CLEVELAND -- Milan Tolentino starred offensively and defensively at the first-ever High School All-Star Game on Saturday, leading the American League to a 4-2 win.
The Santa Margarita Catholic HS (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) shortstop collected three hits -- one to left field, one up the middle and one to right -- and his second single sparked a two-run outburst in the fifth inning that ultimately proved the difference in the game. He also turned in two of the better defensive plays of the afternoon. He cut across second base to turn a grounder from Dematha Catholic HS (Hyattsville, Md.) DH Jack Bulger into an out to end the first inning, then charged a slow grounder and nailed Brother Martin HS (New Orleans) left fielder Tre Morgan by a step to start the sixth.
Tolentino also was one of the top performers in the inaugural PDP League at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., over the previous three weeks, batting .280 and playing errorless ball in nine games. The son of former big leaguer Jose Tolentino, he'll play at UCLA if he doesn't sign out of the 2020 Draft.
The High School All-Star Game was one of the first events of All-Star Week and the culmination of the PDP League, a collaboration between MLB and USA Baseball. The league brought 80 of high school baseball's best rising seniors together for three weeks of games and instruction from All-Stars and Hall of Famers such as Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones and Barry Larkin. Forty were chosen to play in Saturday's game at Progressive Field and as many as 20 of that group will play for USA Baseball at September's 18-and-under World Cup in Busan, South Korea.
Besides Tolentino, here are seven other High School All-Stars who impressed Saturday:
Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Portland, Ore.). The most dominant pitcher in the PDP League, he began the bottom of the first by allowing two hits on a grounder and a flare. Abel recovered to strike out the next three hitters, all on sliders, while ranging from 91-94 mph with his fastball.
Lucas Gordon, LHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). Saturday's most efficient pitcher required just seven pitches to get out of the top of the fourth, despite surrendering a double to Independence (Thompson's Station, Tenn.) center fielder Robert Hassell. Gordon sat around 92 mph with his fastball and got a trio of dangerous hitters -- Bulger, East Troy (Wis.) HS first baseman A.J. Vukovich, West Allegheny HS (Imperial, Pa.) right fielder Austin Hendrick -- to all ground out to first base.
Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada (Calif.) HS. He showcased the best fastball on Saturday, operating at 93-97 mph and whiffing both Hassell and Vukovich with his heater. Jones finished a perfect second inning by retiring Hendrick on a fly ball to left.
Robert Moore, 2B, Shawnee Mission East HS (Prairie Village, Kan.). The son of Royals GM Dayton Moore, Robert is known for his fine instincts and understanding of the game. He collected two hits in three at-bats, lining a ball to the opposite field and smashing a hard grounder up the middle for an RBI in the seventh.
Kevin Parada, C, Loyola HS (Los Angeles). He didn't enter the game until the top of the fifth but that still gave him enough time to go 2-for-2, including an RBI knock in the fifth. Parada was the leading hitter in PDP League play, batting .400/.464/.480.
Max Rajcic, RHP, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS. A consistent performer at high-profile events, he came through again with a 1-2-3 top of the first inning. Rajcic commanded his 91-93 mph fastball well and effectively mixed in his curveball.
Jordan Walker, 1B, Decatur (Ga.) HS. After popping up in his first at-bat, he provided hard contact in his next two plate appearances. Walker doubled in the third inning off top-rated prep left-hander Timmy Manning (Cardinal Gibbons HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and lined a single in the sixth off De La Salle Institute (Chicago) right-hander Ben Hernandez, who didn't surrender a hit in six PDP League innings.