10 PGAA's named AFL Fall Stars

Photo: Perfect Game

Jeff Dahn
Published: Friday, November 3, 2017

Ten alumni of the Perfect Game All-American Classic and 14 graduates of the PG National Showcase will perform on their next big stage when they suit-up for either the East or West team at Saturday’s 12th annual Arizona Fall League (AFL) Fall Stars Game.

Twelve top Minor League Baseball prospects with PG histories are included on the East Fall Stars roster with another 14 on the West roster. The game will be played at Salt River Fields Stadium in Scottsdale, Ariz., which serves as the Cactus League spring training home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks; it is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (MST) start and will be broadcast on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com.

The PG All-Americans are divided evenly between the two rosters with five on each team:

The East will enjoy the services of Yankees left-hander Justus Sheffield (2013 PGAAC), Brewers infielder Jake Gatewood (2013), Orioles infielder Ryan Mountcastle (2014), Athletics infielder Sheldon Neuse (2012) and Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker (2014).

The West will employ Braves right-hander Touki Toussaint (2013), Red Sox infielder Michael Chavis (2013), Padres infielder Josh Naylor (2014), Braves infielder Austin Riley (2014) and Phillies outfielder Cornelius Randolph (2014).

Each of those prospects except for Gatewood performed at the PG National the same year they were invited to the PGACC. Mets catcher Tomas Nido (2011) and Brewers outfielder Corey Ray (2012) from the East, and Blue Jays catcher Max Pentecost (2010), Pirates infielder Kevin Kramer (2010) and Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop (2011) from the West attended the PG National the summer before their senior year in high school.

The 20-year old Tucker, a left-handed power-hitter out of Tampa who the Astros selected with the fifth overall pick of the first-round in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft, is the No. 7-ranked prospect in the minor leagues, according to MLBPipeline.com.

After standout performances at the 2014 PG A-A Classic and PG National Showcase, and two all-tournament performances playing the All-American Prospects that summer, Tucker had climbed into the top-10 in PG’s class of 2015 national prospect rankings. Not that he noticed.

“I like to just go out there and play and not really get all caught up with the rankings or anything,” he told PG in the summer of 2014. “I like just going out there and playing and were ever they rank me, they rank me; I don’t pay much attention to that.”

Sheffield, out of Tullahoma, Tenn., is ranked No. 79 by MLBPipeline.com, and Chavis, from Marietta, Ga., comes in at No. 92. Chavis, a first-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2014 MLB Draft, was a member of the East Cobb Baseball team that took home the title at the 2012 PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla.

That capped an amazing 2012 campaign for Chavis, who was in the class of 2014. In five tournaments that summer, he hit a combined .452 (33-for-73) with seven doubles, four triples, six home runs, 28 RBI and 35 runs scored; he attended 26 PG events during his high school years.

Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the highest-ranked pitcher in the AFL this season at No. 18, according to MLBPipeline.com.

Keller attended 23 events during his PG career and was included on the Top Prospect List at eight PG showcases from 2012-14; he was a regular on the PG Iowa Spring and Fall League circuit for three years. The Pirates selected him in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

The Brewers selected Ray with the No. 5 overall pick in 2016 after a stellar three-year career at the University of Louisville, and he has moved into the No. 58 slot in MLBPipeline.com’s prospect rankings. He appears to be on the fast-track to the big leagues, something that comes as no surprise to Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell.

“Whatever minor league town or team they send him to, it will be ‘OK guys, I’m here. Let’s play, let’s have fun, let’s win,’ and I don’t know how you turn that down in professional athletics,” McDonnell told PG before the 2016 MLB Draft. “The great ones make others around them better and that’s going to be this big strength, making everyone around him better.”

AFL East Division PG Fall Stars

  • Yency Almonte, RHP (Rockies): 2011 WWBA
  • Kirby Bellow, LHP (Diamondbacks): 2008-10 WWBA/BCS; 2009 showcases
  • Justus Sheffield, LHP (Yankees): 2013 PG A-A Classic; 2013 PG National; 2011-13 WWBA
  • Jake Stinnett, RHP (Cubs): 2006-08 WWBA/BCS; 2008 showcases
  • Aramis Garcia, C (Giants): 2009-10 WWBA/BCS
  • Tomas Nido, C (Mets): 2011 PG National; 2010 PG Jr. National; 2009-11 WWBA/BCS
  • Jake Gatewood, INF (Brewers): 2013 PG A-A Classic; 2011-13 showcases; 2013 WWBA
  • Luis Guillorme, INF (Mets): 2010-12 WWBA/BCS; 2010-11 showcases
  • Ryan Mountcastle, INF (Orioles): 2014 PG A-A Classic; 2014 PG National; 2013 PG Jr. National; 2011-14 WWBA/BCS, 27 PG events
  • Sheldon Neuse, INF (Athletics): 2012 PG A-A Classic; 2012 PG National; 2011 PG Jr. National; 2009-12 WWBA
  • Corey Ray, OF (Brewers): 2012 PG National; 2010-12 WWBA
  • Kyle Tucker, OF (Astros): 2014 PG A-A Classic; 2014 PG National; 2011-14 WWBA/BCS

AFL West Division PG Fall Stars

  • Adam Choplick, LHP (Rangers): 2009 PG Jr. National; 2008-09, ’11 WWBA/BCS
  • Matthew Festa, RHP (Mariners): 2011 WWBA
  • Jordan Hicks, RHP (Cardinals): 2013-14 WWBA/BCS
  • Mitch Keller, RHP (Pirates): 2012 PG Jr. National; 2012-14 showcases; 2012-14 Iowa Spring/Fall Leagues, 2012-14 WWBA; 23 PG events
  • Touki Toussaint, RHP (Braves): 2013 PG A-A Classic; 2013 PG National; 2010-13 WWBA/BCS; 24 PG events
  • T.J. Zeuch, RHP (Blue Jays): 2012, ’14 WWBA; 2011 showcase
  • Max Pentecost, C (Blue Jays): 2010 PG National; 2008-10 WWBA
  • Michael Chavis, INF (Red Sox): 2013 PG A-A Classic; 2013 PG National; 2010-13 WWBA/BCS; 2012-13 showcases; 26 PG events
  • Kevin Kramer, INF (Pirates): 2010 PG National; 2008 WWBA
  • Brandon Lowe, INF (Rays): 2010-12 WWBA; 2010-11 showcases
  • Josh Naylor, INF (Padres): 2014 PG A-A Classic; 2014 PG National; 2013 PG Jr. National; 2012-14 WWBA
  • Austin Riley, INF (Braves): 2014 PG A-A Classic; 2014 PG National; 2012-14 WWBA/BCS
  • Braden Bishop, OF (Mariners): 2011 PG National; 2008 WWBA
  • Cornelius Randolph, OF (Phillies): 2014 PG A-A Classic; 2014 PG National; 2012-14 WWBA; 24 PG events

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