Grant Green wins Futures game MVP
PHOENIX -- Grant Green thought back to the last time he was an MVP.
It was three years ago, and he was representing Chatham in the Cape Cod League All-Star game.
"The only thing I really remember is I got a home run to center to tie the game after there were three streakers that ran toward me in the middle of my at-bat," he said.
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Green took home the MVP of the All-Star Futures game Sunday, doubling twice to help the U.S. beat the World team 6-4.
A 23-year-old infielder taken by Oakland in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft, Green had an RBI pinch-hit double in the fifth inning that put the U.S. ahead 3-0. Then, with the Americans trailing 4-3, he doubled off Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera to start a three-run rally in the eighth.
It was the second straight Futures appearance for Green, who was 1 for 2 with an RBI last year at Anaheim, Calif., near his home.
"A little bit less hectic than last year," he said. "It's just one game. I had a good game today. If I go back and have 20 straight good games at Midland, that would be a lot better than having the one good game here. It doesn't really make you feel like you're any closer."
He played second base, even though he's a shortstop for Double-A Midland, where he's hitting .288 with 21 doubles, four homers and 40 RBIs.
"The dream for me would be to be a big league shortstop, 10 years, 15 years a big league shortstop," he said. "But if they tell me I'll be out there tomorrow playing third base or whatever, there's nothing I can do. The whole goal is just to get there."
The Los Angeles Dodgers' Alfredo Silverio hit a long two-run homer to left off Cleveland's Drew Pomeranz in a four-run sixth, and Philadelphia's Sebastian Valle tied the score with an RBI double down the left-field line. Texas' Jurickson Profar, an 18-year-old switch-hitting shortstop who played for Curacao in the 2004 and 2005 Little League World Series, then tripled in front of the right-center swimming pool on the first pitch from Minnesota's Kyle Gibson for a 4-3 lead.
Green doubled in the eighth off the 25-foot wall in center, the deepest part of the ballpark.
"That wall is huge," he said. "They ought to lower that thing, make me feel good about myself."
Tampa Bay's Tim Beckham doubled him home to tie it and, two outs later, the New York Yankees' Austin Romine singled to left. Romine, who went 2 for 2, is at Double-A Trenton behind Jesus Montero, another top Yankees' prospect who is at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"Everybody here, especially pitchers on the opposing team, throws hard. They all throw about 95," Romine said. "You rise to the occasion and it is fun. We have such emotion playing in a big league park."
Colorado's Nolan Arenado chased Herrera, the loser, with a double down the right-field line.
Philadelphia's Jarred Cosart struck out two in the eighth for the win. The Mets' Matt Harvey got the final out for save.
Cleveland's Jason Kipnis, who helped Arizona State reach the College World Series two years ago, homered against Atlanta's Julio Teheran leading off the first as the U.S. built a 3-0 lead.
"This my second time playing in a big league stadium, but there could have been no one in the stands and I would have had a great time," Kipnis said.
It's just one game. I had a good game today. If I go back and have 20 straight good games at Midland, that would be a lot better than having the one good game here.” -- A's prospect Grant Green
St. Louis right-hander Carlos Martinez impressed with a 96-98 mph fastball in a scoreless fourth for the World team.
Bryce Harper, the top pick in last year's amateur draft, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and two groundouts. He took a called third strike on a fastball in the first, grounded out in the third and sixth innings, then fanned in the eighth with the potential go-ahead run on second. The 18-year-old was promoted by the Washington Nationals to Double-A on July 4 after hitting .318 at Class A with 14 homers, 46 RBIs and 19 steals.
He made a strong throw home on Romine's go-ahead single, but it was offline to the third-base side of the plate.
"I was trying to show it off," he said. "In a real game I would have tried to hit the cut off man but in this kind of game I was tying to show it off and see what happens."
It was 101 outside at gametime -- down from 110 Saturday afternoon and 118 on July 2 -- but a comfy 76 inside Chase Field, where the roof hasn't been open for a game since Arizona played the Chicago White Sox on June 17. All was clear, a contrast to the sandstorm that blew a mile-high wall of dust through Phoenix five days earlier.
Mike Piazza managed the U.S. to its seventh win in 13 Futures games. Luis Gonzalez, whose ninth-inning single off the Yankees' Mariano Rivera won Game 7 of the 2001 World Series on this field, managed the World team.
"There's so many good arms out there. Did any kid throw under 94, 95 out there?" Gonzalez said. "We told them before the game this is a chance to showcase to the whole world what they can do with millions of people watching."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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