The 15th iteration of the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game was held at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Saturday night. A number of baseball's top prospects showcased their talents, including No. 5 Marlins prospect JJ Bleday -- No. 71 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 rankings -- who was named the game's Most Valuable Player as the East beat the West 6-5.
Here’s what each player did:
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays (East)
Gabriel Moreno ripped a single in the bottom of the first and came around to score as the Blue Jays’ top prospect went 1-for-2 in four innings of play. The 21-year-old was poised for a two-hit day, but was robbed of a base knock in the third by a stellar diving catch from Dodgers No. 27 prospect James Outman in center field. Graham Spraker, Mesa’s primary closer, came in to pitch the top of the ninth and struck out two en route to retiring the side in order and earning the save. In 10 1/3 AFL innings, Spraker has whiffed 16 batters and has allowed only three hits, two walks and one hit batsman for a spotless 0.00 ERA.
Nick Vespi entered in the seventh and didn’t allow a hit as he retired the first two batters he faced before walking Cardinals No. 18 prospect Brendan Donovan in a seven-pitch at-bat. He then got Juan Yepez to strike out to complete the frame.
Red Sox (East)
Armed with the game’s best power tool, Boston's No. 2 prospect Triston Casas lined a ground-rule double to right field and scored as part of a 1-for-3 day at the dish. Casas leads Scottsdale with a .356 average and ranks fourth in the Fall League among qualified players. Kole Cottam caught the final two innings and reached on a fielder’s choice after grounding to third base.
Curtis Mead’s two-run single in the bottom of the first not only gave the East an early 4-2 lead, but it also gave the Rays' 14th-ranked prospect a hit in each of the 19 games he’s played in the Fall League. Mead finished the game going 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Carlos Garcia came into the game in the fourth and tossed a perfect frame on just eight pitches as he struck out the first two batters he faced.
No. 24 prospect Elijah Dunham may not have recorded a hit in two at-bats, but the real highlight of his night was a spectacular diving catch in left to rob Fall Stars Game MVP JJ Bleday of a hit in the third. Sixth-ranked Yankees prospect Austin Wells struck out in his lone at-bat after replacing Logan O’Hoppe in the fourth. Zach Greene struck out Andy Weber to get the last out in the bottom of the ninth.
Jose Tena came in to play second base in the sixth and took Brett Baty’s spot in the batting order. Hitting out of the two spot, Cleveland’s No. 12 prospect struck out in the seventh, finishing 0-for-1. The 20-year-old ranks third among all players with a .393 average in 56 AFL plate appearances. Richie Palacios took over center field in the sixth and the No. 14 prospect grounded out to second in his one plate appearance.
Nathan Eaton crushed a two-run triple to right off Giants No. 24 prospect Gregory Santos in the sixth to bring the West within two runs. Seuly Matias, who had the Fall Star Game’s best arm tool, showed off his bat skills in the sixth with a 107.4 mph sac fly -- the second-hardest hit ball of the game -- to center to plate Eaton and cut his team’s deficit to one. He finished the game 0-for-3 with three whiffs.
Garrett Hill entered the game in the third inning and tossed a strong frame, striking out two batters on four pitches each while allowing a one-out double to Cardinals No. 26 prospect Juan Yepez. Hill has allowed 15 hits in 13 2/3 Fall League innings but has only given up three earned runs, good for a 1.98 ERA.
Cody Laweryson took the bump for the fifth and hurled a perfect frame, including two flyouts before capping off his inning with a three-pitch strikeout. He’s struck out 17 batters in 13 frames for Scottsdale.
White Sox (West)
Chicago’s No. 21 prospect Caleb Freeman was called on in the sixth and retired both batters he faced, inducing a groundout from Curtis Mead and getting A’s No. 12 prospect Logan Davidson to whiff on three pitches. The 23-year-old has pitched to a 1.00 ERA in nine innings for Glendale.
Oakland's No. 12 prospect Logan Davidson drew a walk and struck out twice in his 0-for-3 day at the plate. The 23-year-old is batting .281 with a .810 OPS, 10 RBIs and 15 walks in 17 AFL games.
Coleman Crow got the start for the West squad and was tagged for four unearned runs, a walk and a strikeout in his lone inning of work. He surrendered a game-tying home run to Marlins No. 5 prospect JJ Bleday and a two-run single to Curtis Mead before getting Giants No. 6 prospect Hunter Bishop to whiff on three pitches to end the inning.
Top-ranked Astros prospect Korey Lee replaced the Yankees’ Austin Wells in the seventh, and the backstop grounded into a double play in his only at-bat. Joe Record surrendered a leadoff walk to Colorado’s Ryan Vilade, who stole the only base of the night for the East, before inducing two groundouts and striking out Tampa Bay’s Curtis Mead looking to cap off the eighth inning. In eight appearances for Glendale, Record has yet to allow an earned run and has fanned 13 batters in 11 2/3 innings.
Sixth-ranked Seattle prospect Zach DeLoach flied out to center and struck out after he replaced Lars Nootbaar in right field in the fifth. Travis Kuhn, who was a last-minute addition to the roster, got Marlins No. 22 prospect Kameron Misner to ground out in his appearance. Devin Sweet, another same-day addition to the roster, pitched in the bottom of the ninth and showed off his stuff by striking out both batters he faced.
Owen White has been the AFL’s best pitcher -- he boasts a 1.16 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with 23 strikeouts -- and that dominance was on display Saturday as the Rangers' No. 28 prospect hurled a scoreless second. White needed just nine pitches to get through the frame, starting with a three-pitch strikeout of the Cubs’ Andy Weber before retiring Mets No. 2 prospect Brett Baty and red-hot Cubs prospect Nelson Velazquez. No. 7 prospect Ezequiel Duran drew a walk off East starter Caleb Kilian in an 0-for-1 performance.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Victor Vodnik was selected to represent Atlanta in the Fall Stars Game but did not make an appearance.
JJ Bleday was the main driver of the East’s offense early on and earned the Fall Stars Game MVP award by going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. Miami’s No. 5 prospect tied the game in the first with a two-run blast that had a 102.7 mph exit velocity and added an RBI single in the fifth. In 21 AFL games, Bleday has five homers, eight doubles, 24 RBIs and a .329/.447/.600 slash line. Kameron Misner entered in the sixth inning for Nelson Velazquez and grounded out to first in his only trip to the plate. The Marlins’ No. 22 prospect is tied for second on the AFL home run leaderboard with seven.
Brett Baty celebrated his 22nd birthday in style, going 1-for-3 with a double that left the bat at 103.6 mph and two runs scored before being pulled in the sixth inning. The second-ranked Mets prospect scored on JJ Bleday’s two-run homer in the first and came home on Bleday’s RBI single in the fifth.
Bryson Stott drove in the first run of the Fall Stars Game with a first-inning RBI double that had a 104.8 mph exit velocity and finished his night 1-for-3 with a strikeout. The Phillies’ No. 2 prospect has been on fire in the AFL, batting .320 with a .450 OBP and 24 RBIs in 21 games. Logan O’Hoppe started behind the plate for the West, going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts before being lifted for Yankees prospect Austin Wells in the fourth. In 18 AFL games, Philadelphia’s No. 11 prospect has posted a .955 OPS with nine extra-base hits (seven doubles, two home runs). Damon Jones retired both batters he faced after entering in the seventh, getting Cubs prospect Andy Weber to fly out to left and striking out Jose Tena.
Todd Peterson entered the Fall Stars Game with two outs in the sixth inning and faced one batter, retiring Cleveland’s Richie Palacios on a ground out to second.
Joey Wiemer and Abner Uribe were selected to represent Milwaukee in the Fall Stars Game but did not make an appearance.
Caleb Kilian was the starting pitcher for the East, tossing two innings with four strikeouts and allowing two runs on three hits. Both runs came in the first inning on Bryson Stott’s RBI double and Juan Yepez’s sacrifice fly. The Cubs' No. 14 prospect earned the start after striking out 18 over 14 innings in five games. AFL home run leader Nelson Velazquez was quiet during the Fall Stars Game, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout before exiting in the sixth. The 29th-ranked Cubs prospect has raked in the AFL, posting a .366/.473/.720 slash line with a 1.194 OPS and nine home runs in 23 games. Andy Weber served as the leadoff hitter for the East and finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. In 19 AFL games, the 24-year-old is tied for third in RBIs with 20 and has posted a .299/.421/.519 slash line.
Juan Yepez played the entire game at first base for the West and went 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. In 19 games, the 26th-ranked Cardinals prospect leads the league in RBIs with 26 and is tied for second on the AFL home run leaderboard with seven. Lars Nootbaar led off for the West, kicking it off with a single and scoring the first run of the game on Bryson Stott’s RBI double. The outfielder finished 1-for-3 before exiting in the fifth and has been a standout in the Fall League with five home runs and a .314/.437/.643 slash line. No. 8 prospect Zack Thompson entered in the fifth inning for a relief appearance, allowing a run on two hits with one strikeout, fanning AFL home run leader Nelson Velazquez. No. 17 prospect Brendan Donovan relieved Philadelphia’s Bryson Stott of his shortstop duties in the fifth inning and walked on six pitches in his lone trip to the batter’s box.
Nick Gonzales went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while batting second for the West, roping a single in the first inning and scoring on Juan Yepez’s sacrifice fly. Pittsburgh’s No. 4 prospect leads the AFL in batting average (.380) and OBP (.483) with 27 hits through 19 games. Pirates No. 22 prospect Ji-hwan Bae came into the game in the sixth and went 1-for-2 with a run scored and a stolen base, reaching on an infield single.
Ivan Johnson, Cincinnati's No. 16 prospect, entered the Fall Stars Game in the fifth inning and ended 0-for-1 with a groundout to second base.
Shumpei Yoshikawa was selected to represent Arizona in the Fall Stars Game but did not make an appearance.
Bobby Miller tossed a 1-2-3 inning in relief in the third, setting down Top 100 prospects JJ Bleday (No. 71), Gabriel Moreno (No. 32) and Triston Casas (No. 18) in order. The Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect has flashed triple-digit velocity with his fastball in the Fall League. Eighth-ranked prospect Landon Knack relieved Miller in the fourth and allowed one run on a long home run to Hunter Bishop in his inning in relief, striking out one and walking one. James Outman went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts for the West but flashed the leather with a diving catch in center field in the third to rob Moreno of a hit. Los Angeles' No. 27 prospect has a 1.017 OPS with seven doubles, a triple and three home runs in 18 AFL games.
Hunter Bishop mashed a long solo home run in the fourth inning with an exit velocity of 107.1 mph, the third-hardest hit ball of the game. The sixth-ranked Giants prospect finished 1-for-2 with a strikeout before being pulled in the sixth. No. 24 prospect Gregory Santos tossed the sixth inning and allowed three runs on three hits in his relief appearance on a two-run triple by Nathan Eaton and sacrifice fly by Seuly Matias. R.J. Dabovich threw a scoreless eighth inning, retiring Ji-hwan Bae, Korey Lee and Nathan Eaton in order. No. 8 prospect Patrick Bailey came into the game in the fifth inning and exited after the seventh, going 0-for-1 and grounding into a fielder’s choice in his only plate appearance.
Eguy Rosario, San Diego's No. 15 prospect, pinch hit for Ezequiel Duran in the sixth inning and ended his night 0-for-2 with a fly out to center field and a pop out to third base.
Ryan Vilade entered in the sixth inning and reached on a walk in his only plate appearance. Colorado’s No. 5 prospect promptly swiped second -- the only stolen base of the night for the East -- and was called out between second and third for obstruction on a ground ball to Eguy Rosario. Final vote addition Michael Toglia also came into the game in the sixth and grounded into a fielder’s choice in his sole trip to the plate. The sixth-ranked Rockies prospect has mashed three home runs and driven in 11 runs in 21 AFL games.