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Chicago Cubs prospect Brennen Davis homers twice, wins MVP honors at All-Star Futures Game

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DENVER – Baseball’s inexorable churn often amplifies at the All-Star break, as the game pauses, contenders and pretenders are identified and an eye is cast toward the future.

For the Chicago Cubs, this week – and this month – may represent an inflection point of sorts, and their past and present may cross paths at Coors Field. Come Tuesday, former National League Rookie of the Year and MVP Kris Bryant will play in his fifth and possibly final All-Star Game as a Cub, as he, Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez all face life on the trade block followed by free agency.

If this month is goodbye, at least Sunday’s Futures Games gave them an encouraging look at what lies beyond 2021.

Brennen Davis, the club’s top prospect, commanded the spotlight in Colorado’s thin air, slamming a pair of home runs that would have been long gone in any park, and his National League squad powered over the American League, 8-3.

Brennen Davis rounds the bases after hitting the first of his two home runs at the 2021 MLB All Star Futures Game at Coors Field.
Brennen Davis rounds the bases after hitting the first of his two home runs at the 2021 MLB All Star Futures Game at Coors Field.

The 22nd showcase of impending stars mirrored its major league product in many ways: Power pitching dominated, and home runs loomed largest.

Nine NL pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts in the seven-inning game, with Washington Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli looking most impressive with a two-strikeout frame that showcased a fastball that touched 100 mph, paired with a daunting changeup that registered one of his punchouts.

But Davis shone brightest, showcasing his lightning-quick hands with a 428-foot blast off Minnesota Twins right-hander Josh Winder, a laser that cleared the 415-foot sign in dead center field in the fourth. He matched that feat in the sixth inning with a shot to left center field off Baltimore’s Marcos Diplan.

Davis became just the third player with a multi-homer Futures Game, joining Alfonso Soriano (1999) and Yusniel Diaz (2018).

It’s heady stuff for a 21-year-old who, due to some injuries and the cancelled 2020 minor-league season, has just 107 career games played.

“It's really surreal being out here in front of this kind of crowd, having my friends and family here,” he said on the field after earning the Larry Doby Trophy. “You just can't put it into words.”

Funny, but power isn’t yet Davis’ calling card. Davis, 21, is the Cubs’ consensus top position player prospect but has hit six homers this year between Class A South Bend (Ind.) and AA Tennessee, and just 14 in his career. It is the totality of his tools that has him ticketed to Chicago, and he now sports an .880 career minor-league OPS.

A second-round pick in 2018 out of an Arizona high school, it seems all Davis needs now is time, which is the enemy of Bryant, Rizzo and Baez, at least as far as their Cubs careers go. The Cubs lost 13 of 15 games entering the break, sending them under .500, 8½ games out of first and likely headed toward some sort of sell-off, as GM Jed Hoyer acknowledged.

Sunday, at the least, a key part of their next core provided a soothing glimpse of the future.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cubs' Brennen Davis hits pair of homers to win Futures Game MVP honors