Detroit Tigers’ Colt Keith, Justyn-Henry Malloy show strike-zone skills in Futures Game

Detroit Free Press

It might not be the challenge Detroit Tigers fans would like to see this season, but prospects Colt Keith and Justyn-Henry Malloy acquitted themselves well in their appearances in the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Saturday night at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Keith and Malloy, who have been teammates for approximately two weeks with Triple-A Toledo following Keith’s promotion from Double-A Erie, suited up for the AL squad. They combined to go 0-for-1 with three walks as the AL was shut out by the NL, 5-0, in a seven-inning contest during All-Star weekend.

Malloy, who began the year at third base before moving to the outfield with the Mud Hens, got the start at designated hitter, while Keith had to wait his turn. Malloy entered the game hitting .276 with a .402 on-base percentage and 14 homers in 81 games with the Mud Hens, while Keith’s .325/.391/.585 slash line earned him a move to Toledo, where he’s hitting .414/.471/.655 in his first eight Triple-A games.

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Malloy, the former Atlanta Braves prospect acquired by the Tigers in an offseason trade, went 0-for-1 with a strikeout, but showed the strike-zone judgment skills that have president of baseball operations so high on Malloy, as he also walked twice. Malloy worked five-pitch walks in the first and sixth innings, sandwiched around a two-out whiff with Keith on first base in the fourth.

Keith, the Tigers’ fifth-round pick in 2020, had entered in the fourth as a pinch-hitter for Tampa Bay Rays prospect Junior Caminero, who started the game at third base. Facing 21-year-old Milwaukee Brewers prospect Jacob Misiorowski, Keith blooped the fifth pitch of the at-bat, an 87.1 mph curveball, into center to reach base.

Keith came up again in the sixth inning against Pittsburgh Pirates prospect J.P Massey; the 21-year-old Keith worked a five-pitch walk off Massey, 23, by laying off several pitches below the strike zone. Massey followed that with two more walks, to Oakland A’s prospect Tyler Soderstrom and Malloy, to load the bases. But Boston Red Sox prospect Nick Yorke struck out on a foul tip to end the AL’s chance with runners in scoring position.

The AL went 0-for-8 with RISPs, while the NL’s two hits in nine tries with runners in scoring position was enough for a decisive victory. Miami Marlins prospect Nasim Nuñez, 22, drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the top of the sixth inning.

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