Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Top performers from Triple-A All-Star Game

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Minor League home run leader provided the biggest hit of the Triple-A All-Star Game. Athletics left fielder Renato Nunez, ranked No. 17 on Oakland's Top 30 Prospects list, slammed a three-run homer off Yankees left-hander Caleb Smith that left Cheney Field in a hurry, snapping a 1-1 fourth-inning tie in a 6-4 Pacific Coast League victory Wednesday night.

Nunez, who already has 24 regular-season homers after hitting 23 in Triple-A a year ago, won the PCL MVP Award and helped end the International League's four-game winning streak in a Triple-A All-Star Game featuring more talent than usual. There were nine of MLBPipeline's Top 100 Prospects on hand, more than doubling the four from 2016 and nearly equaling the total of 11 from 2013-16.

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Minor League home run leader provided the biggest hit of the Triple-A All-Star Game. Athletics left fielder Renato Nunez, ranked No. 17 on Oakland's Top 30 Prospects list, slammed a three-run homer off Yankees left-hander Caleb Smith that left Cheney Field in a hurry, snapping a 1-1 fourth-inning tie in a 6-4 Pacific Coast League victory Wednesday night.

Nunez, who already has 24 regular-season homers after hitting 23 in Triple-A a year ago, won the PCL MVP Award and helped end the International League's four-game winning streak in a Triple-A All-Star Game featuring more talent than usual. There were nine of MLBPipeline's Top 100 Prospects on hand, more than doubling the four from 2016 and nearly equaling the total of 11 from 2013-16.

Watch: Nunez belts 3-run homer

Besides Nunez, here are 10 more players who distinguished themselves:

Wilmer Font, RHP, Dodgers
The top of the first inning ended almost as soon as it began. Font, the Minor League leader in strikeouts with 119 in 88 1/3 innings, needed just four pitches to retire the IL in order. His appearance went so fast that the radar gun on the Cheney Stadium scoreboard hadn't started registering velocities, though he usually works at 92-96 mph.

Richie Shaffer, DH, Indians
The IL MVP Award winner, Shaffer opened the scoring by jumping on a 3-0 fastball over the heart of the plate from Cubs right-hander Seth Frankoff and homering to right-center in the second inning. The 2012 Rays first-rounder also did a nice job with a ball low and away from Mariners righty Jean Machi in the fifth, shooting it to the opposite field for an RBI double.

Watch: Shaffer goes yard

Colin Moran, 3B, Astros
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 Draft by the Marlins, Moran is batting .310/.368/.556 with 18 homers in 74 Triple-A games a year after batting .259/.329/.368 with 10 homers in 117 games at the same level. Houston's No. 23 prospect showed off the new, improved version by pulling a down-and-in fastball from Phillies right-hander Tom Eshelman for a game-tying homer in the second inning, added a single in the fourth and made a pair of nifty plays at the hot corner.

Watch: Moran launches solo shot

Madison Younginer, RHP, Dodgers
Four right-handers hit 97 mph on the stadium radar gun: Younginer, Kevin Shackelford (Reds), Jimmy Yacabonis (Orioles) and Matt Carasiti (Cubs). Younginer was the only one of the four to work a perfect inning, breezing through the fourth on eight pitches, seven for strikes, including a whiff of Blue Jays third baseman Jason Leblebijian on three straight.

Willy Adames, SS, Rays (No. 16 on Top 100)
Adames, the Rays' top prospect, gave the IL a short-lived lead when he drove a thigh-high pitch on the outer half from Machi for an opposite-field homer to right. He also had an infield hit in the second inning and ended his night with a lineout to center field in the sixth.

Willie Calhoun, 2B, Dodgers (No. 69 on Top 100)
Calhoun, ranked No. 3 on the Dodgers' Top 30 Prospects list, has as much power as any second baseman in the Minors, and he showed it off by doubling in consecutive innings. He tagged Smith with a pulled two-bagger in the fourth and went to center for another double off Braves right-handed Lucas Sims in the fifth.

Christian Walker, DH, Diamondbacks
After a breakout 2014 season, Walker, ranked No. 30 on the D-backs' Top 30 Prospects list, got too pull-happy and scuffled in Triple-A for the next two years, leading the Orioles to designate him for assignment. After bouncing on waivers from the Braves to the Reds to the Diamondbacks, he's leading the Minors in total bases (204) and RBIs (88), and he ranks second in homers (22). He's doing a better job of using the entire field and went to the opposite field in all four his at-bats, which included a pair of singles.

Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves (No. 7 on Top 100)
One of the best pure hitters in the Minors, Albies went 2-for-5 atop the IL lineup. The Braves' top prospect also turned in one of the better defensive plays, retiring speedy Mets shortstop Amed Rosario on a grounder in the sixth.

Rusney Castillo, OF, Red Sox
His $72.5 million contract may dissuade the luxury tax-conscious Red Sox from calling him up, but he is batting .302/.339/.473 at Pawtucket and has one of the best power/speed combinations in Boston's system. He singled twice and drove a ball to deep center in the ninth, though Rockies center fielder Noel Cuevas tracked it down.

Kevin Shackelford, RHP, Reds
Shackelford faced two hitters in the seventh and struck them out on three pitches each. Mariners first baseman Daniel Vogelbach went down looking against a 97-mph fastball, while Moran swung through an 88-mph cutter/slider.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.