Aguilar and Lindor Shine In MLB Futures Game
By Christian Petrila
The 2012 Futures Game was a showcase of the brightest young talent the Major Leagues have to offer. In this case, the USA used a nine-run sixth to dominate the World Team to win, 17-5.
Aguilar was the starting first baseman for the World Team. His first at bat came in the top of the second against Pittsburgh’s flame throwing pitcher Gerrit Cole. After falling behind 1-2 and seeing some pitches between 98 and 100 MPH, Aguilar drew a seven-pitch walk. He came around to score when Cubs prospect Jae-Hoon Ha hit a two-out home run to give the World a 3-0 lead.
His second at bat was against another top pitching prospect –Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy – to lead off the top of the fourth. After watching two fastballs miss for balls, Aguilar took a good cut on 2-0 and lined a single right back up the middle. He advanced to second when Ha singled for his second hit of the game. However, with Christian Bethancourt batting, Bundy threw a pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Tommy Joseph. Aguilar tried to advance to third, but Joseph did an excellent job getting to the ball and threw a perfect strike to third to get Aguilar out.
Aguilar’s third plate appearance was against another Pirates pitcher. This time, it was 2010 first rounder Jameson Taillon. Aguilar worked a 2-1 count before flying out to medium-deep center.
His fourth and final at bat came with two outs in the eighth against Mets prospect Zack Wheeler. Wheeler kept Aguilar guessing by throwing three pitches. Their speeds were 98, 88 and 80 respectively. Aguilar flew out to left center on the 80 MPH pitch. His final line was 1-3 with a single, walk and run scored.
It took a while longer for Indians fans to see their number one prospect, Francisco Lindor. He entered the game as a defensive substitute for Texas’ Jurickson Profar in the fifth. His first and only at bat of the game came in the seventh against Seattle’s Taijuan Walker. Lindor wasted no time at the plate as he slapped a 95 MPH fastball into right field for a single. Lindor had a chance to bat in the ninth, but he was in the on-deck circle when the final out was recorded.
A fun little blooper occurred during the nine-run sixth. After a tough barehanded throw to first from third baseman Carlos Sanchez, Aguilar lost count of the outs and began jogging toward the dugout. He caught himself pretty quickly and laughingly tossed the ball back to the mound.
Overall, the 2012 Futures Game was a success for the Indians’ two representatives. They both made solid contact and had at bats that any scout would approve of. Maybe it’s only a matter of time before they play on All-Star Tuesday rather than All Star Sunday.