2021 Futures Game
The 2021 Futures Game was played on July 11th at Coors Field in Denver, CO, site of the 2021 All-Star Game. It was the 22nd edition of the event, after it was cancelled in 2020 like many other events, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As in 2019, it was played as a seven-inning game between prospects from American League and NationaL League teams. Former Colorado Rockies All-Star Vinny Castilla will manage the NL team, while long-time reliever LaTroy Hawkins will be the AL manager. Among Hawkins' coaches was Rachel Balkovec, the first woman to be a full-time coach in the affiliated minor leagues, who was the first base coach during the game.
Initial rosters for the game were announced on June 30th.
The National League came out on top, 8-3, after banging five home runs against AL pitchers, with Brennen Davis connecting twice to be named the winner of the Larry Doby Award as the game's MVP. The AL future stars were kept off the scoreboard until scoring three times in the top of the 7th to make the final score somewhat more respectable.
Matthew Liberatore was selected to start for the NL and Cole Winn for the AL. Liberatore set down his opponents in order, but after one out, Jose Barrero connected for a homer against Winn for a 1-0 lead. The National Leaguers would never look back. Their next pitcher, Max Meyer, only faced two batters, walking Nick Pratto with one out before giving way to Andre Jackson and Riley Greene got his team's first hit with two outs, a single, but Spencer Torkelson grounded into a force out to end the threat. Shane Baz then retired the NL in order in the bottom of the inning, to keep the game close. In the 3rd, Jackson got one more out before Nick Lodolo took over, retiring the next two men. Cole Ragans came out to pitch for the ALK, and immediately misplayed a grounder by Bryson Stott, being charged with an error. The next man up, Michael Toglia, homered to center field on his next pitch to make the lead 3-0. With one out, Barrero drew a walk, ending Ragans' stint, and Brayan Bello allowed a double to Nolan Gorman for a fourth run. After a wild pitch, Luis Campusano hit a sacrifice fly and it was 5-0 for the NL.
Once again, the NL made a mid-inning pitching change in the top of the 4th, but Lodolo and Quinn Priester combined to blank the AL again around a walk to Adley Rutschman. Josh Winder then took over on the mound, but the first batter he faced was Brennen Davis, and he homered to center field to make it a 6-0 lead. The NL put a couple more batters on against Winder and Hector Yan, on a dropped third strike and a walk, but did not score again that inning. Cade Cavalli started the 5th for the NL and issued a pair of walks but no hits, and Reid Detmers and Marcos Diplan struck out the side for the AL. In the 6th, Julio Rodriguez drew a lead-off walk against Manuel Rodriguez but was caught stealing third. The NL then put the final nails in their opponents' coffin when Davis led off the bottom of the 6th with his second homer against Diplan, this one to left-center, after which pinch-hitter Francisco Alvarez also homered. Luis Medina came in to pitch, but he loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, with a wild pitch interspersed, before getting out of the jam with a line out and a strikeout. At 8-0, the game was now a laugher, but the AL managed to put a bit of balm on its wounds by scoring three runs in the top of the 7th, with a single by Greene off Jake Eder - only their second hit of the game -, and three consecutive hits against Ethan Small, by Torkelson, Jeter Downs and Austin Martin. Small then struck out Jasson Dominguez and Rodriguez to end the game.
- P: Shane Baz, Brayan Bello, Reid Detmers, Marcos Diplan, Luis Medina, Cole Ragans, Josh Winder, Cole Winn, Hector Yan
- C: Bo Naylor, Adley Rutschman, Tyler Soderstrom
- IF: Jeter Downs, Xavier Edwards, Austin Martin, Nick Pratto, Spencer Torkelson, Bobby Witt Jr.
- OF: Yoelqui Cespedes, Jasson Dominguez, Riley Greene, Jarred Kelenic, Pedro Leon, Julio Rodriguez
- P: Cade Cavalli, Jake Eder, Andre Jackson, Matthew Liberatore, Nick Lodolo, Max Meyer, Quinn Priester, Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan Small
- C: Francisco Alvarez, Luis Campusano, Willie MacIver
- IF: Jose Barrero, Brett Baty, Michael Busch, Nolan Gorman, Marco Luciano, Bryson Stott, Michael Toglia
- OF: Brennen Davis, Michael Harris, Heliot Ramos, Alek Thomas, Ryan Vilade, Drew Waters
- "How all 30 teams' reps fared in Futures Game", mlb.com, July 11, 2021. 
- Jim Callis: "Futures Game rosters are STACKED", mlb.com, June 30, 2021. 
- Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra and Jonathan Mayo: "Futures Game scouting reports for every club", mlb.com, July 5, 2021. 
- Do-Hyoung Park: "6 of the coolest Futures Game moments", mlb.com, July 11, 2021.