The West Stars topped the East Stars 8-3 in the 10th annual Arizona League Fall Stars Game. The West squad hit three long homers, one each by Gary Sanchez, Austin Meadows and Alex Blandino. For the East team, the Marlins’ Austin Dean had a two-run inside the park home run. The West just had too much power for the East to keep up with on Saturday night.
Jeimer Candelario and Corey Black got into the game. Candelario had two at bats, one from the right side in the seventh and the other from the left side in the ninth. Candelario doubled in Sam Travis in the seventh and finished the game 1-for-2 with a double and a RBI.
Corey Black had a rough inning as he continued to struggle with his command. Black allowed three runs, all earned, on three hits with a wild pitch, a walk and a strikeout in one inning. Black hung a slider to Reds’ prospect Alex Blandino that went for a two-run homer. Black made 23 pitches, 16 for strikes.
There were a lot of mid-to-high-90s fastballs thrown Saturday night and a handful hit triple digits. It would be easier to list the pitchers that did not light up the radar gun than the ones that did. There were a total of 20 pitchers used, all with good stuff.
Yankees’ prospect Gary Sanchez was named the 2015 Fall Stars MVP.
Here’s how the game played out at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale …
The A’s Sean Manaea pitched a scoreless first inning. Manaea had trouble with his release point and issued a two-out walk to Jurickson Profar. Yankees’ prospect Gary Sanchez flied out to Clint Frazier in center with Profar at second to end the inning. Manaea showed the good arm strength on 17 pitches, nine for strikes.
The Braves’ Lucas Sims started for the West squad and was greeted by Christian Arroyo with a single to left. Sims pumped high-90s heat to Clint Frazier and caught him looking. Gary Sanchez threw out Arroyo trying to swipe second with Chad Pinder at the plate. Sanchez showed excellent foot work when he popped up and nailed Arroyo at second. Pinder struck out swinging on more high-90s heat from Sims to end the inning. Sims made 14 pitches, eight for strikes.
Sean Manaea stayed in for the second inning and struck out the side (J.D. Davis, Derek Fisher and Jacob Scavuzzo) in order. Manaea pitched two scoreless on 31 pitches, 20 for strikes. Manaea was much better in the second inning with repeating his motion, high-90s fastball with an excellent low-80s slider, a very good mid-80s change of pace and an upper-80s cutter.
Rowdy Tellez started the second with a double to left center off Lucas Sims. Adam Brett Walker II swung over the top of an 80 mph curveball for the first out. Austin Dean drove a 0-1 pitch (96 mph fastball) to right. Derek Fisher tried to make a diving catch on a sinking liner. Fisher came up short and it was off to the races for Dean.
Austin Dean ended up with a two-run inside the park home run with an excellent slide at the plate. And Gary Sanchez dropping the ball … 2-0 East Stars.
Renato Davis rolled out to third base for the second out of the inning. Jake Bauers singled to right with two down. Sims struck out Oscar Hernandez swinging with a 97 mph fastball to end the inning. The East squad made a lot of solid contact in a rough second inning for Lucas Sims (33 pitches, 24 for strikes).
The East led the West 2-0 after two innings.
It was Kyle Freeland’s turn in the third inning for the East squad. And it was more mid-to-high-90s heat off the mound at Salt River. Freeland lit up the radar gun while dealing with command issues. The southpaw did not allow any runs thanks to Ramon Torres hitting a soft liner to short with the runners going that turned into an easy inning ending double play. Freeland surrendered a leadoff single to D.J. Peterson. Yadiel Rivera hit a slow roller to the third base side of the mound. Freeland showed off his athleticism when he got off the mound and forced Peterson at second base. Freeland walked Adam Engel before the inning ending double play. Freeland made 12 pitches, eight for strikes.
Damien Magnifico completed a 1-2-3 third inning on eight pitches, six for strikes. Magnifico touched 98 mph with his fastball and showed a rather impressive slider. The Brewers’ pitching prospect recorded two groundouts and a strike out of Clint Frazier. Milwaukee’s excellent shortstop prospect, Yadiel Rivera, made a barehand pickup of the slow roller from Chad Pinder to end the inning.
The East had a 2-0 advantage after three innings.
Kyle Freeland really struggled in the fourth. Freeland missed his spots while the West team capitalized on his mistakes. Profar led off with a single to right center just out to the reach of a leaping Christian Arroyo. Gary Sanchez launched a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left and onto the berm. Sanchez tied the game at two with a rather long home run.
J.D. Davis followed Sanchez’s blast with a single to right center. Freeland continued having command issues. Fisher flied out to center for the first out. Scavuzzo flied out to deep right near the line. Davis tagged and went to second. Freeland struck out Peterson swinging on an 85 mph cutter for the third out.
The bottom of the fourth belonged to Chaz Hebert, a low-90s and changeup lefty … the first pitcher of the night that did not reach the upper-90s during his outing. Hebert had excellent command and completed a three up, three down fourth (Tellez groundout, Brett Walker II strikeout and Dean groundout) on 18 pitches, 11 strikes.
The Fall Stars Game was tied a two after four innings.
The Nationals’ Abel De Los Santos was called on the fifth and his wildness led to a run. De Los Santos and Oscar Hernandez could not get on the same page. Hernandez also had trouble with balls in the dirt. Rivera grounded out to short for the first out. Engel reached on a single, stole second with Ramon Torres at the plate and went to third on a passed ball. Torres lifted a 3-2 pitch out to right. Engel tagged and scored, 3-2 West Stars. Profar re-started the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a wild pitch. Sanchez rolled out to short for the third out. De Los Santos was the least impressive of the pitchers in the first five innings. Decent stuff, little command and really struggled with repeating his delivery.
It was back to high-90s heat with good movement from Jacob Barnes in the bottom of the fifth. Renato Nunez looked overmatched as he struck out swinging for the first out. Jake Bauers reached on a throwing error by shortstop Yadiel Rivera. With Hernandez at the plate, Bauers was picked off first base. Hernandez hit a routine fly to left for the third out.
The West led the East 3-2 after five innings.
Adam Ravenelle of the Tigers took over in the sixth and was rocked. Ravenelle missed his spots with mid-to-high-90s fastballs and little movement. Ravenelle was not left in long enough to record three outs. Patrick Wisdom reached on a throwing error by second baseman Daniel Robertson to start the inning. Pirates’ prospect Austin Meadows lifted a poorly located 96 mph fastball to right center. The ball carried just over the wall, 5-2 West Stars. Philip Ervin batted for Jacob Scavuzzo and singled to left. With pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp at the plate, Ervin stole second base. Knapp struck out swinging and that was all for Ravenelle.
Lefty Chad Girodo replaced Ravenelle and struck out Rivera swinging. Girodo kept the ball down and showed a good mix with his slider and fastball. Girodo sat in the upper-80s with his fastball and upper-70s with his slider. Engel worked a two-out walk. Alex Blandino reached on an error by Chad Pinder at short to load the bases. Profar rolled out to second base for the third out.
The Pirates’ Trevor Williams was next up for the West squad in the bottom of the sixth. Williams faced the minimum in the sixth while showing decent command of his high-80s, low-90s fastball. Williams did not get the call on a 2-2 pitch to Clint Frazier and walked him with one out. Chad Pinder grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
The West had a 5-2 lead after six innings.
Ray Black lit up the gun in the seventh and hit triple digits (98-101) with his fastball. The Giants’ prospect throws incredibly hard and showed very good command. Black pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Jeimer Candelario made a nice running catch toward foul ground on a pop up off the bat of Austin Meadows to end the inning.
It was another lefty in the bottom of the seventh for the West team. David Rollins struck out Tellez before issuing a walk to the pesky Sam Travis before getting Raimel Tapia chased a 1-2 pitch in the dirt for the second out. Jeimer Candelario scorched the first pitch he saw, a 92 mph fastball, to deep center. Adam Engel could not catch up to the ball. Travis scored all the way from first on a ringing double from Candelario … 5-3 West Stars. Mike Gerber struck out swinging to end the inning.
At the end of seven innings it was the West leading the East 5-3.
Corey Black pitched the eighth and was not good. Black had little to no command, especially of his slider, and he missed his spots by several inches, if not feet, consistently. Black was squared up rather well and he allowed the West Stars to put the game away. Black can light up the radar gun, high-90s and can touch 100-plus, but he does not appear to know where the ball is going.
Philip Ervin led off the eighth with a single to center. Black struck out Andrew Knapp swinging. Rivera rolled out to second as Ervin moved up 90 feet. A wild pitch allowed Ervin to take third. Adam Engel reached on an infield single up the middle. Ervin scored, 6-3 West Stars. Alex Blandino crushed a hanging slider. And his two run homer to left made it an 8-3 game. Black walked Profar. Reese McGuire grounded out to short to finally end the inning.
Ralston Cash started the eighth inning for the West team. After Garver struck out swinging, Daniel Robertson singled to left. Frazier went down swinging for the second out. Eric Yardley replaced Cash with one on and two down. Chad Pinder singled to right. Lefty Donnie Hart was called on to face Tellez with runners on first and second with two outs. The southpaw sidewinder struck out Tellez for the third out.
The Fall Stars Game went to the ninth with the West leading the East 8-3.
Greg Mahle made his way to the mound in the ninth. Mahle struck out Patrick Wisdom but hit Meadows. Carlos Estevez replaced Mahle and picked up the final two outs. Ervin struck out swinging and Knapp tapped a 0-2 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Estevez made a nice pick up and threw out Knapp at first to end the inning.
Edubray Ramos notched the first two outs in the ninth with more mid-to-high-90s heat and a rather impressive slider. Ramos struck out both Travis and Tapia before turning the game over to Robinson Leyer.
Jeimer Candelario popped a 2-0 pitch to Alex Blandino behind second base to end the game.