The 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star festivities kicked off in Kansas City on Sunday night in the form of the 14th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game. Both representatives chosen for the game from the Mets organization hail from the Double A Binghamton Mets. Infielder Wilmer Flores, making his second appearance in the annual game, and top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, making his first trip, actually played for opposite teams in the World Futures versus US Futures setup.
Flores started at third base for the World team, managed by ex-New York Yankee Bernie Williams. He played until the bottom of the fifth inning when he was replaced by Carlos Sanchez.
Flores’ first at bat came in the top of the second inning, and at bat in which he faced fellow Eastern League prospect Gerrit Cole, a member of the Altoona Curve. Flores grounded out in the at bat, third baseman Mike Olt to Team USA’s first baseman Jonathan Singleton.
At bat number two for Flores came in the top of the third inning. In this at bat, Flores faced Danny Hultzen, a left handed pitcher from the Seattle Mariners organization currently playing for the Triple A Tacoma Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League. Mike Olt would figure in the put out for this at bat as well as Flores hit a soft liner to the third baseman which he easily caught.
In the field, Flores figured in one play over his four innings, throwing out Kansas City prospect Wil Myers in the first inning.
Zack Wheeler was originally slated to pitch the ninth inning for George Brett’s Team USA, but actually was brought in to finish out the eighth inning and throw to one batter in the top of the ninth.
The first batter Wheeler faced was Jesus Aguilar, currently a member of the Carolina Mudcats in the Carolina League, Single A Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Wheeler threw three pitches to Aguilar, a 98 MPH fastball for a called strike, an 88 MPH slider for a swinging strike, and the third pitch, an 80 MPH curveball, was hit to center fielder Wil Myers for the third out of the inning.
The second and final batter Wheeler faced was Oswaldo Arcia who plays for Eastern League rival New Britain. Wheeler threw four straight fastballs to Arcia which registered 95, 97, 90, and 97 MPH respectively. After two balls and one foul, Arcia put the ball into play grounding out third to first.
At game’s end, bragging rights belong to Wheeler over Flores as the U.S. Futures defeated the World Futures by a score of 17-5.
The U.S. has now won eight Futures Games, while the World Team has taken six.