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Here are the Fall Stars players with the best tools

November 1, 2018

The Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game annually features some of the best prospects and the best tools in the Minor Leagues. Last year, Luis Urias showcased his pure hitting ability with a laser-like home run, Victor Robles displayed his well above-average speed while stealing a base and Sandy Alcantara

The Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game annually features some of the best prospects and the best tools in the Minor Leagues. Last year, Luis Urias showcased his pure hitting ability with a laser-like home run, Victor Robles displayed his well above-average speed while stealing a base and Sandy Alcantara reached triple digits with his fastball.
In other Fall Stars Games earlier this decade, Cody Bellinger, Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez showed off prodigious power, Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton exhibited elite speed and Michael Kopech lit up radar guns. This year's contest, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, should include more of the same.
:: 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game ::
Here are the players to watch in the 13th annual Fall Stars Game, which includes 12 members of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list:
Best hitter
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays

After winning the Minor League batting title with a .381 average -- as a 19-year-old who reached Triple-A, no less -- Guerrero is chasing the AFL crown. He's hitting .429, second in the league, and has struck out just twice in 65 plate appearances. These won't be the last batting championships he pursues, because his extraordinary hand-eye coordination and bat speed enable him to barrel balls with ease.
Others considered: Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers; Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals; Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers; Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs; Ryan McKenna, OF, Orioles.

Best power
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays

Though Guerrero has yet to go deep in Arizona, he still projects to have the most usable power among Fall Leaguers. His hitting ability is unmatched and his strength is also impressive, giving him 40-homer upside. Those comparisons to his Hall of Famer father and Jose Cabrera aren't going to end any time soon.
Others considered: Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets; Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox; Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins; Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees.
Fastest runner
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves

The Fall League seems to have more well above-average runners than usual, which helps explain why teams are averaging 1.5 stolen bases per game this fall, up from 0.9 in 2017. There's no true consensus as to who has the best speed in the Fall League, but Pache earns as many 65-70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale as anyone. He's still learning to steal bases after getting caught eight times in 15 regular-season attempts and swiping just one bag in his first 13 AFL games, but his quickness definitely plays in center field.
Others considered: Buddy Reed, OF, Padres; Lucius Fox, SS, Rays; Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds; Luis Robert, OF, White Sox; Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees; Luis Barrera, OF, Athletics.
Best arm
Jake Rogers, C, Tigers

Rogers' arm plays well above average, because he combines solid strength with a quick transfer and uncanny accuracy. Considered by many scouts as the best defensive player in the 2016 Draft, Rogers moved from the Astros to the Tigers in the Justin Verlander trade a year later and has thrown out 48 percent of basestealers as a pro. Surprisingly, he has erased just one of seven in Arizona.
Others considered: Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins; Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees; Khalil Lee, OF, Royals; Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox.
Best defender
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves

The best outfield defender in the Minors, Pache seemingly can chase down any ball from gap to gap thanks to his quickness and exceptional instincts. He also has a stronger arm than most center fielders and is tied for the league high with two outfield assists after topping the Class A South Atlantic League with 17 in 2017.
Others considered: Jake Rogers, C, Tigers; Evan White, 1B, Mariners; Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets; Daz Cameron, OF, Tigers.

Best fastball
Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays

Pearson pitched himself into the first round of the 2017 Draft with the best fastball among college arms, pumping his heater up to 102 mph. A line drive broke his right forearm in his first and only Minor League start of 2018, but he's back to hitting triple digits in the Fall League. Though Pearson has battled his command after a five-month layoff, he ranks second among AFL starters in strikeout rate (12.7 per nine innings).
Others considered: Melvin Adon, RHP, Giants; Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros; DeMarcus Evans, RHP, Rangers; Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP, Red Sox; Justin Lawrence, RHP, Rockies.

Best curveball
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros

Whitley is baseball's top pitching prospect, in large part because he can miss bats with four pitches. He has one of the better curveballs in the Minors, though it hasn't been as sharp as usual in the Fall League, grading as his fourth-best offering on some days. He's still racking up strikeouts, topping the AFL with 23 in 17 innings.
Others considered: Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs; Jordan Yamamoto, RHP, Marlins; DeMarcus Evans, RHP, Rangers; Trent Thornton, RHP, Astros.
Best slider
Melvin Adon, RHP, Giants

Adon can touch 102 mph with his fastball but has a reputation for having much more velocity than polish. He's working to change that this fall, focusing on commanding a two-seam fastball rather than overpowering hitters with four-seamers, and his upper-80s slider has had more bite and consistency than in the past. He has been untouchable while working as a reliever, striking out 19 in 9 2/3 innings while permitting just three hits and two walks.
Others considered: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros; Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP, Red Sox; Miguel Diaz, RHP, Padres; Wyatt Mills, RHP, Mariners.
Best changeup
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros

Considering that he has a mid-90s fastball with life and plane, a hard 12-to-6 curve and a harder slider with late bite, it seems unfair that Whitley possesses a quality changeup as well. He sells the pitch by maintaining his arm speed and it dodges bats with depth and fade. His changeup has helped him limit lefties to a .196 average in three pro seasons.
Others considered: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Dodgers; Miguel Diaz, RHP, Padres; Evan Kruczynski, LHP, Cardinals.

Best control
Blake Weiman, LHP, Pirates

Weiman's pinpoint control of average stuff got him drafted in the eighth round in 2017, and he has continued to pound the strike zone as a pro. He has posted a 1.2 walk rate per nine innings and an 8.6 K/BB ratio in two pro seasons and leads all AFL pitchers with at least 10 innings in both categories (0.9 walk rate, 9.9 K/BB).
Others considered:Devin Smeltzer, LHP, Twins; Trent Thornton, RHP, Astros; Jordan Yamamoto, RHP, Marlins; David McKay, RHP, Mariners.

Jim Callis is a reporter for Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.