Conforto, Giolito stand out in Futures Game

CINCINNATI -- This year's All-Star Futures Game was an unfortunate blowout, as the World team was light on pitching while the U.S. team was loaded with polished bats who had no trouble turning around good velocity. The game was also short a number of prospects (due to injuries, promotions and teams declining to send certain players) who would have made it more interesting from a scouting perspective, but here's my take on the standouts from Sunday's contest.

New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was my pick for game MVP -- which is a somewhat ridiculous award anyway -- with singles in both at-bats and a throw from left field to nail a runner at the plate. Both he and Chicago Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber, who won the MVP award, were taken in the top 10 picks in the 2014 draft. Schwarber smoked a two-run triple on a 93 mph fastball up right after lefty Jarlin Garcia got him to an 0-2 count on a slider away. Schwarber threw a runner out on a first-inning steal attempt with a throw of 2 seconds flat, but had a couple of fastballs out of the zone go right by him when he was behind the plate.

Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit the game's only home run -- which I thought made you the automatic MVP -- on a 92 mph fastball right down the chute, and made a very good scoop on a bounce throw, better than anything I saw him do on defense when I caught Double-A Altoona two weeks ago.

• Trea Turner, the Washington Nationals' shortstop of the future (hint: Sept. 1 counts as "the future"), also smoked two extra-base hits, including a triple to the left-center gap on a 97 mph fastball. His swing was a little longer and more rotational than when he was an amateur, which is how he could drive the ball like that, and he's visibly stronger as well so he can turn on that kind of velocity.

• Turner replaced Philadelphia Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford, who took a great at-bat his first time up and then lined an off-speed pitch away for a single to right-center. He also made one of the game's few great defensive plays with a perfectly timed leap to steal a hit from Manuel Margot.

• If you watched, you know why I've rated Raul Mondesi Jr. so highly -- his range at shortstop and his instincts are both outstanding, and he's a 70 runner who isn't going to have to hit a ton to be an average big league regular. He made two plays on balls well to his left and made them both look fairly routine.

• On the mound, Nationals pitcher Lucas Giolito was, unsurprisingly, the most impressive pitcher, sitting 95-98 in two innings -- the second two-inning look I've had in the past few weeks -- and flashing a plus curveball again. He was overthrowing a little bit and didn't get close calls on the curveball, but was able to overpower guys with heat.

• Mark Appel's outing was quick, but he was 95-97 and working effectively up with the four-seamer -- I think he's better served with the two-seamer, but the Houston Astros want him throwing both -- and throwing two sliders, one plus and one he left up for a hit. His stats this season haven't fully demonstrated his upside, unfortunately, but the stuff is still there, as is the athleticism.

Toronto Blue Jays lefty Jairo Labourt was the pleasant surprise for me, as I hadn't seen him before and was impressed by his arm speed and the 95-96 mph fastball/83-87 mph changeup combo.

Chicago White Sox right-hander Frankie Montas hit 100 and 101 when striking out Kyle Farmer, but he has well below-average command and fastball life, so at 97 he was getting hit. If he can't live at 100, he's going to have to find a better second pitch or find a way to get some action on the heater.

San Francisco Giants right-hander Tyler Beede was only 88-90, but with heavy sink, instead of the 92-95 mph four-seamer he threw at Vanderbilt. He didn't seem to have a feel for his slider, slightly hanging one that New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez roped for a double to left-center, the World team's only extra-base hit on the day.

• A few readers have asked about Kansas City Royals first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor, who was first signed nine years ago by Toronto and has made a comeback that has him in Triple-A already. He's enormous, and he has power, but it's a strength approach rather than a quality swing. In BP, he had a hitch and was swinging up at the ball, although his one hit in the game came when he shortened up a little to just put the ball in play. I have a feeling major league pitchers will eat him alive, although he definitely has the power to run into some home runs if he can keep his contact rate above what I would project for him.

Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara had one of the best BP sessions, then had two hits in the game, one a line-drive hit on a slider left up and one an infield single. He's gotten so big and strong compared to when I first saw him at 17 that he's almost unrecognizable, but I love the swing and approach.

Colorado Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia has an Oscar Gamble crouch in his setup, but his hand-eye coordination is some of the best in the minors, and he ran better than I'd seen him run in the past. It's unorthodox, but as long as he keeps hitting I wouldn't change a thing.