Padres # 4 prospect Hunter Renfroe and Angels minor league pitcher Trevor Gott were close friends when both played for the Lake Elsinore Storm. In fact, they were roommates. But Gott was traded as part of the Huston Street package. And both were selected to the All Star game roster of their respective divisions in the Arizona Fall League. The "Fall Stars Game" was played last night at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, a beautiful baseball complex. Gott's East Division squad prevailed 6-2.
Renfroe and Gott squared off against each other when Renfroe was inserted as a pinch hitter in the top of the 6th inning. Gott was quickly ahead 0-2. Renfroe laid off a sucker pitch out of the zone and then spoiled a good out pitch from Gott with a foul ball. After the game, I asked Renfroe what he was looking for from Gott and he said, "I was just fastball hunting and he threw me one up in the zone and I hit it hard."
Hard is an understatement. As Uncle Teddy would say, he "KA-RUSH’D" Gott’s 1-2 pitch about 430 feet onto the lawn over the left center field fence. At the time, Renfroe's shot closed the West's deficit to 4-2.
In the bottom half of the 6th, Renfroe made an athletic catch on a liner to centerfield to end the inning. Renfroe looks comfortable and quick covering ground in the spacious outfield at Talking Stick. Fellow Friar Jace Peterson came into the game in the bottom of the 6th inning as a defensive replacement at second base. In his only at-bat of the night, he muscled a blooper-jam shot over the shortstop for a base hit. Peterson and Renfroe were the only Padres prospects to play in the game.
Renfroe came back in the 8th and hit one of his signature towering fly balls about 400 feet to the deepest part of right center field, right up to the wall. Blue Jays star prospect Dalton Pompey dropped the fly ball at the fence. Renfroe was hustling around the bases and slid safely into third.
After the game, Renfroe said he's hitting the ball much better since returning to an approach at the plate that keeps his weight more evenly distributed between front and back legs. That was his approach last night when he mashed the two long shots. Renfroe was quick to praise the hitting coaches he's worked with this year, especially Padres hitting coach Alonzo Powell and the Surprise Saguaro's hitting coach Jody Davis. In AFL play, Renfroe is slashing .250/.342/.453 over 64 AB in 17 games.