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Recapping the Futures Game and the Braves within

A look at how Ronald Acuna and Mike Soroka looked as the US beat the World 7-6.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The 2017 MLB Futures Game has ended and the outcome was a 7-6 win for the United States team over a World team with a stacked lineup. The US went up 7-0 fairly quickly, including one of those runs off Mike Soroka(more coming on that below), but the World team slowly clawed their way back into the game and cut it to 7-6. The World team finished the game with the winning run at the plate as AJ Puk got Mauricio Dubon to ground out to third on a somewhat exciting play because the throw was offline and the first baseman needed to reach to tag Dubon out as he tried to avoid the tag. Tampa pitcher Brent Honeywell won the MVP after starting the game and giving up one hit and striking out four over two innings of work for the US team, becoming the first ever pitcher to win the award.

Mike Soroka pitched the third inning and gave up one run on one hit overall. He started out by hitting Phillies first base prospect Rhys Hoskins on the first pitch he threw. Nick Senzel came up next and hit a hard grounder at short, and on what could have been a double play- and I say could have been because it would have been a close play- the second baseman made an errant throw to first base, which let Senzel advance to second with one out in the inning. Kyle Tucker followed, and Soroka made a mistake by leaving a pitch up, allowing Tucker to rip a double off the left field wall to score Senzel on an unearned run.

Soroka settled down after that. Brian Anderson came up next and struck out, as Soroka changed speeds on pitches that read 94, 89, and his max reading of 95 on the day as Soroka mostly topped out at 94 MPH. Chance Sisco followed and hit a dribbler to second, and Yoan Moncada made the play to end the inning.

Soroka made one mistake in the inning, but mostly pitched well on the big stage. He sat in the mid-90s velocity wise with his fastball and pounded the bottom of the strike zone while showing his full arsenal of pitches.

As for Ronald Acuna, he had four at bats. The first one was a fly out to right, but it was an impressive long at bat where he drew the count full by taking a couple of pitches early in the at bat. His second at bat was even more impressive even though he struck out. That at bat was a 10 pitch at bat where he fell down 1-2 after three pitches and found a way to take a pair of balls as well as foul off four pitches against Tanner Scott, who was sitting in that 98-100 MPH range. Scott ended the at bat by finally throwing something other than pure heat, causing Acuna to swing and miss at a pitch he wasn’t expecting. Regardless of the outcome, those were both some impressive at bats for a young bat on a huge stage against premium pitching.

Acuna’s third at bat caused some controversy because it was not shown on MLB Network as it came at the exact moment they cut away from the Futures Game to go to the ninth inning of the White Sox/Rockies game to show Kyle Freeland’s no hitter attempt that fell two outs short. According to Twitter, he smoked a line drive off the barrel with big 112.3 exit velocity, but it was unfortunately caught despite a 78% hit probability. His fourth at bat after taking a ball, he flew out to center on the second pitch.

Acuna also had a huge throw to the plate, showing off both the strength and accuracy of his arm, and that was definitely one of his better moments as he just missed throwing out a runner at the plate.

During the broadcast’s Jonathan Mayo admitted that no prospect ranking had as much negative criticism from fans as them under-ranking Ronald Acuna at the start of the season and made comments about how well Braves fans know their team’s farm system. Mayo also promised a significant move up for Acuna in the upcoming midseason prospect rankings. Overall it was quite a successful day for Acuna.

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