The MiLB Future’s Game is a chance for the brightest domestic and foreign-born baseball players from all leagues in the Minors to showcase their skills on a major league stage.
For Chicago Cubs fans, it’s a chance to see their future in action and Moises Alou, too.
Two of the Cubs’ top prospects —Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario—were selected to the World team this year, though Candelario had to give up his spot because he was called up to The Show a week before the game.
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Jimenez roped the first pitch he saw down the left-field line for a double, scoring World’s first run in the sixth inning. He later capped off a seven-run ninth inning by sending a moon shot into the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Company building.
Jimenez said of his home run, “I was just looking for something up, and I swung and it went out of the ballpark.”
But it was the catch in the bottom of the seventh that steamrolled him into game MVP discussions.
Did I tell you that Jimenez is 6’4” 205lbs? That he had to run 127 feet to make that play? Or that he’s only 19 years old and still playing in Single-A South Bend?
Jimenez certainly earned recognition of his performance. The best part of his catch was that it came in right field, a position currently held by Jason Heyward. The Cubs have control over Heyward until his first of two player options comes up in 2018.
If he chooses to leave then, they have a platoon that can handle the job defensively, but would struggle offensively—or vice versa. A player of Jimenez’s caliber would fill the hole with one plug, a big upside to a franchise looking to be competitive for a long time to come.
The 11-3 beating that the U.S. minor-leaguers took is reminiscent of the 10-1 whooping that they handed the World team in 2015, the year Kyle Schwarber won MVP honors.
As Matt Vasgersian put it, “score one for our national pastime.”
[hat tip] Video posted courtesy of the Chicago Cubs official Vine account.