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Fall Stars Game packs PG punch

Jeff Dahn

Published: Friday, November 06, 2015



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The 10th annual Arizona Fall League (AFL) Fall Stars Game will be played Saturday night at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz., and former Perfect Game high school prospects will enjoy an oversized presence in both clubhouses.

The AFL East Division Fall Stars will face those selected from the AFL West Division in Minor League Baseball’s fall version of the Futures Game. It is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (MST) start and will be broadcast live on the MLB Network and live-streamed on MLB.com.

The game showcases 50 of MiLB’s top prospects – 25 on each roster – including several that have already enjoyed at least a cup of coffee in the big leagues. Twenty-eight of the 50 prospects – 14 in each dugout – attended at least one Perfect Game event during their high school years.

That number includes seven alumni of the PG All-American Classic, 11 who were at the PG National Showcase and 18 who were in Jupiter, Fla., at least once for the PG WWBA World Championship.

The seven former PG All-Americans – each of whom also performed at a PG National Showcase and a PG WWBA World Championship – are split up, with four on the East squad and three on the West.

The East Division roster features infielder JaCoby Jones (in the Detroit Tigers organization; participant at the 2009 Classic and National), infielder Daniel Robertson (Tampa Bay Rays; 2011); infielder Dominic Smith (N.Y. Mets; 2012); and outfielder Clint Frazier (Cleveland Indians, 2012).

The West Division team features right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims (Atlanta Braves; 2011); catcher Reese McGuire (Pittsburgh Pirates; 2012); and outfielder Austin Meadows (Pirates; 2012). Frazier – the 2012 Jackie Robinson Award winner as PG’s HS Player of the Year – and Meadows were on the East Team at the 2012 PG A-A Classic; McGuire and Smith were on the West Team at the same event. Sims and Robertson were in opposing dugouts at the 2011 Classic.

They are all looking forward to getting together again on yet another very big stage as they reach an important milestone on their journey to the major leagues.

“It’ll be a whole lot of fun,” Smith told Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com in an article published Nov. 2, the day the rosters were announced. “This league is so good. Every day, I step on the field it’s like an all-star game – you see the most elite minor-leaguers every game. I feel like the Fall Stars Game will be a lot of fun; I’m excited to play in it.”

The career paths of Frazier and Meadows have been intersecting their entire lives, it seems. They attended Georgia high schools separated by a little over 5 miles of GA Hwy-20, and were not only teammates at the PG All-American Classic and the PG National Showcase (Texas Orange) but with some powerhouse Team Elite travel ball teams, as well. They were both at the 2012 18u and 17u PG WWBA National Championships in Marietta, Ga., playing with Team Elite 17u Black.

“We grew up together, basically,” Meadows told William Boor from MLB.com in an article published Oct. 30. “Grew up playing against each other, out parents are good friends, we work out together in the offseason, so it’s good to have him here (in the Arizona Fall League), as well.”

Four other 2015 Fall Stars were in attendance at the PG National Showcase in June before their senior years in high school without being invited to the PG A-A Classic: Left-hander David Rollins (Seattle Mariners; 2007); right-hander Ralston Cash (L.A. Dodgers; 2009); left-hander Chaz Hebert (N.Y. Yankees; 2010); and outfielder Austin Dean (Miami Marlins; 2011.)

Six of the PG alumni were first-round picks in the MLB Draft, five of them in 2013. Sims was a first-rounder (21st pick) in 2012; Frazier (No. 5), Meadows (No. 9), Smith (No. 11), infielder D.J. Peterson (Mariners, No. 12) and McGuire (No. 14) were all selected in the first-round in 2013.

Seven prospects that played in last year’s AFL Fall Stars Game made their big-league debuts this season, including former PG All-Americans Archie Bradley (2010 Classic, debut with the Diamondbacks), Francisco Lindor (2010, Indians) and Corey Seager (2011, Dodgers.)

Lindor was also at the 2010 PG National Showcase – as was the Yankees’ Greg Bird, who also debuted this summer – and Seager was at the 2011 National.

“I’m sure this year’s rosters will have guys who’ll make that jump and play in the big leagues next year,” Smith told MLB.com. “It tells me what’s possible. If you keep playing hard anything is possible.

What follows is a list of the 28 AFL Fall Stars with PG ties, including (in parentheses) their current parent club, the year and round they were drafted and the organization that drafted them. Their most prominent PG appearances are also listed:

AFL East Division PG Fall Stars

  • Corey Black, RHP (Cubs; 2012 4th Rnd, Yankees): 2007 PG WWBA World Championship; 2007-10 PG WWBA; 2007-08 PG showcases
  • Nick Burdi, RHP (Twins; 2014 2nd Rnd, Twins): 2009-10 PG WWBA World Championship; 2008-10 PG WWBA
  • Chad Girodo, LHP (Blue Jays; 2013 9th Rnd, Blue Jays): 2008-09 17u, 18u PG WWBA
  • Sean Manaea, LHP (Athletics; 2013 1st Rnd Comp, Royals): 2008 PG National Underclass Showcase-Main Event; 2008-09 PG WWBA
  • Adam Ravenelle, RHP (Tigers; 2014 4th Rnd, Tigers): 2007-11 PG WWBA, PG BCS
  • JaCoby Jones, INF (Tigers; 2013 3rd Rnd, Pirates): 2009 PG All-American Classic; 2009 PG National Showcase; 2008 PG WWBA World Championship; 2008-10 PG WWBA
  • Chad Pinder, INF (Athletics; 2013 2nd Rnd Comp, A’s): 2008 PG WWBA World; 2007-10 PG WWBA
  • Daniel Robertson, INF (Rays; 2012 1st Rnd Comp, A’s): 2011 PG All-American Classic; 2011 PG National Showcase; 2011 PG WWBA World Championship; 2010-11 PG WWBA, PG showcases
  • Dominic Smith, INF (Mets; 2013 1st Rnd, Mets): 2012 PG All-American Classic; 2012 PG National Showcase; 2011-12 PG WWBA World championship; 2011-13 PG WWBA, PG showcases
  • Sam Travis, INF (Red Sox; 2014 2nd Rnd, Red Sox): 2009-10 PG WWBA World Championship; 2009-10 PG WWBA, PG BCS
  • Jake Bauers, OF (Rays; 2013 7th Rnd, Padres): 2012 PG WWBA World Championship
  • Austin Dean, OF (Marlins; 2012 4th Rnd, Marlins): 2011 PG National Showcase; 2010-11 PG WWBA World Championship; 2009-11 PG WWBA, PG BCS, PG showcases
  • Clint Frazier, OF (Indians; 2013 1st Rnd, Indians): 2012 PG All-American Classic; 2012 PG National Showcase; 2011 PG WWBA World Championship; 2011-12 PG WWBA, PG showcases
  • Adam Brett Walker, OF (Twins; 2012 3rd Rnd, Twins): 2008 PG Wrigley Classic

    AFL West Division PG Fall Stars

  • Ralston Cash, RHP (Dodgers; 2010 2nd Rnd, Dodgers): 2009 PG National Showcase; 2008-09 PG WWBA World Championship; 2007-09 PG WWBA, PG BCS, PG showcases
  • Donnie Hart, LHP (Orioles; 2013 27th Rnd, Orioles): 2008 17u PG WWBA National Championship
  • Chaz Hebert, LHP (Yankees; 2011 27th Rnd, Yankees): 2010 PG National Showcase; 2010 PG WWBA World Championship; 2009-10 PG WWBA, PG BCS, PG showcases
  • Damien Magnifico, RHP (Brewers; 2012 5th Rnd, Brewers): 2009 18u PG WWBA National Championship
  • David Rollins, LHP (Mariners; 2011 24th Rnd, Blue Jays): 2007 PG National Showcase; 2006-07 PG WWBA World Championship; 2006-07 PG WWBA, PG showcases
  • Lucas Sims, RHP (Braves; 2012 1st Rnd, Braves): 2011 PG All-American Classic; 2011 PG National Showcase; 2009-11 PG WWBA World Championship; 2009-11 PG WWBA, PG BCS, PG showcases
  • Reese McGuire, C (Pirates; 2013 1st Rnd, Pirates): 2012 PG All-American Classic; 2012 PG National Showcase; 2011 PG WWBA World Championship; 2011-12 PG WWBA, PG showcases
  • J.D. Davis, INF (Astros; 2014 3rd Rnd, Astros): 2010 PG/EvoShield Upperclass National Championship (MVP)
  • D.J. Peterson, INF (Mariners; 2013 1st Rnd, Mariners): 2009 PG WWBA World Championship
  • Adam Engel, OF (White Sox; 2013 19th Rnd, White Sox): 2008 17u PG WWBA National Championship
  • Derek Fisher, OF (Astros; 2014 1st Rnd Comp, Astros): 2010 PG WWBA World Championship; 2008-10 PG WWBA
  • Austin Meadows, OF (Pirates; 2013 1st Rnd, Pirates): 2012 PG All-American Classic; 2012 PG National Showcase; 2012 PG WWBA World Championship; 2010-12 PG WWBA, PG BCS
  • Michael Reed, OF (Brewers; 2011 5th Rnd, Brewers): 2008-10 PG WWBA
  • Mike Yastrzemski, OF (Orioles; 2013 14th Rnd, Orioles): 2007-08 PG WWBA, PG BCS, PG showcases

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