Monday, July 14, 2014

Visiting the Futures

Jose Berrios throws a perfect first inning as the
starting pitcher for the World team Sunday.
I am enough of a prospect nerd that the Futures Game is more interesting to me than the All-Star Game itself.

Kennys Vargas runs out his double Sunday in the
Futures Game. "Run" is a generous term.
As such, it generally irritates me that the Futures Game is played at the same time as several regular season games. It gets buried in the daily grind of the MLB schedule. Meanwhile, the Yankees and Orioles were playing a night game, complete with rain delay, with the All-Star contingent from both teams having to fly halfway across the continent either overnight or Monday morning for the festivities in Minneapolis

I'd like to see the Futures game moved to prime time, with all the regular season games on that All-Star Sunday played in the early afternoon.

But that's just me. My wife and I attended the Futures Game Sunday and ducked out before the "Celebrities and Legends" softball game.

This, apparently, makes us a minority:

And I did notice a number of empty seats in my section filling in the last couple of innings of the Futures Game.

Alex Meyer didn't give the photographers much
opportunity to get a photo: He got three outs on
just four pitches.
That there are people more interested in watching Adrian Peterson and someone calling himself "Fat Joe" play slow-pitch than in watching Francisco Lindor and Noah Snydergaard play baseball baffles me, but I've long said nobody has to share my tastes. (I'm just glad my wife accommodates them enough to accompany me to three minor league games and the Futures Game in a span of five days.)

I do know this: As long as the softball game is a bigger draw than the Futures Game, what looks to me to be a flawed schedule will never be repaired.


The Twins provided three of the 50 players in the Futures Game: Pitchers Jose Berrios (who started for the World team) and Alex Meyer (U.S) , and first baseman Kennys Vargas (who hit cleanup for the World).

All three performed well. Berrios tossed a perfect first inning (no pitchers work more than an inning in this game), showing a fastball in the mid 90s and a breaking ball some 15 mph slower. Vargas drilled a double in his second at-bat and played a clean first base as one of the few players who went all nine innings. And Meyer needed just four pitches to get three outs in his inning of work.

Baseball America named Meyer's the best fastball of the contest, noting velocities of 97, 97, 98 and 97.

How quick was Meyer's outing?

All told, not a bad showing at all -- especially considering that the two best prospects in the organization weren't there.

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