In a game showcasing most of baseball’s brightest shining up and coming stars, there were a few guys who stood out from the pack. Although Bryce Harper (WAS) stole the spotlight in both the pre-game and post-game festivities, he did not shine quite as bright during the game. He was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts and 2 groundouts to first. One of which was hit fairly hard but a nice play by Yonder Alonso got the out.
Aside from two big innings, a 4-run 6th inning by the World Team off of Drew Pomeranz, and a 3-run 8th off of Kelvin Herrera for the US Team, this was a game largely dominated by flame-throwing pitchers.
For the US Team, my standout hitters were Jason Kipnis, (CLE) who led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer over the right-centre field wall, and Grant Green (OAK). Green crushed a double off the top of the wall in straight-away centre that I thought would have been gone in any other park. He also stroked another double, going 2 for 2 with 2 doubles, a run scored and RBI on his way to earning MVP of the game. On the mound, I was blown away by Matt Moore, Tampa Bay’s mega pitching prospect. He threw 11 pitches, 9 of which were strikes. His fastball was between 94 and 98 mph, and was throwing a devastating slider at 86 mph. Phillies prospect Jared Cosart was also very impressive. He racked up 2 strikeouts and a flyout on 10 pitches; 8 strikes. Sitting at 96 with the heater, he also displayed a plus change-up.
Jose Altuve (HOU) is a guy that doesn’t get much credit, because he stands at about 5’6”. However, the Venezuelan native has hit everywhere he has played. He was 2 for 3 with a single and a double, and I came away impressed with the diminutive infielder. Jurickson Profar (TEX) may have been the youngest player there, but he was not outmatched, as he stroked a triple off Drew Pomeranz and displayed his impressive speed. On the bump, Canadian James Paxton impressed me. The University of Kentucky product threw 6 pitches; all fastballs, and induced 3 quick outs. He was between 94 and 96 and showed better control than I remember the last time I saw him. Henderson Alvarez (TOR) was also impressive, with a fastball that topped out at 98 mph, and getting Harper to ground out to first on a 95mph sinker.
The US team jumped out to an early lead thanks to the leadoff homerun by Kipnis in the first, and an RBI fielder’s choice by Wil Myers (KC) in the 2nd. They made it 3-0 in the 5th on Green’s first double, which scored Gary Brown after he singled and stole second. In the top of the 6th, Drew Pomeranz (CLE) struggled, and gave up 4 runs. Alfredo Silverio (LAD) homered to left, scoring Dayan Viciedo (CWS) who had singled 2 batters prior. A walk to Chih-Hisen Chiang (BOS) and a double to Sebastian Valle (PHI) spelled the end of the night for Pomeranz. With the score knotted at 3, Profar then hit his triple off Kyle Gibson (MIN), scoring Valle.
Green led off the 8th with a double, and Tim Beckham (TB) drove him in with a double of his own to tie it at 4. After an Austin Romine (NYY) single and a Nolan Arenado (COL) double to right field, the damage was done, and the US had a 6-4 lead. Jacob Turner (DET) and Matt Harvey (NYM) split duties to close out the game.
The US has now taken a 7-6 lead in the all-time series. A good number of these players will be on Major League rosters by season’s end, so be sure to check in on your favourite teams for updates.