CLEVELAND -- Taylor Trammell knows what it's like to play the hero in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, considering he was the Most Valuable Player one year ago when the game was played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Trammell's effort for a repeat performance this time around, however, may have fallen slightly short, though not from a lack of aggressive effort.
The National League was already ahead, 2-0 -- due in part to Trammell's RBI single earlier in the inning -- when Trammell ended the inning trying to steal home off Royals pitching prospect Kris Bubic and Tigers catching prospect Jake Rogers. The call was close, but the umpire ruled Rogers made the tag just ahead of Trammell's headfirst slide.
“I talked to [third base coach] Omar [Vizquel], and I said, ‘Hey, do you think I can get it? A lefty is up.’” Trammell said during an interview on MLB Network. “He really wasn’t looking over. So I said, ‘I think I can get it if I get a pretty good jump.’
“I got a good jump. I was in there. It stinks. But that’s just the name of the game.”
The call could very well have decided the game, as the NL held a 2-0 lead into the final frame, when Texas prospect Sam Huff hit a two-run blast to tie the game at 2. The NL escaped further damage in the inning and the game went to an extra inning and ended in a 2-2 tie. Had Trammell been called safe, the NL could have hung on to win 3-2 and he might very well have been the MVP again, something he admitted to thinking about before the game.
“I want to [win MVP again],” he said. “If I get it, I get it. If I don’t -- I am just happy to be here and blessed to have this opportunity again. If I get [MVP] again, it’s going to be awesome.”
Trammell, currently on the roster of the Reds' Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga, Tenn., is slashing .253/.337/.351 over 74 games this season. His experience playing in last year’s Futures Game may have helped him to calm the nerves that come along with playing in front of a large crowd in a Major League setting.
Trammell looked right at home when he drove in Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom with a base hit off Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic.
“I am really relaxed,” Trammel said during the Network interview. “I just told myself, ‘Look, calm down. You’ve already been here. You’ve already had this experience. Just calm down, relax and get a pitch you can hit.’ I got a pitch I can hit.
“Me and [Kieboom] grew up together. That was awesome. Just a little icing on the cake. Our moms are gonna love that. “
Having exposure to two Futures Games has been motivating for Trammell, who someday soon would like to be in an All-Star setting for more than a prospect showcase.
"I told my agent yesterday, this is great and I’m honored to be here. I love this and this is a great experience for me and my family, but going forward, I want to be here the next two days rather than here,” Trammell said. “I want to see the Home Run Derby, I want to see guys hit bombs. I want to play in the All-Star Game. That’s the kind of player I think I am and I want to be at that point."