This past weekend I spent a few days at the MLB All-Star Fan Fest and last night I attended the Futures Game (plus the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game that followed).
If you haven't been to an MLB Fan Fest before, it's a pretty great experience and it runs through Tuesday so you still have time to call in sick to work and make the trek down to San Diego if you live in SoCal.
I posted a bunch of pics from the Fan Fest as well as the Futures Game in the gallery attached to this post. Sorry for the sideways pics, for some reason SB Nation posted them all in landscape even though some were taken in portrait mode. All the photos have captions you can read, but I'd like to point out that former Angel Mark Trumbo has the cheapest HR Derby ball if you look at the game used merchandise list pic. I found that kinda strange since he is the #1 seed but I guess he's just not as popular as the other guys.
- MLB Fan Fest
- Angels Stadium Grass sample at MLB Fan Fest
- Mike Trout Sample locker @ MLB Fan Fest
- Angels Minor League Hats
- Apparently Trumbo isn't worth much
- Wanna buy a helmet?
- MLB Block Party
- Futures Game BP
- USA & World Teams @ Futures Game Nate Smith is number 14 on near side
- Nate Smith at the Futures Game
- Nate Smith warming up
- Nate Smith's final tally
- Jennie Finch @ the Softball game
- Jeff Spicoli showed up to take in the game
The Futures game was pretty exciting and these young dudes lived up to their hype (mostly).
Nate Smith also pitched in this game and stuck out the game MVP and #1 MLB prospect Yoan Moncada (Red Sox). Aside from that Moncada K, Smith didn't look all that great and Bleacher Report actually gave him an F for his performance, saying he just doesn't have plus stuff. The later is probably true and the main reason why Smith's ceiling has always been as a #4 or #5 starter.
Smith threw 15 pitches, 10 of them for strikes. His final line was 4 hits, 0 walks, 1K, and 2 runs allowed in 1.0 IP. He did register an official Hold in the game for his 1 inning of work, despite the runs he gave up.
There were some pretty spectacular plays in the game including catches by Manual Margot (Padres) and Eloy Jimenez (Cubs). Also of note was Alex Bregman (Astros) who was a homerun shy of the cycle and showed he was MLB-ready. That Houston infield is going to be a force to reckon with for years to come with Altuve, Correa, and Bregman.
Vladimir Guerrero was missing from the Celebrity & Legends softball game and it appeared Curtis Pride took his place on the AL roster. While I was looking forward to seeing Vlady, Pride hit a 2 run bomb and also made a pretty great catch in left field to save an extra base hit. Go Angels!
Actor Tyler Hoechlin was the game's MVP. Probably helps that he had played baseball since age 7 (and for Arizona State) and is in his athletic prime at 28 years old but this dude looked amazing in the field with some pretty spectacular plays, a great arm, and he hit a home run. Sign him up Arte! I'll be he can play a killer left field.