The Arizona Fall League named their “Fall Stars” (that’s not a typo), and the list including Blue Jay prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Cavan Biggio, and Nate Pearson.
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to watch Blue Jays baseball, but at least we’ve had the Arizona Fall League to help tide us over for the time being.
The league named their mid-season “Fall Stars” on Tuesday, and the list included three Blue Jays prospects who have taken part in the AFL season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the headliner of the group, especially since he’s slashed a ridiculous .429/.477/.554 in 56 at bats, and striking out only once time. The wonder kid is joined by two other notable prospects as well who have more than held own in Cavan Biggio and Nate Pearson.
Biggio has used the AFL playing experience to work on developing his defensive skills in the outfield, something that’s relatively new to him as a professional. The Eastern League (AA) MVP spent the 2018 split between first, second, and third base, and is trying to add the outfield to his resume in order to add to his value, and also to secure a place in the future of the Blue Jays potentially loaded lineup. Through 35 at bats he’s slashed .229/.383/.400, adding three doubles, a home run, and six RBI.
Pearson was a first round draft pick last season, and unfortunately missed most of the 2018 campaign because of a broken bone in his pitching arm sustained on a come-backer in his first minor league start. He’s shaken off that injury though, and is gaining some valuable innings and experience this fall in hopes of making up for some missed time. The stats haven’t been pretty for him so far though I’m afraid, as he’s posted an 11.12 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched, including a WHIP of 2.65. On the plus side, he’s struck out 16 hitters so far, and has shown a very live arm. His last start on Monday was a good example, as he threw four innings, allowing seven hits, a walk and four runs, while striking out six.
If you feel so inclined, you could head on over to www.mlb.com and have your say in which players get the final two spots in this year’s Fall Stars game, although there are no additional Blue Jays prospects among the final candidates.
The game should serve as a great showcase for the Blue Jay minor leaguers involved, and likely a chance for Guerrero in particular to shine. He already has media following his every move and he’s still just 19, but he has a chance to join the list of premium young players who have recently performed well in the game including Ronald Acuna (2017), Cody Bellinger (2016), and Gary Sanchez (2015).
Even if it goes poorly for any or all of the Blue Jays prospects, it’s a great honour, and a step in the right direction in their respective developments.