The World Series may have just ended, but there's still meaningful baseball being played. The Arizona Fall League is showcasing several of the game's top prospects, and the best of those best will compete against each other in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday.
:: 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game ::
A dozen of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects will take the field on Saturday at Surprise Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Rangers and Royals. MLB Network will broadcast the 13th annual Fall Stars Game live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MST, and MLB.com will stream the contest live.
• Complete rosters: East | West
This year's Fall Stars Game features baseball's best prospect, Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and its best pitching prospect, Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley, both of whom have been spectacular in the first half of the AFL season. Guerrero, who won the Minor League regular-season batting title with a .381 average as a 19-year-old, is second in the Fall League in hitting at .458/.491/.604 and has struck out just once in 55 plate appearances. Whitley (No. 8 on the Top 100) whiffed the first seven batters he faced in his first start and tops the developmental circuit with 23 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Each team includes six Top 100 Prospects:
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays
- Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers
- Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers
- Luis Robert, OF, White Sox
- Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees
- Cristian Pache, OF, Braves
- Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros
- Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds
- Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals
- Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets
- Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets
- Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs
The West could add a seventh Top 100 Prospect in Rangers outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez (No. 56). He's one of three West candidates whom fans can give the final spot on the roster via the Fall League Bowman Final Vote, along with Yankees shortstop Thairo Estrada and Orioles outfielder Ryan McKenna. For the East, fans can select from among three shortstops: Jazz Chisholm (Diamondbacks), Arquimedes Gamboa (Phillies) and Nico Hoerner (Cubs).
Seven Fall Stars also played in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park: Alonso, Gimenez, Hiura, Kieboom, Ruiz, Trammell and Padres outfielder Buddy Reed. Alonso homered in that showcase and is tied for the AFL lead with four homers with Hiura, who also has a Fall League-best 24 RBIs in 12 games.
The Fall Stars Game annually serves as a preview of coming attractions, with potential National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr. singling and showing off his strong outfield arm in last year's Fall Stars Game. Cody Bellinger homered in the 2016 contest, a prelude to slamming a NL rookie-record 39 homers in 2017. Gary Sanchez went deep and threw out a basestealer in 2015 before becoming the first big leaguer ever to homer 20 times in his first 51 games the next summer.