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Major talent on display in Fall Stars Game

Urias show range for West squad, Robles tabbed MVP in East's win
November 5, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Another Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game is in the books and, not surprisingly given the talent at Salt River Fields at one time on Saturday evening, there were a number of outstanding performances throughout the 4-2 East Stars victory.It's obviously a tiny sample size, so there

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Another Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game is in the books and, not surprisingly given the talent at Salt River Fields at one time on Saturday evening, there were a number of outstanding performances throughout the 4-2 East Stars victory.
It's obviously a tiny sample size, so there shouldn't be too much read into this Top 10 performers list, other than to say some prospects rose to the occasion in front of the largest crowd of the AFL season and on national TV.
:: 2017 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game ::
1. Luis Urias, SS, Padres: Urias did a little bit of everything and probably would've been the MVP had the West won the game. Starting with his defense, Urias certainly didn't look like a guy who has spent most of his career on the right side of second base in the bottom of the fourth inning. With a runner on first, Mets catcher Tomas Nido sent a hard-hit grounder up the middle, but Urias ranged to his left and dove to start a very nifty double play. Then, in the top of the fifth, Urias gave the West a 2-1 lead when he turned on a 96-mph fastball from Cubs right-hander Adbert Alzolay and sent it a projected 416 feet over the left-center field fence. According to Statcast™, Urias' shot left his bat at 107.9 mph.
2. Tanner Scott, LHP, Orioles: Scott entered the game in the third inning with the score tied at 1. He kept it there with two one-hit innings. Scott struck out the side in the third and added one more K in the fourth while walking none. All four of his strikeouts came via his upper-80s slider, but he also featured a plus fastball that topped 98 mph.
3. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals: Robles took home MVP honors and showed why everyone is so excited about his tools, and it didn't take him long to do it. Robles walked to lead off the bottom of the first and he then stole second, getting up to 30.2 feet per second, according to Statcast™ (Byron Buxton averaged 30-plus feet per second, so we're talking elite speed). Robles also did it with a very short secondary lead of 12.3 feet (average in 2015-16 was 20.2 feet). He also singled in the tying run in the eighth on an Argenis Angulo slider.

4. Sandy Altcantara, RHP, Cardinals: Alcantara has been frustrating at times as a prospect, with premium power stuff, but he's getting hit more than he should given that stuff. That wasn't the case on Saturday as Altcantara tossed two scoreless innings. He was the only one to touch triple-digits, according to Statcast™, throwing a 100.1-mph four-seamer to Matt Thaiss of the Angels. Altcantara's spin rate topped 2,600 rpm on that pitch (To compare, Albertin Chapman averaged 2,494 rpm in 2017.
5. T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Blue Jays: Zeuch needed just 12 pitches to retire the side in order in the fifth. Effectively mixing in his sinking fastball thrown in the 92-94 mph range and his slider that he added and subtracted from (low of 77.5 mph, high of 85.6), the right-hander struck out two and got a groundout for a quick inning of work.

6. Yusniel Diaz, OF, Dodgers: Diaz made his largest impact in the second inning. In the top of the inning, he singled off Yankees starter Justus Sheffield to tie the game at 1, with an exit velocity of 105 mph. Then, in the bottom of the frame, Diaz made a nice play ranging back and stabbing Yankees infielder Thairo Estrada's line drive.
7. Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves: While he did get caught stealing and struck out twice, the 19-year-old's tools were still very much on display. Acuna singled in the top of the first and still reached an excellent speed of 29.4 feet/second (getting thrown out thanks to Nido's 1.91 pop time to second). Acuna also showed off his plus arm in right field in the eighth. It wasn't enough to get the Brewers' Corey Ray scoring on a sacrifice fly, but it was a bullet from deep down the line on one hop to the plate.
8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates: Keller was a little shaky command-wise in the first, and it led to a run, but he still gave up just one hit in his two innings to start the game for the West. His fastball was 94-96 mph throughout, and he even touched 97 mph. While he didn't strike out any batters, Keller did elicit four ground-ball outs, par for the course for him this fall (1.92 GO/AO in the AFL), using his slider effectively to generate weak contact.

9. Brennan Bernardino, LHP, Reds: Featuring a big, sweeping curveball, Bernadino struck out two in his hitless inning of work, earning the victory in the process. He absolutely froze Braves third baseman Austin Riley to end the inning on a breaking ball with a spin rate of 3,063 rpm. That's some elite-level spin for a breaking ball.
10. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles: It was just one at-bat, but it was the kind that made you see why the Orioles are so excited about Mountcastle's offensive upside. Facing the aforementioned Alcantara in the third, Mountcastle got a 99.6-mph fastball in (with an above-average 2,581 rpm spin rate no less), pulled in his hands and laced a double down the left-field line.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.