The World Team picked up its first win in the MLB All-Star Futures Game since 2009 on Sunday in San Diego, beating the United States, 11-3.
Boston Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada earned MVP honors, per MLB on Twitter. He finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs batted in and one run scored. The 21-year-old, who sits fifth on MLB.com's prospect rankings, put the World Team ahead in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run home run:
The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato noted the homer was somewhat surprising since it came off a left-handed pitcher, Anthony Banda:
On June 13, ESPN's Jim Bowden reported the Red Sox would listen to trade offers for almost any prospect with the exception of Moncada and Andrew Benintendi, who also played in the Futures Game. After seeing Moncada's towering homer, it's not hard to see why Boston would covet the Cuban star so heavily.
Aside from Moncada, nobody else shone brighter than Alex Bregman, whom MLB.com ranks as the 18th-best prospect in baseball. The Houston Astros minor leaguer went 3-for-5 and was a home run short of the cycle. MLB.com's Daren Willman noted how hard Bregman struck the ball Sunday:
According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 may not need much seasoning before he's ready for the bigs:
Bregman scored the first run of the game when Cleveland Indians prospect Clint Frazier doubled into center field in the bottom of the third inning. Frazier then came home on a fielder's choice off the bat of New York Mets prospect Dominic Smith.
Baltimore Orioles prospect Chance Sisco gave Team USA a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run:
Baseball America's Kyle Glaser thought the homer must've felt extra sweet for Sisco:
The World Team trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the sixth on a double by Eloy Jimenez and a single by Josh Naylor. In the bottom half of the inning, Carson Kelly nearly tacked on another run for the United States. Instead, Manuel Margot, representing the hometown San Diego Padres, reached over the fence and saved a home run:
Baseball America's Ben Badler noted Margot has already earned a reputation for his stellar defensive work in the outfield:
His catch proved pivotal, as it allowed Moncada to give the World Team the lead in the top of the eighth. The World then broke the game open in the ninth. It dropped seven runs on the U.S. to go ahead 11-3. Three of the runs came on a mammoth homer from Jimenez, a 19-year-old in the Chicago Cubs' system.
The home run wasn't even his best play from the day. Jimenez somehow tracked down this foul ball off the bat of Dylan Cozens:
MLB.com's Mike Petriello revealed how far Jimenez had to run before making the catch:
The Futures Game has been a great showcase for some of the best young talents in the game. Jake Arrieta, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado and Clayton Kershaw are among the more notable stars who have played in the event.
Most of this year's participants are at least a few years away from becoming impact players on their major league teams, but they offered a glimpse of what may be to come down the road.
"It’s an experience I will never forget in my life," said Moncada of his MVP win Sunday, per Mastrodonato.
He also talked about his go-ahead homer: "I wasn't looking for a home run or anything, I just wanted good contact and the home run came about. It just came like a normal home run."
Jimenez also discussed his incredible catch.
"That is the craziest catch I’ve made," he said, per CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes. "I was just looking for something up and I saw it and that happened. Very fun. Very, very fun. It was crazy, crazy."
For Bregman, playing in the Futures Game was an exciting experience, but he also has his eye on the big leagues.
"Not everybody gets this opportunity. I was just trying to soak it in and have fun," he said, per USA Today's Steve Gardner. "I'm excited for the future. I want to help the Astros win games now … I feel like I can contribute and whenever that time comes, I'll be ready."