up two more K's. Domingo Acevedo was next to pitch for the World, but he was hit hard: Rodgers and SS Nick Gordon led off with back-to-back singles, then CF Lewis Brinson doubled as did Fisher, accounting for three runs before Acevedo had recorded an out. However, he retired the next three batters with no damage other than Fisher stealing third base. Still, it was now 7-0 for the U.S. and the game was looking like a potential blow-out, but it was the World team's turn to get hot.

In the top of the 5th, lefty Tanner Scott extended the streak of consecutive batters retired before DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by 1B Josh Naylor, who was then caught in no man's land before first and second base for the third out. Luis Escobar next came to the mound for the World team among a slew of defensive substitutions, and he was the first to put up a goose egg on the board for his team, allowing only a walk to Rodgers. The U.S. then made wholesale changes before the top of the 6th, and C Francisco Mejia greeted Jack Flaherty with a single. 2B Mauricio Dubon, proudly representing Honduras, followed with a double, then Mejia scored on a sacrifice fly by LF Victor Robles. A groundout by SS Lucius Fox drove in another run, and the lead was down to 7-3.

In the 7th, Guerrero again singled with two outs, this time off Jon Duplantier, and after a walk to 1B Yordan Alvarez, C Tomas Nido singled for a fourth run. The U.S. had a chance to pad their lead in the bottom of the 7th when RF Bryan Reynolds led off with a walk against Thyago Vieira, then Anderson followed with a single. But Vieira got C Zack Collins to strike and 2B Scott Kingery to fly out to right, before Jairo Labourt struck out SS Bo Bichette for the final out. The World Team made a final push in the 9th. After Triston McKenzie recorded the first out, A.J. Puk walked Haitian RF Estevan Florial. Guerrero then popped a ball towards the first base dugout, but 1B Ryan McMahon made a tremendous catch over the ramp to record out number two, but allowing Florial to advance one base. That play turned out to be key as Alvarez followed with a run-scoring single and Nido followed with another hit to cut the lead to 7-6. Puk was obviously not sharp, but there was no one left in the U.S. bullpen, so he had to face Dubon. He grounded a ball to Anderson, who had moved to third base in mid-game, but his throw was off-line. However, McMahon made his second outstanding play of the inning to catch the ball and tag a speeding Dubon to end the game.




Further Reading[edit]

  • Mark Feinsand: "USA rides Honeywell, big bats to Futures win: Rays prospect becomes first pitcher to earn MVP honors", mlb.com, July 9, 2017. [1]
  • Oliver Macklin: "Marlins tap '97 champs for Futures Game: Renteria, Johnson will manage teams during All-Star Sunday event", mlb.com, June 7, 2017. [2]
  • Jonathan Mayo: "Moncada, Rosario highlight loaded Futures Game rosters", mlb.com, June 29, 2017. [3]
  • Mike Rosenbaum, Will Boor and Joe Trezza: "Scouting reports on all 50 Futures Game players", mlb.com, June 29, 2017. [4]

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