Via Mike Ashmore
Ever since its inception, I have looked forward to the Futureâ€™s Game the Sunday right before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In this game, baseballâ€™s rising stars donâ€™t turn down the honor; they relish it.
Wil Myers in his first at-bat
One of the honored members of the US team, the KC Royals Wil Myers, expressed excitement of being picked and that it was awesome to be in Phoenix.
It was hard not to miss Myers on the field. The starting right fielder for the US, he boasted high socks (something required by many minor leaguers but not in All-Star games) in royal blue, despite the fact that he was wearing the US jersey of Arizona Diamondbacks red with black lettering (lets just say he stuck out). Myers also showed off his speed, as he beat out a possible double-play ball in the second inning to drive in the USâ€™s second run. The ESPN announcers continually talked about his surprise speed for a former catcher. Myers grabbed the crowdâ€™s attention during batting practice, as he pelted the left field seats with homerun balls.
The possible Royals closer of the future, Kelvin Herrera, struggled mightily for the World team. He entered in the 8th inning with the World winning 4-3. When he left, the World was trailing 6-4. Herrera allowed three doubles (four hits total) in just 2/3 of an inning. The doubles werenâ€™t just perfectly placed, they were hammered (two went high off the outfield walls). US catcher Austin Romine (NYY) picked up his second hit of the game off Herrera and drove in the eventual game winner. Herrera also wore his socks high, but they were black and matched his uniform (which was black with the red lettering).
The US has won the last two Futureâ€™s Games after being dominated by the World in years prior.
Itâ€™s tough to get a real gauge on the rising stars in the Futureâ€™s Game. One inning on the mound or a few plate appearances against 2-4 different pitchers is tough to say â€œheâ€™s goodâ€ or â€œheâ€™s notâ€. 2010 number one pick Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals looked overmatched, but talked during BP with teammate Brad Peacock about the filthiness of the World pitchers (which they were).
A few of the stars that I was impressed with during the game: the Cleveland Indians Jason Kipnis, who showed quick power as he led off the first inning with a homerun off Atlanta Braves prospect Julio Teheran (though I was already a fan of Kipnisâ€™); Seattle Mariners (and Italian) third baseman Alex Liddiâ€™s defense (he threw out the speedy Gary Brown (SF Giants) on a ground ball down the line); Kyle Gibsonâ€™s (Minnesota Twins) pickoff move; Peacock (Washington Nationals) proving that this year is not a fluke; and Matt Moore (TB Rays) hitting 100mph on the radar gun in his scoreless inning of work.
*Speaking of Brown, he wore Barry Zito-esque high socks (black with the orange stripes up by the knees).
**You can check out more pics from the Future’s Game from Mike Ashmore (and there are a bunch of Romine, which is expected as he covers the Trenton Thunder).
***Please don’t criticize me for taking pics of my TV. It’s just really hard to find pics of players that aren’t copyrighted. So enjoy:
Myers' blue socks (also his RBI FC)
Herrera's high socks