Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon both pitched in the MLB Futures Game this afternoon, both throwing an inning. Cole gave up two runs on a walk and a two run homer, while striking out two. Taillon gave up a run on two doubles. Here is a detailed report of how each pitcher threw.
Gerrit Cole got off to a good start in the second inning. He got his first batter to strike out on four pitches, with the last pitch being a 99 MPH fastball. He followed that up with a three pitch chopper to third base for the second out. After starting off with a low 89 MPH ball, Cole threw an 88 MPH changeup with backdoor movement for a strike looking, and got the chopper to third on a 97 MPH fastball.
Cole ran in to trouble with two outs. Cleveland prospect Jesus Aguilar battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a walk. That included laying off a high, 100 MPH fastball for ball two. With Aguilar on first, Cole started elevating his pitches, and it cost him. On a 2-1 count, Cole left a 95 MPH fastball up in the zone, missing his catcher’s low target, and Cubs prospect Jae-Hoon Ha took him for a two run homer to right field.
Cole bounced back with a strikeout to end the inning. Cole needed three pitches to finish the frame. He started with a high, inside 96 MPH fastball, then followed that with two outside sliders, with the last one being 87 MPH for a swinging strike three.
Taillon also gave up a few hits in the sixth inning. Against the first batter he gave up a double down the left-field line on a 2-2 fastball that hit 98 MPH on the gun. Taillon got a fly ball to center field for out number two against Jesus Aguilar. He gave up another double, this time on a curveball that was ripped down the right field line, just inside the first base bag. The curve was aimed down and inside, and didn’t quite drop as much, but wasn’t left up. Similar to the 98 MPH fastball, Taillon made a good pitch, but the batter made a better swing.
Taillon did have one mistake, but was bailed out by shortstop Manny Machado, who was taken one pick after Taillon. Taillon hung a curve to Christian Bethancourt, who looped a slow liner over short. Machado ranged back and made a leaping catch, then tossed the ball to second to double up the runner for the final out.
Taillon was mostly 96-98 MPH, hitting 98 a few times. His fastball looked good, although his curve wasn’t as sharp, dealing with some control issues. He threw one changeup, at 87 MPH, for a swinging strike.