I went into the offseason with the goal of following our prospects in the Arizona Fall League really closely and giving you guys constant updates. I'm sorry to say I've failed horribly. But I'm gonna try to pick it back up again, and there's no time like present. Because tonight some of the best talent in the AFL will be on display in the eighth annual Fall Stars Game (formerly known as the Rising Stars Game), taking place at Surprise Stadium. You'll get a preview of some of the hottest prospects in the game, many of which will probably be seen playing in the big leagues in the near future.
Two players represent the Padres organization on the Fall Stars West Division roster: pitcher Keyvius Sampson and catcher Austin Hedges, who is in the starting lineup for today's exhibition. Sampson, the Padres' no. 15 prospect, has been impressive on the mound in these first three weeks of AFL play. He's contributed in six total games so far, pitching out of the bullpen before making his first AFL start this past Tuesday when he tossed three frames of scoreless ball, scattering three hits and a walk. Overall, he's gone ten innings, striking out nine batters while allowing just one run on eight hits.
Meanwhile Hedges has excelled both at and behind the plate. In ten games this Fall, he's hit .257 with four extra-base hits and six RBI. Behind the dish he has a 59% CS rate. It's awesome to see Hedges' bat improve to catch up with his glove and his arm and I'm really excited to see him on my TV tonight.
You can watch the Fall Stars Game on MLB Network or MLB.TV at 5pm. Feel free to use this as an open thread if you're planning on tuning in.