I won't deny it: Even though the St. Louis Cardinals brought two of their top prospects to the 2012 MLB Futures Game, the main attraction for me was Cincinnati Reds shortstop Billy Hamilton, the USA team's leadoff man and the most dangerous baserunner in baseball. Hamilton has 100 stolen bases already down in the minors, and a trophy case of wild baserunning feats to go with it. So after his third-inning triple in the third inning of the Futures Game, it was perhaps reasonable for the World team to be focused on him. But that focus led directly to a three-base error when it came time to pitch to Cardinals prospect Kolten Wong.â†µ
With Hamilton's triple still on everyone's mind, No. 2 batter Wong dribbled a grounder to the pitcher that should have been an easy out. Instead, the pitcher turned to look Hamilton back at third base--on a routine grounder to the pitcher--and threw the ball away down the first-base line. Wong, himself faster-than-average, sprinted to third to take Hamilton's place.â†µ
For the most part I'm not convinced by attempts to rehabilitate the stolen base by overemphasizing the distraction it poses by pitchers, but in the third inning of the Futures Game, at least, we hyperfocused prospect nerds watched it happen.