U.S. pitcher Daniel Norris, a Johnson City native, throws during the second inning of the All-Star Futures Game against the World team on Sunday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo)
MINNEAPOLIS — Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo showed off his power with a soaring two-run homer in the sixth inning to give the U.S. team the lead for good in a 3-2 victory over the World squad Sunday at the All-Star Futures Game for baseball's best minor leaguers.
Gallo's one-out drive to right field off Houston Astros right-hander Michael Feliz was estimated at 419 feet. The 20-year-old third baseman for Double-A Frisco hit several other balls farther than that during a head-turning batting practice display at Target Field.
The assumed successor for four-time All-Star Adrian Beltre with the Rangers, Gallo has 31 homers and 73 RBIs this season in 85 games. He followed a two-run homer in the top of the sixth by Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez against Washington Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito.
With so many bad teams in recent seasons, the Chicago Cubs have been collecting a tantalizing bunch of potential stars, with Baez and Kris Bryant at the top of the list.
Baez, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and Bryant, the second selection in 2013, comprise the left side of the infield for Triple-A affiliate Iowa.
Bryant went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts while playing third base for the U.S team, which has won five straight Futures Games. The United States pushed its record to 10-6 since the exhibition was started in 1999.
Until the Baez-Gallo home run derby that broke out in the sixth, this was much more of a showcase of pitching prospects, mirroring the major league trend toward more dominance on the mound and shrinking slugging percentages.
The first five U.S. pitchers tossed scoreless innings, starting with Henry Owens, the Double-A lefty for the Boston Red Sox who gave up one hit and struck out one in his one inning.
Johnson City native Daniel Norris, who plays for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Double-A Eastern League, followed Owens and gave up no hits and struck out one in his inning of work.
Minnesota Twins right Alex Meyer needed only four pitches for the fourth. His fastball reached 97 mph.
Meyer, acquired from the Nationals in a trade for center fielder Denard Span, has 103 strikeouts in 89-plus innings for Triple-A Rochester.
Julio Urias, a native of Sinaloa, Mexico, currently at Class A Rancho Cucamonga for the Los Angeles Dodgers, became the youngest-ever Futures Game player. Urias, who will turn 18 next month, pitched a perfect fifth. He struck out Taylor with a 94 mph fastball.
New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who started the game last year at his future home, Citi Field, got the save.
Twins fans in attendance also had World team first baseman Kennys Vargas to cheer, the David Ortiz clone who hit a double in four at-bats in the cleanup spot.
The U.S. team was supervised by former Twins manager Tom Kelly, currently a special instructor for the organization. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, who played for Kelly on the 1987 World Series-winning club, managed the World team.
Blyleven, of Dutch heritage, presented the lineups before the game while wearing an oversized pair of yellow wooden shoes.comments powered by Disqus