2018 Futures Game
The 2018 Futures Game was played on July 15th at Nationals Park, site of the 2018 All-Star Game. It was the 20th edition of the event. The World team was managed by David Ortiz, with newly-elected Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero serving as the hitting coach, and the US team by Torii Hunter. Contrary to previous editions, neither of the two managers had a particular link with the site of the game.
The game itself was a power display, with the home run being the dominant flavor. The two teams combined for eight homers as the United States emerged on top by a score of 10-6. Taylor Trammell was named the recipient of the Larry Doby Award as the game's MVP, after hitting one of the homers and barely missing a second as the ball hit the top of the fence in deepest centerfield and bounced back on the field for a stand-up triple. For the World team, Yusniel Diaz hit a pair of homers.
The scoring began early, after Mitch Keller got things started for the US team by pitching a perfect 1st inning. In the bottom of the 1st, 2B Brendan Rodgers doubled off Jesus Luzardo with two outs and 1B Nate Lowe followed with a single to center. Rodgers scored the game's first run just before Lowe was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double. The World team replied immediately against Justus Sheffield, as DH Seuly Matias, the minor leagues' home run leader, leading off the top of the 2nd, hit an opposite-field homer to tie the score. In the 3rd, 3B Dawel Lugo singled off Sheffield with one out, and young Hunter Greene came in to pitch. He immediately flashed 102 mph on the radar gun, but CF Luis Alexander Basabe still managed to get a hold of one of his pitches and drive it over the fence for a 3-1 lead. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. followed with a single and a stolen base then moved to third when LF Diaz flied out to right, but he was left stranded when Greene struck out Matias to end the inning.
The United States tied the game in the 4th when RF Alex Kirilloff hit a one-out single off Lewis Thorpe and C Danny Jansen followed with a long ball. The U.S. wasn't done, however, as LF Kyle Lewis then drew a walk and 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes homered as well to make it 5-3. The tone was pretty well set by then, with the hitters managing to display their prowess in spite of some pretty impressive stuff thrown at them from the mound. The scoring resumed in the top of the 5th when after a couple of quick outs by Matt Manning, Tatis singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and came in to score on a two-run homer by Diaz. After a couple more hits, 2B Luis Urias struck out to end the inning with the score now 5-5.
It was now the substitutes' turn to come into the game and the next blow was struck by a newcomer, LF Trammell, who hit a solo shot off South African Kieran Lovegrove with two outs in the bottom of the 6th, on a ball that traveled 438 feet. That lead was short-lived as well, as Diaz became only the second player in the game's history, after Alfonso Soriano in 1999, to homer twice when he connected off Shaun Anderson with two outs. The United States then took the lead for good in the bottom of the 7th. CF Jo Adell, one of the few starting position players remaining in the game, led off the inning with a double off Adonis Medina, then after one out, took third when C Miguel Amaya allowed a passed ball and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and a dropped third strike which allowed Rodgers to reach base as well. Rodgers then stole second, but it was not really necessary as 1B Peter Alonso followed by driving a pitch from Medina on a full count to deep left field for a 9-6 lead. That ball traveled well over 400 feet as well.
The World threatened to catch up again in the 8th, as 2B Luis Garcia drew a walk off C.D. Pelham and the next batter, RF Randy Arozarena reached on an error by Alonso. Kyle Wright came in to pitch and ended that threat with a fly ball and a double play grounder by SS Andres Gimenez, needing just five pitches to get the job done. In the bottom of the 8th, Trammell almost joined Diaz as a two-homer man when he led off against Touki Toussaint by driving a pitch off the top of the fence in center field for a triple. He came in to score one out later when Adell hit a sacrifice fly to Diaz in left field. Dylan Cease was called in to pitch the 9th with a four-run lead, getting the first two outs before Luis Ortiz forced Diaz to ground out to third base for the final out.
The 8 homers doubled the previous best of 4 in one game, and were more than the total from the last five editions of the game combined.
- P: Shaun Anderson, Dylan Cease, Hunter Greene, Dakota Hudson, Mitch Keller, Matt Manning, Luis Ortiz, C.D. Pelham, Justus Sheffield, Kyle Wright
- C: Danny Jansen, Andrew Knizner
- IF: Peter Alonso, Bo Bichette, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Keston Hiura, Carter Kieboom, Nate Lowe, Ryan Mountcastle, Brendan Rodgers
- OF: Jo Adell, Alex Kirilloff, Kyle Lewis, Buddy Reed, Taylor Trammell
- P: Jorge Guzman, Yoan Lopez, Kieran Lovegrove, Jesus Luzardo, Bryan Mata, Adonis Medina, Lewis Thorpe, Jesus Tinoco, Touki Toussaint, Alex Wells
- C: Miguel Amaya, Keibert Ruiz
- IF: Yordan Alvarez, Luis Garcia, Andres Gimenez, Dawel Lugo, Fernando Tatis Jr., Luis Urias
- OF: Randy Arozarena, Luis Alexander Basabe, Yusniel Diaz, Seuly Matias, Heliot Ramos, Jesus Sanchez, Leody Taveras
- William Boor and Mike Rosenbaum: "Complete guide to the 2018 Futures Game", mlb.com, July 14, 2018. 
- Jim Callis: "Futures Game rosters packed with prospects: 30 of MLB's Top 100 prospects to represent U.S., World on July 15", mlb.com, July 6, 2018. 
- Mark Feinsand: "USA outslugs World in 8-homer Futures Game: Diaz only 2nd player in game's history to go deep twice", mlb.com July 15, 2018. 
- Steve Gardner: "Futures Game features power surge with Peter Alonso, Yusniel Diaz, Taylor Trammell", USA Today Sports, July 15, 2018. 
- Richard Justice: "Trammell wins Futures MVP; Greene brings heat: Duo offers high-octane peek at impressive talent in Reds' pipeline", mlb.com, July 15, 2018. 
- Jonathan Mayo: "Futures Game players predict biggest star", mlb.com, July 14, 2018. 
- Jonathan Mayo: "Here are the top 10 performers from the Futures Game", mlb.com, July 15, 2018.