Team-by-team guide to AFL's Fall Stars

November 2nd, 2018

The Arizona Fall League's 13th annual Fall Stars Game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Here's a team-by-team guide to the prospects who will take the AFL's biggest stage:
Brett Hanewich, RHP
Relying heavily on a mid-90s fastball, Hanewich posted a 2.61 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 69 relief innings between two Class A stops in 2018. The 2017 ninth-rounder out of Stanford is working on refining his secondary pitches and control.
:: 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game ::
Jahmai Jones, 2B  (Angels No. 3 prospect)
Jones has a father (Andre), brother (T.J.) and uncle (Phillip Daniels) who all played in the NFL, but his future is in baseball as a line-drive hitter with plus speed who moved from the outfield to second base this year. A 2015 second-rounder as a Georgia high schooler, he batted .239/.337/.380 with 10 homers and 24 steals between Class A Advanced and Double-A.
Trent Thornton, RHP
(Astros No. 24)
A 2015 fifth-rounder from North Carolina, Thornton employs a funky delivery that adds deception to his 93-95 mph fastball and solid pair of breaking pitches. He logged a 4.42 ERA with a 122/31 K/BB ratio in 124 1/3 Triple-A innings this year.
Forrest Whitley, RHP (Astros No. 2, MLB No. 8)
MLB Pipeline's top-rated pitching prospect, Whitley worked just 26 1/3 innings this season because of a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League drug program and subsequent minor oblique and lat injuries. The 17th overall pick in the 2016 Draft as a Texas high schooler, he can miss bats with each of his four pitches: a mid-90s fastball with natural cut, a 12-to-6 curveball, a late-biting slider and a changeup with fade and depth.

Luis Barrera, OF
The 22-year-old had a bit of a breakout year and reached Double-A, where he hit .328 over 36 games, for the first time in his career. Barrera, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, has stolen five bases in his first nine AFL games. In addition to wreaking havoc on the basepaths, Barrera also uses that speed to impact the game in the outfield.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (Blue Jays No. 1, MLB No. 1)
After a tremendous season in the Minors, baseball's top prospect has continued to rake in Arizona. The owner of MLB Pipeline's sole 80-grade hit tool, Guerrero Jr. hit .381 over 95 games in 2018 and has been just as impressive in Arizona, where he is hitting .462 through 13 games. The 19-year-old, who was named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year, entered the Fall League with a ton of hype and has done nothing to disappoint.

Cavan Biggio, 2B/3B (Blue Jays No. 9)
Biggio lowered his hands and added more of a load to his swing prior to this year and the results spoke volumes about the changes. Biggio led the Eastern League with a career-high 26 homers. He also led the league in slugging (.499) and OPS (.887) and was one of just six minor leaguers to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases. While the Eastern League MVP hasn't hit as well in the early stages of the Fall League, his main purpose in Arizona is increasing his defensive versatility. After playing 125 games in the infield this season -- primarily at second base -- Biggio, who played just two games in right during the regular season, is getting outfield reps in the AFL.
Nate Pearson, RHP (Blue Jays No. 4)
Pearson's regular season ended before it ever got started. The 22-year-old suffered a fractured right rm when he was hit by a line drive in the second inning of his first start. The right-hander, a former first-round pick (2017), was lights out in his professional debut as he posted a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings over eight starts. Pearson has struggled a bit in the Fall League, but after not having pitched in meaningful games since the end of the 2017 season, some struggles out of the gate were likely expected.
Kyle Muller, LHP (Braves No. 12)
Muller received first-round money ($2.5 million) as a second-round pick from a Texas high school in 2016, when he set a national prep record by striking out 24 straight batters. Pairing a 92-95 mph fastball and solid breaking stuff, he logged a 3.03 ERA with a 129/46 K/BB ratio in 139 2/3 innings, mostly in Class A Advanced.
Cristian Pache, OF (Braves No. 6)
The consensus best defensive outfielder in the Minor Leagues, Pache also has well-above-average speed, a plus arm and underrated power potential. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he hit .279/.307/.410 with nine homers and seven steals between Class A Advanced and Double-A.
Keston Hiura, 2B (Brewers No. 1, MLB No. 30)
The Brewers' top prospect has a 70-grade hit tool and it's easy to see why. Hiura has hit at every stop of his career and the AFL has been no different. After hitting .293/.357/.464 over two levels in the regular season, Hiura leads the Fall League with 24 RBIs and is hitting .340 through 12 games.

Evan Kruczynski, LHP
The 23-year-old doesn't have any individual pitches that truly stand out, however he mixes his pitches well and was able to reach Double-A in his first full season. A ninth-rounder from the 2017 Draft, Kruczynski issued 31 walks and piled up 107 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings this year. The lefty has also shown an ability to retire batters in Arizona, where he's held opponents without an earned run in three of his four appearances.
Bailey Clark, RHP

Drafted in the fifth round in 2016 out of Duke, Clark can produce mid-90s fastballs with live and hard sliders but has trouble maintaining his delivery. He had a 2.45 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings between three lower-level stops this season.
Nico Hoerner, SS (Cubs No. 6)
The only position player drafted in 2018 who's in the Fall League, Hoerner batted .327/.450/.571 with two homers and six steals in 14 games at three levels before straining ligaments in his left elbow while diving for a ball. Selected 24th overall out of Stanford, he earns praise for his hand-eye coordination and approach, and he may have more pop than expected.
Jon Duplantier, RHP (D-backs No. 1, MLB No. 80)
A 2016 third-rounder from Rice, Duplantier led the Minors with a 1.39 ERA in his first full pro season but missed half of his second with hamstring and biceps issues. Working with a lively low-90s fastball and a plus curveball, he had a 2.55 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 74 innings this year, mostly in Double-A.

Pavin Smith, 1B (D-backs No. 4)
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 Draft out of Virginia, Smith is a hit-over-power first baseman known for his mastery of the strike zone. He didn't post big numbers in his first full pro season, batting .255/.343/.392 with 11 homers in Class A Advanced.
Daulton Varsho, C (D-backs No. 5)
The son of ex-big leaguer Gary Varsho and named for his dad's former teammate Darren Daulton, Varsho is an athletic catcher with plus speed and solid hitting and defensive ability. A 2017 supplemental second-round choice from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he batted .286/.363/.451 with 11 homers and 19 steals in 80 games at high Class A.
Keibert Ruiz, C
(Dodgers No. 2, MLB No. 39)
One of the game's best catching prospects, Ruiz is a switch-hitter with feel for hitting, burgeoning power and the ingredients to become a solid defender. Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, he batted .268/.328/.401 with 12 homers as the second-youngest regular (age 19 for most of the season) in the Double-A Texas League.
Jordan Sheffield, RHP (Dodgers No. 26)
Sheffield has struggled with command and durability since turning pro as a 2016 supplemental first-rounder, and he got rocked for a 6.32 ERA this year despite 44 strikeouts in 37 innings, mostly in Class A Advanced. His pure stuff is still enticing, as his fastball can reach 98 mph and he backs it up with a hard breaking ball and a swing-and-miss changeup.
Melvin Adon, RHP
(Giants No. 19)
Adon has one of the strongest arms in San Francisco's system, having run his fastball up to 102 mph and his slider into the upper 80s, though he's still figuring out some finesse. A relatively ancient (age 21) signee out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he posted a 5.03 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings, mostly in Class A Advanced.
Yu Chang, SS (Indians No. 6)
Chang is back in the Fall League for a second straight season. The shortstop, who has made strides defensively throughout his career, hit .256 over 127 games with Triple-A Columbus this year and was hitting .354 through his first 13 games out in Arizona.
Evan White, 1B (Mariners No. 2)
The 2017 first-rounder hit .300/.371/.453 in his first full season, most of which was with Class A Advanced Modesto. White made a mechanical adjustment -- lowering his hands -- late in the year and began to drive the ball more as a result. White slugged .689 over his final 22 games after the adjustment and has slugged .451 with two homers through 12 games in the AFL.

Wyatt Mills, RHP (Mariners No. 9)
Mills (No. 9) dominated his way through the California League (6-0 with a 1.91 ERA over 42 1/3 innings), but struggled once he was promoted to Double-A Arkansas (0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in 10 2/3 innings). The 23-year-old sidearmer has a low-90s fastball and a tight slider, which makes him effective against right-handed hitters. In the Fall League, facing advanced competition, Mills has more resembled the pitcher he was with Class A Advanced Modesto, rather than the one who was roughed up with Arkansas.
David McKay, RHP
McKay's second full season was much better than his first. The 23-year-old, a 14th-rounder from the 2016 Draft, posted a 7.21 ERA in 2017, but bounced back and put up a 2.58 mark this year. What's more, McKay pitched across a trio of levels in 2018, and although he did make an appearance with Triple-A Tacoma, he spent the bulk of the season with Class A Advanced Modesto.
, OF
(Marlins No. 2)
Harrison starred in the 2017 Fall League, but admittedly pressed a little bit and struggled in his first season with the Marlins' organization. Harrison hit .240 and struck out 215 times over 136 games with Double-A Jacksonville, but did perform a bit better in the second half, during which he reduced his strikeout rate. Harrison has reduced his strikeout rate even further in Arizona and was hitting .325 through his first 11 games.
, RHP 
Yamamoto (No. 17) was lights out all year and has continued the trend in Arizona. After going 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA across three levels in the regular season, the right-hander went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA through his first three starts in the AFL.
Andres Gimenez, SS (Mets No. 1, MLB No. 55)
The Mets' No. 1 prospect fared well in 2018. The 20-year-old hit .281/.347/.409 over 122 games between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He also stole 38 bases, a career high. Gimenez appears to be on a fast track through the Mets' system and with manning shortstop in New York, Gimenez is getting some reps at second -- as well as some at short -- in the Fall League. Jimenez played 119 games at shortstop, compared to just three at second base in 2018, but there is little concern that he'll be able to transition to second base if needed.
1B Peter Alonso (Mets No. 2, MLB No. 58)
Alonso showcased his power throughout the regular season and has continued to do so in the Fall League. After finishing tied for the Minor League lead with 36 homers in the regular season, Alonso has gone deep four times and is slugging .541 in 16 games of AFL action.

Carter Kieboom, SS (Nationals No. 2, MLB No. 37)
The Nats' No. 2 prospect hit .280/.357/.444 and reached Double-A Harrisburg in his second full season. Kieboom, a first-rounder from the 2016 Draft, projects as an above-average hitter in the future and has good loft in his swing. The 21-year-old got off to a slow start in Arizona, but started heating up offensively and had 10 hits over his last 16 at-bats entering Tuesday.
Ben Braymer, LHP
The 24-year-old, an 18th-round pick from the 2016 Draft, spent the bulk of the season with Class A Advanced Potomac where he went 6-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 21 appearances (11 starts). Braymer was also named the Nationals' co-Minor League pitcher of the year in 2018 as he racked up 118 strikeouts in just under 115 innings.
Ryan McKenna, OF (Orioles No. 12)
The Orioles' No. 12 prospect won the AFL's final vote and will appear in the Fall Stars Game after what has already been an impressive campaign for the 21-year-old. McKenna reached Double-A this year and slashed .315/.410/.457 across two levels. McKenna has continued to hit well in Arizona and was raking at a .378 clip through his first 10 games.
Buddy Reed, OF
(Padres No. 13)
Reed put together a strong season as he hit .271/.319/.435 in 122 games, but put up most of that production with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Once Reed was promoted to Double-A San Antonio, he hit .179 and lost a bit of his rhythm. The outfielder is working to make adjustments and get back on track in the AFL , and so far it's working as he hit .400 through his first nine games.
Padres fans will likely recognize Diaz as he's spent time with the big league club in each of the past two seasons, during which he's thrown 60 1/3 innings. While the right-hander possesses a two-seamer that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, he hasn't always been able to control it. Diaz has issued 5.5 walks per nine innings in the Majors and 3.8 in the Minors. Through three starts in the AFL, he's issued a trio of walks in 11 innings.
Austin Listi, OF
Listi's first full season should be viewed as a success after he hit .312/.412/.502 with 18 homers and reached Double-A.
Cole Tucker, SS (Pirates No. 5)
The Pirates' No. 5 prospect set a career high with 133 games played this season and after slashing .259/.333/.356 with Double-A Altoona, Tucker has kept up the momentum in the Fall League. The 22-year-old Phoenix native is hitting .391 through 11 games and is showing that his strong second half was no fluke. After getting off to a bit of a slow start in 2018, Tucker hit .281/.370/.407 to finish the year.
Blake Weiman, LHP
Weiman, 22, pitched across three levels in 2018, his full-season debut, and posted a 2.42 ERA over 39 appearances. The eighth-round pick (2017) issued just nine walks and struck out 77 over 67 innings and allowed hitters to hit just .234 off of him. Weiman has enjoyed similar success thus far in the AFL where he, after giving up two runs in his debut, has strung together four straight scoreless outings.
DeMarcus Evans, RHP

Evans topped all Minor League relievers (minimum 50 innings) in strikeout rate with 16.6 per nine innings, fanning 103 in 56 innings while logging a 1.77 ERA in Class A. A 25th-round pick from a Mississippi high school in 2015 and a cousin of Blue Jays outfielder , he dodges bats with an explosive mid-90s fastball and a 12-to-6 curveball.
Lucius Fox, SS
(Rays No. 9)
The Rays' No. 9 prospect was pushed up to Double-A in August, but struggled to end the season. After hitting .282 through 89 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte, the 21-year-old hit just .221 in 27 games with Montgomery. However, the introduction to advanced competition seems to have paid dividends for Fox, who is faring much better in Arizona. Through 13 Fall League contests, Fox is hitting .327 and has stolen six bases.
Matt Krook, LHP
The fourth-round pick from 2016 spent the entire season with Double-A Montgomery where he went 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA over 74 innings. The 24-year-old has a fastball that sits in the upper-80s and low-90s and also throws a slider and changeup.
Dalton Moats, LHP
Moats, 23, spent the entire season at Double-A, but it didn't go as well as he would have liked. In his first taste of the new level, the lefty posted a 5.34 ERA over 41 appearances (10 starts). Moats also walked 29 and struck out 65 over 62 1/3 innings.
Bobby Dalbec, 3B
(Red Sox No. 6)
Dalbec possesses the best raw power in Boston's system and translated it into production by finishing second in the Minors with 70 extra-base hits and 109 RBIs and fourth with 32 homers while batting .257/.361/.558 between Class A Advanced and Double-A. A fourth-round pick from Arizona in 2016, when he starred as a two-way player at the College World Series, he also has a strong arm and has improved defensively at the hot corner.

Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (Red Sox No. 7)
Since signing him for $7,500 out of Venezuela in 2013, the Red Sox have seen Hernandez blossom into a power arm with a mid-90s fastball with late life and a power slider. He struck out 134 in 107 innings, mostly in high Class A, while recording a 3.53 ERA.
, 2B (Reds No. 8)
Selected in the 12th round as an Alabama high schooler in 2013, Long has 20-20 potential because he has more pop than most second basemen and he's aggressive with his average speed on the bases. He hit .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and 19 steals in Double-A.
Taylor Trammell, OF (Reds No. 2, MLB No. 17)
A star running back in high school and the MVP of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in July, Trammell has well-above-average speed and could have solid or better tools across the board except for his arm. The 2016 supplemental first-rounder as a Georgia prepster hit .277/.375/.406 with eight homers and 25 steals in high Class A.
Justin Lawrence, RHP
(Rockies No. 17)
Lawrence paced the Class A Advanced California League in appearances (55) and holds (12) while posting a 2.65 ERA, .188 opponents' average and 62 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings. Selected in the 15th round out of Daytona State (Fla.) JC in 2015, he delivers hard sinkers and a short slider from a low arm slot.
OF Khalil Lee
(Royals No. 2)
A legitimate two-way prospect as a Virginia outfielder, Lee became a full-time outfielder after signing as a second-rounder in 2016 and has the potential for solid tools across the board. He hit a combined .263/.382/.390 with six homers and 16 steals in 100 games between Class A Advanced and Double-A.
, C
Viloria went 7-for-27 (.259) as a surprise September callup after hitting .260/.342/.360 with six homers in 100 Class A Advanced games. Signed out of Colombia in 2013, he's a line-drive hitter and a competent defender behind the plate.
Daz Cameron, OF (Tigers No. 8)
Signed for $4 million as a 2015 supplemental first-rounder out of a Georgia high school by the Astros and traded to the Tigers in a deal for two years later, Cameron batted .264/.343/.406 with eight homers and 24 steals while advancing from Class A Advanced to Triple-A this season. The son of former All-Star and Gold Glover Mike Cameron has decent hitting ability but stands out more with plus defense in center field and solid speed and arm strength.
, C (Tigers No. 12)
Rogers ranks with the best defensive catchers in the Minors, showing a quick, accurate arm that has erased 48 percent of pro basestealers, not to mention fine receiving skills and good agility. A 2016 third-rounder from Tulane and another piece in the Verlander trade, he hit .219/.305/.412 with 17 homers in Double-A.

Devin Smeltzer, LHP
Smeltzer, who began his career in the Dodgers organization, began the season as a starter, but was shifted to the bullpen when he was traded to the Twins on July 31 as part of the deal. Smeltzer only pitched 12 innings (10 games) in relief upon joining Double-A Chattanooga, but posted a 3.00 ERA and racked up 16 strikeouts, compared to two walks. He's had similar success in the AFL, where he hasn't allowed a run in four of his five appearances and has struck out six in as many innings.
Luis Robert, OF
(White Sox No. 4, MLB No. 44)
The White Sox believed in Robert's five-tool potential so much that they gave the Cuban defector a $26 million bonus (the second-highest ever for an amateur) and paid a matching amount as a penalty for exceeding their signing pool in May 2017. Hampered by a left thumb injury in his first full pro season, he hit .269/.333/.360 with 15 steals in 50 games between three levels.
Estevan Florial, OF (Yankees No. 2, MLB No. 45)
The Yankees' best position prospect, Florial signed out of Haiti in 2015 and has well-above-average raw power, speed and arm strength. He's also still learning at the plate but hit .283/.377/.422 with six homers and 16 steals in 84 games, mostly in high Class A, as he battled a hamate injury.