Nick Castellanos went 3 for 4 with a walk, scored three runs, drove in three runs, hit a monster home run to deep center field and was named the MVP of the futures game. Team USA beat the World team 17-5 to kick off the All Star week festivities in Kansas City on Sunday. Castellanos is the second highest rated prospect in the Tiger organization, currently playing third base for double-A Erie, but played the entire futures game as designated hitter for Team USA.
Tiger catching prospect Rob Brantly went 1 for 3 with an RBI double and scored a run in Team USA's victory. Castellanos singled to lead off the sixth inning, and Brantly laced a double deep into the gap to score Castellanos from first as part of a nine run sixth inning. Brantly also gunned down Oscar Taveras on a stolen base attempt at second base in the fifth inning. Brantly did not start the game, but came in at the start of the fifth inning, just in time for all the offensive fireworks for Team USA.
The other tiger prospect at the futures game, Erie closer Bruce Rondon, was called in for the World team with one out in the eighth, and retired both batters he faced. Rondon was slated to be the closer for the World team, but when it became obvious that there was not going to be a save situation for the World team, he was summoned from the bullpen and got both hitters to ground out easily. Rondon threw four pitches, three of them at 101 mph and the fourth measured 102 on the clock.
All Star week activities continue on Monday with the Home Run derby, where Prince Fielder will represent the Tigers. The derby will be televised on ESPN at 8 pm, EDT.
P.S. Big Al wanted me to be sure to mention that Castellanos does not play second base!