MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Honeywell, Kopech among top 10 Futures Game moments

Honeywell, Kopech among top 10 Futures Game moments

MIAMI -- Brent Honeywell has a knack for rising to the occasion in nationally televised prospect all-star games.

After striking out five Top 100 Prospects during two scoreless innings in the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game last November, Honeywell was almost as impressive during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday. He fanned four Top 100 Prospects in two shutout innings and became the first pitcher ever to win Futures Game MVP honors as the United States defeated the World 7-6.

Honeywell pitched a perfect inning that included a called strikeout of Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo on a 78-mph screwball and a swinging whiff of Mets shortstop Amed Rosario on an 84-mph changeup. He did surrender a leadoff single to Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers in the second inning but retired the next three batters, with Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez fanning on an 83-mph changeup and Blue Jays DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doing the same on a 95-mph fastball.

While Honeywell was the most impressive performer at the Futures Game, several other prospects provided memorable moments as well:

Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox
Just like he did in the Fall Stars Game, Kopech followed Honeywell with some dominance of his own. His first pitch was 99 mph and six of his nine offerings reached triple digits, including the two hardest fastballs of the game at 100.9 and 100.8 mph. He concluded his perfect third inning by striking out White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada, MLBPipeline.com's No. 1-rated prospect and the 2016 Futures Game MVP, with the 100.9-mph heater.

Brian Anderson, DH/3B, Marlins
Every member of the U.S. starting lineup had at least one hit, but only Anderson of the host Marlins had two. He doubled off a 95-mph fastball from Padres right-hander Cal Quantrill to start a two-run second inning, and pulled a 100-mph fastball from Mariners right-hander Thyago Vieira for a ground single in the seventh.

Thyago Vieira, RHP, Mariners
Speaking of Vieira, he topped triple digits even more than Kopech. He fired eight fastballs that registered at 100 mph or quicker, topping out at 100.7 mph on a whiff of White Sox catcher Zack Collins. His next three pitches all hit 100 against Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery, who flied out to right.

Brendan Rodgers, 2B, Rockies
Rodgers made the defensive play of the game in the third inning. Padres first baseman Josh Naylor smashed a 100-mph Kopech fastball toward second base with an exit velocity of 106 mph (the sixth-hardest hit ball of the game). The grounder had a hit probability of 67 percent according to Statcast™, but Rodgers snared it with a backhand, did a 360 and threw Naylor out at the plate. He also singled, walked and had a sacrifice fly.

Rodgers' nice defensive stop

Ryan McMahon, 1B, Rockies
Colorado prospects provided all of the best defensive highlights. In the ninth inning, McMahon reached well into the World dugout and nearly tumbled in as he snatched a foul pop off the bat of Guerrero. He also ended the game by making a nifty tag on Brewers second baseman Mauricio Dubon when Anderson's throw pulled McMahon off the bag.

McMahon's tremendous catch

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., DH/3B, Blue Jays
In between striking out against Honeywell and fouling out to McMahon, the youngest player in the Futures Game (18 years, three months) collected a pair of hits. He lined a 99-mph fastball from Orioles left-hander Tanner Scott to center field in the fifth and grounded a 93-mph heater from Diamondbacks right-hander Jon Duplantier to center in the seventh.

Tomas Nido, C, Mets
A late addition to the game in place of Victor Caratini, whom the Cubs promoted to the big leagues, Nido played a large part in the World's near comeback from an early 7-0 deficit. He produced a pair of opposite-field RBI singles in the seventh and ninth innings, handling a 93-mph fastball from Duplantier and doing a nice job of staying back on a changeup from Athletics left-hander A.J. Puk.

Nido's second RBI single

Beau Burrows, RHP, Tigers
Though overshadowed by Honeywell and Kopech, Burrows was just as effective. He needed just 15 pitches to work a perfect fourth inning, striking out Rosario on a 97-mph fastball and Devers on a 99-mph bolt.

Derek Fisher, OF, Astros
Fisher drew a walk and scored the game's initial run in the first inning. He provided the U.S. club with just enough cushion in the fourth, driving in its final two runs with a double off Yankees right-hander Domingo Acevedo -- who gave up four hits on his first six pitches.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.