WASHINGTON -- Reds Minor League outfielder Taylor Trammell had just accepted the Future Games MVP trophy Sunday evening and had said all the right things about being thankful for the opportunity, thrilled to be part of the event and happy he'd been at his best on a large stage.But he
WASHINGTON -- Reds Minor League outfielder Taylor Trammell had just accepted the Future Games MVP trophy Sunday evening and had said all the right things about being thankful for the opportunity, thrilled to be part of the event and happy he'd been at his best on a large stage.
But he kept circling the conversation back to a guy sitting on the other side of the clubhouse, to another youngster Cincinnati is building a bright and shiny future around.
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"Hunter Greene is 18 years old and throwing 102 mph," Trammell kept saying. "Did he hit 103? He didn't throw a fastball under 100, right? The potential for him is just limitless."
This was a day for the Reds to celebrate what they are building. Trammell, 20, homered and tripled, and Greene, 18, blew up the radar gun at Nationals Park as their Team USA beat the World, 10-6 -- an eight-homer slugfest in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
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On a day when baseball's best players put on a showcase of blazing fastballs and eye-popping power, no organization had more to be happy about than the Reds. They've been one of baseball's surprise first-half stories, going 40-38 under interim manager Jim Riggleman.
Through it all, the Reds have made it clear that the best is yet to come, thanks to a Minor League system being replenished and quickly. So here were two of their best young players proving the point. Trammell is at Class A Advanced Daytona, Greene at Class A Dayton. Trammell homered in the bottom of the sixth inning -- a tiebreaking solo shot that was projected to travel 438 feet by Statcast™ -- and then banged a triple off the center-field wall in the eighth.
Now about that triple. Trammell rounded first base and signaled "two" with his fingers, thinking he'd homered for a second time.
"I hit the ball and thought I got it," he said. "I looked over to the dugout, and they were going crazy. I was like,
I got it.' I was just having a little bit of fun with those guys. I didn't see it hit the wall, but when I saw the center fielder running, I was like,Oh, this can't be happening.' I'm not going to hear the end of it."
Hey, slow down. How about some perspective? He'd just had a day he's likely to remember for the rest of his life. That's what he set out to do, right? That's why they play games like this.
"I talked to Cespedes Family BBQ about it [before the game]," he said. "It's an All-Star Game. I'm going to have as much fun as possible without trying to go overboard or anything like that. I'm just having a blast.
"I'm very happy my family got to see me perform today. I'm glad I got to showcase what I had to the world. I'm very thankful for the Futures Game and the Reds organization for selecting me. I'm glad I got to bring some hardware to Cincinnati."
One of his teammates at Daytona, first baseman Bruce Yari, had told him to bring a souvenir back from the Futures Game. As Trammell put it, "You know when you were in preschool someone would go on a trip to Europe or someplace like that, and they'd bring back some taffy or something to the whole class."
He pointed toward the MVP trophy and said, "I think that right there is good enough to give them back. Bruce, that's for you."
Back to Greene. He pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed two hits and a run -- a home run by White Sox prospect Luis Alexander Basabe.
When asked what pitch Basabe hit, Greene said: "102 mph, inside [part of the plate]. He turned on it. I tip my cap to that guy."
To be precise: 102.3 mph was the pitch Basabe hit. According to Statcast™, no pitch that fast has been hit for a home run in the Majors since Rafael Devers took Albertin Chapman deep last season on a 102.8-mph heater.
"It's amazing to get the opportunity to play at this stage," Greene said, "and to be with the best guys in the Minor Leagues is really cool. To see everybody do their thing and to play the game we love. It's a great way to go compete and then go back to our season and to learn what the guys at the higher level are playing like and what they know."
He'd been assigned Bryce Harper's locker in the Nationals clubhouse and said that just added to the experience. That and competing against the best prospects.
"It's special," he said. "I'm taking it all in as much as I can. I'm going to be able to say I pitched against these guys when they get called up."
That goes both ways. Plenty of these guys will say they got to play with and against Greene and Trammell in the Futures Game. That's likely to mean something, too.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.