BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
The three-day All Star festivities are a celebrated time throughout Major League Baseball. Sunday’s Futures Game led off the many fireworks caused by Tigers players.
20-year-old Nick Castellanos, a top prospect in Detroit’s minor league system, was selected to represent the club in the 2012 Futures Game. He started at designated hitter for the U.S. Team, leading them to a convincing 17-5 victory over the World team.
Castellanos earned MVP of the game and rightfully so, with three hits including a three run home run.
That wasn’t the only good news linked to Castellanos, as it became known that he has been taking fly balls in left field during batting practice at AA Erie. This is a great sign for Tiger fans, as Castellanos is currently blocked from the Major Leagues with the third base position currently going to All Star Miguel Cabrera.
Monday night marked the annual Home Run Derby, where the best home run hitters compete against each other for the derby title. Prince Fielder participated in his fourth Home Run Derby, and first with the Tigers.
Fielder came into the derby hot, hitting home runs in each of his two previous games, but was still considered a long shot by experts to win the crown over favorites Robinson Cano and Jose Bautista.
Fielder barely advanced into the second round with only five home runs hit, but as the derby went on, his bat got hotter. He led the second round participants with 11 home runs to place himself in the final round for the derby title.
Fielder went up against the powerful Jose Bautista in the final round. Fielder started the final round with a bang, crushing 12 home runs into the Kauffman Stadium bleachers and fountains. He handily defeated Bautista 12-7 to win his second Home Run Derby title.
With his second derby title, Fielder joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to win multiple derby titles.
Fielder also becomes the only player in derby history to win a title in each league.
The 83rd All Star Game was dominated by the National League All Stars, as they shutout the American League All Stars 8-0, the largest shutout in the history of the All Star Game.
Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander took the mound to start for the American League All Stars. Verlander was rocked in his only inning pitched, allowing five earned runs on four hits and two walks while racking up two strikeouts.
Verlander did however put his name in the record books, becoming the first pitcher in All Star Game history to allow 5 earned runs in only one inning pitched. In his defense, Verlander usually doesn’t start a game throwing high 90’s fastballs, as he prefers to save his scorching stuff until he needs it in a late game situation to overpower hitters.
Fielder and Cabrera didn’t provide much offensive support for the American League, with the duo combining for an 0-3 night. Fielder looked sluggish after his amazing night in the Home Run Derby, but still managed to hit two deep outs to center and left field. Cabrera was brought into the game as a defensive substitute, but immediately hit into an inning ending double play in his only at bat.
Detroit’s four main representatives in each of the three events this past week definitely showed up big for their organization, achieving two of the three highest honors available.
The Tigers start their second half run on Friday, as they visit the Baltimore Orioles for a quick three game series.