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Three takeaways from the MLB Futures Game at Nationals Park

Major League Baseball’s Futures Game at Nationals Park on Sunday was a showcase more than an actual game, even if score was kept and the U.S. team earned a 10-6 win over the World team. By the end, it started to resemble a home run derby.

The top prospects were split into two squads based on hometown, with nine countries represented on the World roster.

Much like the All-Star Game, there are plenty of substitutions to make sure all the top prospects get to see the field.

“This is an All-Star Game. I’m going to have as much fun as possible without trying to go overboard or anything like that,” said U.S. outfielder Taylor Trammell, a Reds prospect who was 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple en route to winning MVP honors. “I’m just having a blast today.”

An abundance of homers

In this season of launch angles and exit velocities, the home run again took center stage as seven players went deep. Thirteen of the 16 runs scored Sunday came on home runs.

Toronto prospect Danny Jansen, 23, had never played in a big league ballpark. Once he connected with a change-up from Twins minor-leaguer Lewis Thorpe in the fourth inning, he heard the dugout explode and can’t remember the rest.

“I felt like I was walking on a cloud around the bases,” said Jansen, who was drafted in the 16th round five years ago. “Just experiencing that with everybody and having everybody else in that whole game was balling out, too.”

Yusniel Diaz, a member of the Dodgers organization who represented the World team, hit two homers. His first was a two-run shot off Matt Manning (Tigers) in the fifth; the second was a solo shot off Shaun Anderson (Red Sox) in the seventh.

Luis Basabe, Peter Alonso and Ke’Bryan Hayes also hit two-run home runs, while Trammell and Seuly Matias had solo shots.

“Guys were just connecting with balls today,” Trammell said. “Peter Alonso hit the highest ball I have ever seen today. … He got a hold of it.”

Alonso’s home run had an exit velocity of 113.6 mph, according to Statcast.

Even when Basabe faced righty Hunter Greene, an 18-year-old flamethrower in the Reds organization whose fastball consistently reached triple digits, Basabe flexed, blasting a home run to right-center in the third.

“Tip my cap to that guy,” Greene said. “He’s a great ballplayer, and that was very impressive.”

Matias has 26 homers for the Royals’ Class A Lexington (Ky.) affiliate, and he replicated that success at the Futures Game. He started this home run show in the second inning when he sent a ball into the home team’s bullpen.

“I just think everyone had so much energy,” Jansen said.

Young pitching talent

Astros prospect Forrest Whitley, the highest ranked pitching prospect in the minors, missed the Futures Game due to an oblique injury. But the U.S. team had no shortage of highly touted arms.

Greene, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, was clocked at 103 mph on the gun. He was the youngest member of the U.S. team.

All the pitchers at this game, Jansen said, were throwing hard. But since he was teammates with Greene, Jansen never had to go up against Greene’s fastball. He prefers it that way.

“I’ll just stick to catching him,” Jansen.

Greene occupied Bryce Harper’s locker for the day but didn’t know it until a reporter pointed it out. Harper, a six-time all-star, also played in the Futures Game when he was a minor leaguer.

“I was thinking about that earlier: I was like, ‘I wonder whose locker I’m sitting in,’ ” Greene said in the Nationals’ clubhouse. “That’s awesome.”

Family ties to MLB

Three players in the Futures Game have major league bloodlines.

Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres’ organization shares his name with his dad, who spent 11 years in the majors. The 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic has batted .289 with 15 home runs this season for Class AA San Antonio, and went 2-for-5 on Sunday while playing all nine innings. As the No. 3 overall prospect in MLB’s Top 100 rankings, Tatis was the highest ranked prospect at the Futures Game.

Like Tatis, Bo Bichette has a father with experience in the big leagues. His dad, Dante, is a four-time all-star and played 14 seasons in the Majors.

After the game, Bichette received a text from his dad, who was in attendance, that said: “Bo Bo, you’re awesome, and I love you.”

“I think we get a leg up,” Bichette said. “As a younger kid, my dad could teach me things about pro ball that other people didn’t get a chance to know before they signed.”

Hayes, a 21-year-old in the Pirates organization, plays the same position as his dad, Charlie — who played 14 seasons in the majors, primarily at third base.

Read more on the All-Star Game:

Prospect Carter Kieboom’s talent might force Nationals into some difficult decisions

Rain threatens Tuesday’s All-Star Game and baseball’s streak of good weather luck

With all-star duties looming, Bryce Harper sits for final game before break

As MLB All-Star Game nears, a brief respite from the game’s ills and an ode to its thrills

At MLB all-star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, a mix of silly and seriousness

Bryce Harper will join seven newcomers at All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby

Washington’s living baseball all-stars

Not your grandparents’ baseball cards

Max Scherzer wasn’t predestined for baseball greatness but has a hard-earned Hall of Fame case

Hey now, Nats’ Sean Doolittle is an all-star

All-Star FanFest will feature seven Hall of Famers, 23 former Nationals

MLB unveils jerseys, caps and socks for 2018 All-Star Game at Nats Park

After the All-Star Game, these seven community projects will be its legacy

Shaquille O’Neal and Florida Georgia Line to perform during all-star week

Metro to stay open late for MLB All-Star Game

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