2019 Futures Game

From BR Bullpen

The 2019 Futures Game was played on July 7th at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH, site of the 2019 All-Star Game. For the 21st edition of the event, changes were made to the format, with the game reverting to 7 innings and the teams now representing the American League and National League (they had previously been divided between the United States and the World). Hall of Famer Jim Thome managed the AL squad, while Dennis Martinez was the NL manager. Sam Huff won the Larry Doby Award as the game's Most Valuable Player.

The game was unable to determine a winner as it ended in a 2-2 tie after 8 innings - the regulation 7 innings and one extra inning played with the Schiller Rule in effect, placing a runner on second base at the start of the inning. It was the first tie in the game's history.

In contrast to the previous year's game which set scoring records, this year's was a low-scoring affair. Heading into the 7th inning, the NL was ahead 2-0, with closer Ben Bowden, a perfect 20-for-20 in save opportunities this season, on the mound. However, the AL tied the score thanks to a two-run homer by Huff into the patio in left field.

After three hitless innings, the NL scored two runs in the 4th when Taylor Trammell, the game's MVP in 2018 hit a run-scoring bloop single against Matt Manning that drove in Carter Kieboom. This was followed a few moments later by another run-scoring single by Dylan Carlson off Kris Bubic, this one scoring Alec Bohm. Standing on third base, Trammell then attempted a straight steal of home and was barely thrown out by Bubic, although replays seemed to show that he had managed to touch the plate with a head-first slide just before being tagged out by C Jake Rogers. Video review was not an option, as it is not used in the minor leagues.

The two teams played one extra inning with the Schiller Rule but neither team was able to score. Cristian Pache, who had made the last out for the NL in the top of the 7th, started the 8th at second but was unable to advance further as Grayson Rodriguez got Joey Bart to ground to third base, then Isan Diaz hit a blooper on which RF Jo Adell made a spectacular sliding catch, and Bohm grounded to second. Luis Patino, who had got the NL out of a sticky situation in the 7th by getting the last two out with runners on first and third, also retired the three batters he faced without the runner being able to score, with Adell striking out for the final out, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Among the players who shined were P Nate Pearson who threw four pitches at 101 mph during his stint on the mound for the AL, while Sixto Sanchez also showed some serious heat for the NL, with all 8 of his fastballs clocked at 98 mph or above. 18-year-old SS Wander Franco went 1-for-2 as the game's youngest player, while Deivi Garcia started things off with a perfect 1st inning just after the New York Yankees had announced he was being promoted to AAA, after making mincemeat of opposing batters during his time in AA. Garcia's NL counterpart, Ian Anderson, also got things started with a perfect 1st inning.


American League[edit]

National League[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • William Boor, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo: "Scouting reports on all 50 Futures Game players", mlb.com, July 7, 2019. [1]
  • Chris Bumbaca: "10 top MLB prospects to watch in the 2019 Futures Game", USA Today, July 6, 2019. [2]
  • Mark Feinsand: "Futures Game full of surprises, ends in tie", mlb.com, July 7, 2019. [3]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Futures Game: Tiebreaker can't break 2-2 deadlock, but will it ever catch on at MLB level?", USA Today, July 7, 2019. [4]
  • Jonathan Mayo: "These players turned heads at Futures Game", mlb.com, July 7, 2019. [5]

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