As it does every year, Major League Baseball’s 2017 Futures Game featured a host of talented position players — No. 1 overall prospect Yoan Moncada, No. 3 prospect Amed Rosario and the much-hyped Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to name a few.
And Brent Honeywell mowed them all down.
Honeywell, the No. 2-ranked player in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system and the 22nd ranked prospect in baseball, started on the mound Sunday for Team USA against Team World and downright dazzled the Marlins Park crowd. The 22-year-old right-hander pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four of the seven batters he faced with the help of a nasty screwball.
Yes, a screwball. Here’s a look at the pitch in action:
If you look closely, Honeywell’s pitch actually tails slightly in on the left-handed Alex Verdugo before diving slightly away and sharply down. Good luck hitting that.
According to MLB.com, Honeywell learned the unique pitch from his father’s cousin, Mike Marshall, who won a Cy Young award in 1974 by relying on a devastating screwball. Honeywell throws his screwball sparingly, though, mixing it in with a mid-90s fastball and a solid changeup. A quick look at his highlights from Sunday proves those pitches are quite effective, as well.
Honeywell has struggled a bit since making the jump to Triple-A this season, posting a 4.54 ERA through 15 starts. But after earning Futures Game MVP honors in Team USA’s 8-7 win, he proved his sweet stuff can baffle some of the best prospects in baseball.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images