CINCINNATI -- There was a slugfest going on at the Great American Ballpark, courtesy of the U.S. Team on a humid and eventually sunny Sunday. Some of the best prospects in baseball combined for double-digit runs, capped by a monster two-run blast by Pittsburgh Pirates' first baseman Josh Bell. The U.S. won in blowout fashion over World, 10.-1, the sixth straight year they've taken the win.
World started out well enough, getting an early lead on three straight singles in the third. Seattle Mariners prospect Ketel Marte smacked a liner to score a run. But with two outs already recorded, there was no room for error and the blossoming potential for more runs was cut off abruptly when Marte tried scoring from second. The problem? A cannon throw by New York Mets prospect Michael Conforto in left field. Marte was thrown out at home, ending the inning and the only run World would get.
Scoring runs was not a problem for U.S., however. Where it all came undone for World was with their pitching. With few exceptions, they just didn't have it. World didn't record a 1-2-3 inning until the sixth, thanks to Tampa Bay Rays left-handed pitching prospect Blake Snell, who needed just 10 pitches.
Josh Bell's two-run blast in the fourth against World to right-center was estimated to have traveled 388 feet. But it was Chicago Cubs catching prospect Kyle Schwarber who sparked the offense with his two-run triple in the third. While it would be his only hit of the day, Schwarber's hit earned him All-Star Futures Game MVP honors.
Chicago White Sox right-hander Frankie Montas brought plenty of heat, but his outing was rough. Montas gave up four straight hits, allowing both inherited runners to score, and three more of his own to give the U.S. a five-spot. After all that, he reached back to strike out the next batter, touching triple-digits -- including 101 mph. But the damage was more than done.
The Mariners' Edwin Diaz, Miami Marlins' Jarlin Garcia and San Francisco Giants' Keury Mella combined to give up seven runs on eight hits in just two innings total. World pitching gave up 13 hits in all. One of the other few highlights of the day on the pitching side came on the part of Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Joe Jimenez. He dialed it up to 97 mph, needing just six pitches to get both outs and pitching aggressively to both batters.
World had plenty of hits, which wasn't the problem. Three players had two-hit days, courtesy of Marte, the Colorado Rockies' Raimel Tapia and the Texas Rangers' Nomar Mazara. However, even 10 hits -- including back-to-back infield singles by the latter two in the eighth -- wasn't enough to climb back into the game.
Repay the favor: The U.S. team answered the World Team's run in the top of the third inning with a three-spot in the bottom of the third. The U.S. team recorded three hits and drew a walk, which was highlighted by back-to-back hits, a single and a two-run triple by Schwarber.
Pile it on: After taking a 3-1 lead in the third, the U.S. settled in to bash World pitching. Batters rattled off two runs in the fourth and a five-spot in the sixth inning, securing the victory.
MVP: Schwarber was named the Futures Game MVP after he finished 1-for-3 with a two-run triple, which started the U.S. offense. They went on to score eight more runs.
Cannon:drove in the first (and only) run of the day for the World team, but Conforto cut off a developing rally by World when Marte attempted to score from second. Conforto, in left, gunned down Marte at the plate for the final out of the top of the third.
Early deficit: World took an early lead in the third when Tapia singled with two outs. Marte then scored him from second on a sharp line drive single.
Richie Shaffer: Shaffer -- a third base prospect for the Rays -- was hitless at the plate, finishing 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.