I like Tim Tebow, but there were fifty – nine other bonifide major-league prospects trying to show their talent in the 2018 AA Eastern League All Star Game at Trenton Thunder’s Arm and Hammer Field last Wednesday.
Binghamton’s Tebow’s double in his first All Star AB in the bottom of the second inning probably caused as much fan and media stir as the batter before, Phillies’ prospect Deivi Grullon’s HR, which gave the East an early 2-0 lead.
Tim Tebow cracks a double to left center field in the bottom of the second inning
Twenty-three of the 60 players playing in the game were among major league teams top rated 30 minor league prospects, including a couple #1s, Colorado Rockies’ SS Brandon Rogers representing Hartford and Toronto Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero representing New Hampshire.
East SS, Brandon Rodgers is the #1 minor league prospect of the Colorado Rockies
The All Star Game featured a little bit of everything, power hitting, good pitching, good defense, good base running, and drama at the end, all of the makings for a good game.
.East and West pitchers threw 18 IP, allowing only 15 hits, 8 earned runs scored, 6 BB, and an impressive 22 K, and a better than an average 1.22 K per inning. Sixteen (16) pitchers had at least a K, and six (6) two K in their IP.
Seventeen (17) of the combined East and West 22 pitchers pitched shutout ball, with only five of the pitchers allowing any of the eight runs scored.
East pitchers, New Hampshire’s Jordan Romano and TJ Zeuch and Portland’s Matt Kent and Kyle Hart didn’t allow a hit until Harrisburg’s Taylor Gushue singled for the West with one out in the fifth inning.
Colorado Rockies 2016 # 1 draft pick, TJ Zouch, pitched a scoreless 3rd inning for the East.
The defense of both teams was flawless as neither made an error the entire game.
East runners, New Hampshire’s Jonathan Davis stole second base off strong armed Harrisburg’s catcher Taylor Gushue in the first, and Hartford’s Sam Hilliard off Bowie’s Michael Cervenka in the seventh inning.
Phillies Jan Hernandez’s solo HR added to to the East’s lead in the bottom of the 4th inning.
East’s Jan Hernandez’s solo HR in the bottom of the 4th made the score 3-0
The West’s offensive attack began for real in the fifth when Akron’s Joe Sever and Connor Mirabell and Altoona’s Ke’Bryan Hayes put together one -out hits, Mirabell and Hayes tagging up on a fly ball hit by Erie’s Will Maddox, and Mirabell scoring on wild pitch to lift the West into a 3-3 tie.
The West went ahead 4-3 in the eighth inning on Richmond and Bush’s All Star MVP winner Luigi Rodriquez’ blast of a 0-1 offering over the left center fence.
Richmond Flying Squirrels and Giants minor leaguer, Luigi Rodriquez won the Bush All Star MVP
West (and Altoona Curve) manager, Michael Ryan complimented Rodriquez after the game, “He’s just a special hitter with the hand eye coordination that he has. He’s a special type of player…..”
The East rallied to tie the score in the 9th inning when Binghamton’s Patrick Mazurka singled and scored the tying run on a double hit by the home team Trenton’s Trey Amburgey.
To resolve the 4-4 tie game, Altoona’s Will Craig and Reading’s Zach Green played a form of sandlot’s “flies and grounders,” so many points for hitting a homer over the fence, line drive up the alleys, grounders,………………with Craig outhitting his opponent to win the game for the West Division.
East manager, Jay Bell thought it was a great game. “For me, it’s about all the players getting in the game and showing their talent and I think both sides accomplished that. tonight”
Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 #1 Draft Pick, Will Craig won the “flies and grounders” and 2018 All Star Game for the West