As Joey Gallo proved, home runs ruled the day at the 2014 MLB Futures game. The 6’5 205 lb Rangers year old slugger started things off in batting practice, where he put on a ridiculous display of power, hitting balls out of every corner of Target Field. Then in the sixth, Gallo delivered the decisive blow in the game – a towering, no doubt, two run shot deep into the right field concourse that gave USA a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Gallo, who played DH, finished the game 1 for 4 with a pair of RBIs.
It was a fitting performance for Gallo, who has done nothing mash but since stepping onto a professional diamond. The 4th best prospect in baseball hit an Arizona Leake record 18 big flys in 2011, led the minors with 40 last season, and currently leads all of North American professional baseball with 31 home runs, tied with Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. It was also fitting, though, that he struck out twice; Gallo has a propensity for the all-or-nothing approach and while he has cut back this season, he whiffed 172 times last year.
Iowa Cubs shortstop Javier Baez gave the strongest performance for the World Team, in what was an otherwise quiet offensive day all around. Baez, 21, took a 6th inning curveball from the Nationals” Lucas Giolito and tucked it over the 23 foot wall in right-center field to drive in a pair. Baseball’s 7th best prospect has plus power although he’s hit only 14 this year – a modest sum in comparison to the 37 he had in 2014.
Those were the only two major offensive showings of the night as baseball’s best up and coming starters traded zeros for most of the night. Boston’s Henry Owens started for USA and threw a shutout inning in the first and Minnesota’s Jose Berrios did the same for Oakland. No pitcher stayed in the game for more than an inning, but Daniel Norris, Christian Binford, Hunter Harvey, Alex Meyer, Robert Stephenson all threw scoreless frames for USA, with Jake Thompson earning the win and Noah Syndergaard closing it out with a shutout ninth.