Fireworks took flight from the roof of Coors Field at the conclusion of the national anthem prior to first pitch of Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Earlier in the afternoon, they were coming in a different form.
Baseball’s top prospects took aim at the Coors Field outfield seats during batting practice -- long regarded as an informal home run derby of sorts -- and did not disappoint.
On last week’s edition of the Pipeline Podcast, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo each chose four power bats to unofficially compete against each other for bragging rights in 2021. Team Callis consisted of top Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman (MLB’s No. 2 overall), top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic (No. 4), top Giants prospect Marco Luciano (No. 12) and second-ranked Cardinals prospect Nolan Gorman (No. 28), while Team Mayo’s quartet was comprised of Tigers 1-2 teammates Spencer Torkelson (baseball’s No. 3) and Riley Greene (No. 15) along with Mariners No. 2 Julio Rodríguez (No. 5) and top Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 7).
Thanks to late heroics of Torkelson and Greene, who hit in the American League team’s last batting practice group, Team Mayo pulled away for the victory. Callis’ picks led heading into that final round, combining for 10 homers with Rutschman belting five, Gorman cranking three and Kelenic and Luciano each hitting one.
Then Torkelson went off, hammering 10 homers on his own as part of the AL’s final group. Greene and Rodríguez each tallied four, and Witt tacked on one to lead Mayo’s group to victory according to MLB Pipeline’s unofficial counts.
The eight selected hitters weren’t the only ones to impress with their power. Top Mets prospect Francisco Álvarez cranked nine blasts, reaching the concourse in left field on at least one. Resurgent No. 5 Royals prospect Nick Pratto belted seven. Second-ranked White Sox prospect Yoelqui Cespedes swatted four, and No. 2 Phillies talent Bryson Stott matched that mark. Young Yankees phenom and New York's top prospect Jasson Dominguez launched one.