The Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, essentially their All-Star game, will take place at 8 pm this evening. I'll have you covered both here and on Twitter (@mlbpw). This page will be updated continually throughout the game with thoughts, scouting reports, and comments as the action unfolds. I will also be answering questions on Twitter about the prospects involved in the game.
10:24 PM EST: Jonathan Schoop should be able to play shortstop in the major leagues, but will he get a chance to? The common thought was no, because of the presence of Manny Machado ahead of him within the Orioles organization, even though there were split thoughts about who was the better defensive shortstop. Machado was a top pick and was paid more, so he gets first dibs at shortstop in their system. Except now he's in the majors playing third base because of J.J. Hardy. Schoop, on the other hand, needs more time in the minors and may not be major league ready until around the time Hardy''s contract is nearing its end (he's signed through 2014 - Schoop should be ready a little before that). What will the Orioles do at that point? Do they move Machado back to SS and find a spot in the infield for Schoop, who can also play second and third base? Or do they leave Machado where he will hae been for about two years at that point and let Schoop play short? It's won't be a scouting decision at that point. It will be an ego/prestige decision.
9:42 PM EST: Jonathan SIngleton hasn't hit well against left-handed pitching in the minors, but facing a left-handed reliever who will almost certainly be a LOOGY in the majors, he drew an impressive walk (if there is such a thing) and took some good hacks in the at-bat. He didn't pull off the ball or bail out (two common problems for left-handed hitters against LHP's). He'll never be great against lefties, but I'll bet his numbers improve against them.
9:10 PM (EST): James Paxton is demonstrating great breaking stuff. Like so many young pitchers, he needs to work on his fastball command, but he's not far from the majors. If he can refine his changeup, he's absolutely going to fulfill his ceiling as a 2-3 starter, and he could probably be a back end guy as early as 2013.
8:42 PM (EST): First thing we learned about Billy Hamilton in center field on this evening - he needs to learn to gauge the balls he can get to with his speed, but doesn't have room for. He would have caught that triple off the wall by Austin Romine, but that darned wall got in the way. It was the bounce off the wall that turned it into a triple. Hamilton will have to learn to play that further off the wall. It's one of the subtle nuinaces of playing the outfield that he just hasn't been out there long enough to learn yet, but it's also one of the reasons the Reds can't just bring him up to the majors and put him out there next year. Drew Stubbs keeps Romine on second base.
8:30 PM (EST): I fully expect Kyle Gibson to make the Minnesota Twins starting rotation next spring. He missed this entire season due to Tomy John surgery but was a 1st round pick in 2009 and has good stuff that has come back from the surgery. He knows how to pitch and the Twins need pitching. In his brief return to action at the end of this season, he returned striking out more batters than ever, which is a good sign of his stuff. The only thing that will keep him out of the majors next season is his health, or if the Twins decide to take the Nationals approach to Tommy John Recovery.
8:12 PM (EST): Everything Jarred Cosart does is so upright and stiff. Even his pickoff move is stiff. His mechanics will never allow him to have the control he needs unless he loosens up and gets out over his front foot more easily. Even when he's throwing strikes, he misses his spots too frequently within the zone. Right now, he screams reliever...but there's still plenty of time.
8:06 PM (EST): I'm very interested to see Nick Castellanos again. I've seen him a number of times and I'm not a fan of his swing, and the numbers suggest he needs to refine his approach at the plate (discipline-wise) which I've also seen from him in person, but it's tough to argue with his ability to barrel up the ball and hit for average. He'll need more power if he's going to be a corner outfielder though. The Tigers needs could severely limit his value.
7:50 PM (EST): First thoughts...I'm thrilled to see Nationals prospect Brian Goodwin getting the respect he deserves as the leadoff hitter for the East. He's one of the games more underrated prospects. Had a great year in the Sally League before the Nats jumped him up to Double-A. Love the way he controls the strike zone without sacrificing power.
7:44 PM (EST): Here are the lineups for tonight's game:
Rising Stars lineups: West - B Hamilton; H Lee; R Liriano; H Morris; N Franklin; C Asche; B Brentz; T Joseph; B Fletcher; K Gibson is SP— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayoB3) November 3, 2012
Rising Stars East: B Goodwin; G Brown; J Singleton; N Castellanos; K Cowart; A Romine; C Dickerson; D Adams; C Owings; J Cosart as SP— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayoB3) November 3, 2012