The United States continued its recent dominance at the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday with a 10-6 victory over the World Team at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The annual showcase features some of the best minor league prospects in the game, and the Americans won for the eighth time in nine years. Torii Hunter managed the Red, White and Blue, while David Ortiz served as the skipper for the World Team in a slugfest that featured eight home runs.
Los Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell put the United States ahead for good in the seventh when he scored on a wild pitch, and New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso added some insurance with a towering two-run homer in the next at-bat.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Taylor Trammell won the game's MVP award thanks to a home run and long triple off the center field wall.
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller, who is the No. 12 prospect in baseball, per MLB.com, started the game for the Americans, while Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo, the league's No. 20 prospect, served as his counterpart.
While Keller and Luzardo have bright futures, pitching took a back seat to the long ball after they didn't allow a homer in the first inning.
The Home Run Derby is Monday in Nationals Park, but if Sunday's contest was any indication, the fans are going to be in for a treat. The ball was flying off the bats of the top prospects in the game, with Yusniel Diaz of the Los Angeles Dodgers drilling two for the World Team and Seuly Matias of the Kansas City Royals starting the fireworks in the second:
Perhaps the most impressive round tripper of the afternoon came off the bat of Chicago White Sox prospect Luis Basabe, who connected on a two-run bomb to give the World Team an early 3-1 advantage.
It wasn't the length of the homer but who it came off of that made it noteworthy, as Cincinnati Reds hurler Hunter Greene was throwing nothing but heat from the moment he entered the game:
The Reds selected Greene with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, and he has the fastball to help the franchise turn things around if he fulfills his potential as the No. 18 prospect in the league.
Still, Basabe hit it out faster than it came in to make it 3-1:
Greene wasn't the only Reds player to make his mark, as Trammell, the league's No. 34 prospect, gave the Americans the lead in the sixth with a long ball and led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple off the wall.
Trammell's triple was particularly amusing because he dropped the bat and slowly walked out of the box while flashing two fingers at his dugout for the number of home runs he thought he had Sunday. The only issue was, the second drive hit the top of the wall and he had to settle for third base.
His initial blast was part of a back-and-forth between the two sides. Hunter was thrilled by long balls from Danny Jansen and Ke'Bryan Hayes, while Diaz flexed his power on the other side for the World Team:
Diaz's drive in the seventh was the last time the World Team had momentum, though, as Alonso's blast may still be traveling.
The insurance homer from the league's No. 69 prospect proved critical and took some of the pressure off Atlanta Braves pitcher Kyle Wright, who escaped a situation with runners on the corners and nobody out in the eighth without allowing a run.
As a result, the Americans maintained their bragging rights for another year before the two sides face each other again at the 2019 All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland.
*All prospect ratings are per MLB.com's 2018 rankings.