Here are the best tools in the Fall Stars Game

October 12th, 2019

Several of the game's top prospects did what they do best at the 2018 Fall Stars Game. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smoked a double with an exit velocity of 117 mph. Pete Alonso homered off a 103-mph fastball from Nate Pearson, who didn't throw a heater under 101 mph and topped out at 104.

Since the Arizona Fall League created the Fall Stars Game in 2006, the showcase has featured some of the game's biggest stars, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout and Christian Yelich. This year's contest includes 11 members of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list and plenty of impressive tools.

Here are the best of the best:

Best hitter: Vidal Brujan, 2B/SS, Rays

Brujan has all of the ingredients to produce high batting averages as a switch-hitter with fine bat-to-ball and pitch-recognition skills, a mature approach and plus-plus speed. A career .294/.377/.417 hitter in the Minors, he has challenged for the lead in hits and driven the ball with authority in the AFL.

Others considered: Alec Bohm, 3B/1B, Phillies; Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners; Jo Adell, OF, Angels; Royce Lewis, SS, Twins; Geraldo Perdomo, SS/2B, Diamondbacks.

Best power: Jo Adell, OF, Angels

The top prospect in the Fall League (MLB No. 5 overall), Adell has the best power, ranks among the best hitters and fastest runners and stands out with his outfield defense and throwing arm, as well. He combines strength and bat speed with advanced hitting ability, generating pop to all fields that has translated into 35 homers and a .518 slugging percentage in 224 pro games.

Others considered: Bohm, 3B/1B, Phillies; Nolan Jones, 3B, Indians; Rodriguez, OF, Mariners; Seth Beer, 1B/OF, Diamondbacks; Greg Deichmann, OF, Athletics.

Fastest runner: Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox

Duran has exceeded expectations since the Red Sox drafted him in the seventh round in the 2018 Draft, reaching Double-A and using his double-plus speed to rank seventh in the Minors with 46 steals during his first full pro season. His quickness plays better on the bases than it does in the outfield, where his reads and routes need improvement.

Others considered: Brujan, 2B/SS, Rays; Bubba Thompson, OF, Rangers; Lewis, SS, Twins; Victor Victor Mesa, OF, Marlins; Adell, OF, Angels.

Best arm: Victor Victor Mesa, OF, Marlins

Mesa's arm earns plus-plus grades from some evaluators and led to 11 assists in 102 regular-season games. His speed and defense also rank with the best in the AFL, where he's making more quality contact after batting .235/.274/.263 in his pro debut.

Others considered: Ronaldo Hernandez, C, Rays; Tyler Stephenson, C, Reds; Nolan Jones, 3B, Indians; Josh Lowe, OF, Rays; C.J. Chatham, SS/2B, Red Sox.

Best defender: Miguel Amaya, C, Cubs

More athletic than most catchers, Amaya is an advanced receiver for a 20-year-old and projects as a plus defender when he's fully developed. He also enhances solid arm strength with a quick release and could be at least an average hitter with power to match.

Others considered: Mesa, OF, Marlins; Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets; Perdomo, SS/2B, Diamondbacks; Thompson, OF, Rangers; Marsh, OF, Angels.

Best fastball: Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

The Rays and the Pirates have handled Baz extremely carefully since he went 12th overall in the 2017 Draft, but he may be on the verge of breaking out as one of the game's top pitching prospects. He has electric life on a four-seam fastball that has hit 100 mph while he works as a reliever in the Fall League, and he operated in the mid-90s and reached triple digits as a starter during the regular season.

Others considered: Tyler Johnson, RHP, White Sox; Anthony Castro, RHP, Tigers; Daniel Lynch, LHP, Royals; Brett de Geus, RHP, Dodgers; Cole Uvila, RHP, Rangers.

Best breaking ball: Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

After throwing both a curveball and a slider that tended to blend together earlier in his career, Baz now is focusing on the latter pitch and it devastates hitters when he commands it. His slider has sat at 85-88 mph in the AFL.

Others considered: Dean Kremer, RHP, Orioles (curveball); Sam Delaplane, RHP, Mariners (slider); Lynch, LHP, Royals (slider); Castro, Tigers (slider).

Best changeup: Nick Neidert, RHP, Marlins

Neidert doesn't light up radar guns, instead thriving by mixing three pitches, the best of which is a plus changeup with depth that he sells with deceptive arm speed. He also throws a low-90s fastball and an average curveball, with the changeup the key to his success.

Others considered: Ashton Goudeau, RHP, Rockies; Lynch, LHP, Royals.

Best control: Nick Neidert, RHP, Marlins

After averaging 1.7 walks per nine innings during his first four years as a pro, Neidert gave up 27 free passes in 54 frames during the 2019 regular season while missing three months to have his right meniscus repaired. Fully healthy again, he has a 17/2 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 AFL innings.

Others considered: Goudeau, RHP, Rockies; Lynch, LHP, Royals; Jackson Rees, RHP, Blue Jays.