Sixto Sanchez let all of baseball see his 100 mph fastball. Isan Diaz showcased his defensive prowess and patience at the plate.
Two pieces of the Miami Marlins’ future were on full display Sunday during the 2019 MLB Futures Game in Cleveland, Ohio.
Both left their mark for the National League prospects, which tied the American League Prospects 2-2 in eight innings at Progressive Field.
Sanchez, the Marlins’ top prospect and the No. 22 overall prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline, faced three batters in the fifth inning, giving up a leadoff single to Angels prospect Jo Adell (MLB’s No. 4 prospect) before retiring Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic (No. 24 overall prospect) and Rangers prospect Sam Huff, who went on to hit a game-tying home run in the seventh.
Sanchez threw 13 pitches, seven of which went for strikes. His four-seam fastball velocity ranged from 98.1 mph to 100.2 mph. Five of the eight fastballs clocked in at 99.6 mph or faster.
His slider stayed steadily in the mid-to-high 80s.
Sanchez over the last couple weeks has shown over the last two weeks what he looks like at his best. Before a shaky start on Tuesday (eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings), the 6-0, 185-pound righty had given up just three earned runs on 16 hits and three walks while striking out 23 over 20 innings in his last three starts for Double A Jacksonville. For the season, which includes two starts in Class A Advanced Jupiter and 10 at the Double A level, Sanchez has a 4.05 ERA and has struck out 64 batters with just 14 walks.
Diaz started at second base for the NL and made a pair of stellar defensive plays in the fourth inning. The Marlins’ No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline tagged out Wander Franco attempting to steal second base for the first out of the inning. Two pitches later, Diaz proceeded to range to his right on a Nick Mandigral chopper, spin around and make the throw to first base for the second out.
Diaz went 0 for 3 with a walk in four plate appearances.
His second at-bat, a chopper down the third-base line, could have been an infield single if not for AL pitcher and Detroit Tigers prospect Matt Manning making a great charge on the ball. Regardless, that fourth-inning groundout moved Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom to second base. Kieboom eventually scored on a Taylor Trammell RBI single for the first of two runs in the inning.
Diaz drew a full-count walk against Royals pitcher prospect and former Florida Gator Brady Singer in the sixth.
Diaz, the No. 8 overall second baseman prospect in MLB, is hitting .289 with 20 home runs, 54 RBI and 69 runs scored this season for Triple A New Orleans. He has had both a 17-game hit streak and a five-game home run streak this season.
Outfielder Monte Harrison, the Marlins’ No. 2 overall prospect, was also selected to play in the game but had to withdraw due to a right wrist injury.