2023 Futures Game Superlatives: Nasim Nunez Surprises With MVP Showing


Image credit: Nasim Nunez (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The 2023 Futures Game took place on Saturday afternoon in Seattle. In front of a larger Futures Game crowd, the Marlins’ Nasim Nunes hit a three-run double to lock up the victory for the National League. The offense was subdued in this game as there were only 11 total hits and 5 total runs, all scored by the NL team. Jacob Misiorowski was the data standout of this game—he hit 100 mph 10 times in this game and threw 11 of the 12 hardest pitches in the game. The Red Sox’s Luis Guerrero was the only other pitcher to hit 100 mph. While Misiorwski clearly locked up the best fastball superlative, there’s plenty of other Futures Game performances worthy of superlatives. 

Best Player: Nasim Nunez, SS, Marlins

The infielder came to the plate once and connected for an RBI double that plated three runs. While he’s an unlikely hero, Nunez came through in a clutch moment to deliver a death blow to the AL side’s chances of mounting a comeback. 

Best Hitter: Colt Keith, 3B, Tigers

The Tigers’ infielder was one of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues entering the break and that didn’t slow down during the Futures Game. Keith connected for a single in the fourth and then walked in the sixth, getting on base twice without making an out. 

Best Power: Brady House, 3B, Nationals

House showed his ability to impact the baseball before the game in batting practice but also during the game by hitting a 104.2 mph single off of Sem Robberse. This was the hardest hit non-out of the game, and it came during an inning where the National League scored three runs. 

Best Batting Practice: Brady House, 3B, Nationals

What a difference a year has made for House, as he’s returned to health this season and continued his impressive play, including on Saturday. In the batting practice session no player matched House’s power output as he slugged eight home runs. At one point during his first round of batting practice House hit a home run on three consecutive swings. House didn’t cheat any of his home runs over the wall—he hit multiple home runs into the upper deck. 

Best Defensive Play: Jonatan Clase, OF, Mariners

Jonatan Clase made a diving catch in the top of the second to rob Justin Crawford of a hit with the bases loaded. Clase showed off his 70-grade speed as he motored forward to make the diving catch.  

Best Arm: Drew Gilbert, OF, Astros

The former Tennessee star made some tremendous throws from center field during outfield warm ups, showing excellent carry and strength on his throws without overthrowing the intended target. 

Best Pitcher: Joey Cantillo, LHP, Guardians

Going to a pitcher for five outs in the Futures Game is highly unusual but Cantillo did it in style. His fastball topped out at 97.9 mph, which was his season high, and he generated four of his five whiffs against the pitch. Cantillo used four pitches—his four-seam fastball, slider, changeup and curveball, throwing 24 pitches total. Cantillo came on for Will Klein in the top of the second inning, striking out two and walking one.

Best Fastball: Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Brewers

Misiorowski’s fastball was electric—the Brewers righthander hit 102.4 mph and touched 100 mph 10 times during his inning of work. His fastball generated three whiffs on seven swings and his softest fastball of the game was still harder than all but one fastball (Luis Guerrero 100 mph) by any other pitcher. 

Best Breaking Ball: David Festa, RHP, Twins

Festa threw his slider four times during his inning of work and generated three whiffs on three swings for a 100% swing rate. Festa must have had the scouting report on Jackson Chourio—he threw him nothing but sliders, striking out the Brewers’ top prospect on three pitches. 

Best Changeup: Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, Giants

This award likely comes as no surprise to those that have watched Whisenhunt prior to the Futures Game. He possesses a truly dominant changeup and the pitch performed as it was supposed to, generating two whiffs on two swings for a 100% whiff rate. Whisenhunt generated a left-on-left whiff against his changeup—he got the No. 2 prospect in baseball, Jackson Holliday, to swing through an 81.8 mph pitch that generated 17 inches of arm-side run. 

Biggest Surprise: Nasim Nunez, SS, Marlins

Not only did Nunez connect in a big moment, his double drove in 60% of the runs in the game.

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