MINNEAPOLIS — Miami Marlins prospect Domingo German knew he would have his work cut out for him Sunday afternoon in the All-Star Futures Game at Target Field.
German took the mound in the second inning set to face a pair of bats with 62 combined home runs this season in the minor leagues.
Unfazed by the notoriety, the right-hander struck out both Kris Bryant (Chicago Cubs) and Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers) before inducing D.J. Peterson (Seattle Mariners) to ground out to short, completing a perfect frame.
”I was very emotional about it,” German said through a translator. ”I had to calm myself down, calm my emotions down to face these guys. It was good to face the best hitters in the minor leagues and United States.”
German, Miami’s lone representative and part of the World team that lost 3-2, needed 15 pitches (nine strikes) to retire the side in order. His velocity reached 96 mph twice and dropped to 83 mph. He got Bryant to strike out swinging on a 95 mph fastball and Gallo on an 83 mph change-up.
”I’m never impressed by that,” German said of facing those batters. ”It’s just ball and trying not to be behind so I can get there with the fastball. I wanted to showcase the offspeed — I used the curveball, fastball and sinker.”
The 21-year-old, who signed with the Marlins in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, currently pitches for Single-A Greensboro where he is 8-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 18 starts. He has 95 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 98 1/3 innings.
Prior to this promotion, German spent two years apiece in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League. He also played in the New York-Penn League in 2013. Over five seasons in the minors, he has a career 19-10 record and 2.48 ERA.
Though moving up has been slower than he expected, German’s progression is encouraging because he has been issuing fewer walks and following the organization’s pitching mantra.
Since reaching a high of 6.4 walks per nine innings in 2012, he has lowered it below 2 over the past two seasons.
”Pitching with more than a fastball, not being afraid of what I have and going out there and working on that,” German said.