The Futures game was somewhat uneventful for Phillies (and one former Phillies) prospects. Maikel Franco didn't get any defensive plays hit his way, and J.P. Crawford really only had one, a routine ground ball hit directly to him, which he handled cleanly and threw to first for the easy out. Former Phillies prospect Domingo Santana made 2 plate appearances and didn't do much (struck out in the 7th - 11 of his 13 MLB at-bats ended in strikeouts as well - and grounded out softly in the ninth. He made the routine plays on defense in the game though.
Crawford entered as a defensive replacement in the 5th inning. He then led of the 6th inning with an odd bloop single into center field that landed perfectly amid three different World Defenders. If that ball had been hit two feet in any direction, he would probably have been out. Crawford then stole second base on a rather high throw (would have been really close on a good throw). Of course, that was for naught when Rangers prospect Joey Gallo hit a baseball that still may not have landed for a two-run homer. Pre-game scouts and reporters raved about the power display Gallo put on in batting practice (Gallo was the 39th pick in 2012, one spot ahead of the Phillies' Shane Watson pick). Gallo was the story of the game last night (and honestly, by that time the announcing team on MLB seemed to have veered off course and into discussions on virtually everything but the game taking place). We aren't a Rangers blog, but for anyone curious, Gallo probably has the best power in the minors, an 80 tool. He also, however, has one of the highest K rates to go along with it. In his two seasons of ball his K rate has been in the 32-35% range. He's exciting, but those guys are very rarely successful in MLB. His home run was absurdly entertaining, though, and if he can do that, I'll root as hard as anyone for the guy to reduce his K rate substantially. After all, that would be fun to watch on a regular basis and guys like him, Bryant and Baez, will be a blast to watch as pros if they can keep the power on without K'ing themselves out of jobs (less a concern for Bryant). Back to Crawford: he grounded out up the middle in his second at bat. It was a harder hit ball that his first hit, but a very good defensive play wiped it out. So goes the luck.
Franco's evening was less eventful. He ended the game on his second at bat on a deep flyout to center after having flown out to right center his first time up. It was Franco's second Futures game (and hopefully his last). In spite of being listed as a first baseman on the roster, Franco took all of his pregame reps at third and entered the game there as well. The Hot Corner was very cold after Franco came on during the 5th as a defensive replacement. I assume this is because hitters feared his defense and aimed elsewhere, though it was likely luck. Either way, I can't type a damned thing more about his time on defense. We are lucky enough that Baseball America captured every Futures game BP and uploaded them to Youtube. Here is Franco's, and, as you'll see, that deep hand load to start his swing is still there. Sigh.
Mattwinks has a great summary of Franco's swing and performance at his excellent site, Phillies Minor Thoughts. Read it here. The final score was USA 3, World 2, which I think means the U.S. gets home field advantage in the next World War. No wait, that sounds like an awful idea.