Discover more from The Dynasty Dugout
Live From the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game
Chris and Beck break down their live looks from the AFL Fall Stars game.
After a fun week at the Arizona Fall League, we capped off the week with the Fall Stars game on Sunday night, which brought action from the AFL’s top players. Most hitters got at least two at-bats, and every pitcher got an inning at most.
Beck and I break down everything from our live looks at the Fall Stars game here.
American League (Chris)
Colson Montgomery, SS, CHW, 21
Montgomery followed a rough game on Friday in which he whiffed on seven of eight pitches he swung at, with winning Fall Stars MVP. Montgomery went two-for-two with a big home run off of a 97 mph fastball from Ronan Kopp.
The power comes easy when Montgomery is focused on just squaring up pitches and making the contact he is capable of rather than trying hard to pull everything. That is the difference I saw from early in the week to Fall Stars. Just hit pitches where they are thrown and let your power come naturally.
With Tim Anderson out of the White Sox system, we could see Montgomery in Chicago sooner than later if health permits.
Check out my and Eric Cross’s interview with Colson Montgomery.
Kyle Manzardo, 1B, CLE, 23
Leading into Fall Stars weekend, Manzardo had five home runs and a .241/.326/.532 slash line with 19 strikeouts and nine walks. Despite seeing some struggle in my looks leading up to the Fall Stars game, Manzardo has struggled, especially with pitches up in the zone.
In an interview, I learned that Manzardo does like pitches middle-down, which fits his swing best, and he does acknowledge needing to work on better getting to pitches up.
Despite two strikeouts in the game, Manzardo made highlight reels with a 433-foot home run that left the bat at 111 mph/. He has an explosive swing and fast bat while showing a good feel for contact. I have said since they acquired him that Manzardo had a strong chance to be their first baseman in 2024, and I still stand by that. Here is the home run swing.
Will Robertson, OF, TOR, 25
Robertson has been a pleasant surprise throughout the Arizona Fall League, and it feels like he has come through in clutch spots repeatedly. In 63 AFL at-bats, Robertson hit three home runs and stole six bases while slashing .281/.459/.500 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
Robertson has a physically imposing frame and is a pretty good athlete for his size. He hit a big-time home run off Ronan Kopp as well, driving in two runs on the day in two trips to the plate.
During the Minor League season, Robertson hit 19 home runs and stole nine bases while slashing .245/.323/.488. He likely profiles more as a fourth OF option if he makes the bigs.
CJ Van Eyk, RHP, TOR, 25
After a rough couple of starts to begin the Arizona Fall League, Van Eyk bounced back and had several good outings down the stretch and had a 2.51 ERA across 14.1 innings heading into Fall Stars.
Van Eyk started the game for the AL team, and after giving up a double to begin the game to Victor Scott, Van Eyk proceeded to strike out at the next three hitters and generated five swinging strikes, showcasing his fastball, curve, and changeup. The fastball sat anywhere between 91-95 mph, with both the curve and the changeup sitting in the lower-80s.
Zach Penrod, LHP, BOS, 26
Penrod is one of the more fascinating stories in all of baseball as just two months ago, he was still pitching in the Independent League and had not been with an MLB org since 2018 when he signed with the Rangers as an Undrafted Free Agent.
Penrod then underwent Tommy John Surgery in April 2019 and was released by Texas in the summer of 2020 due to the Pandemic. The Red Sox found Penrod and signed him in August of 2023, placing him in Greenville(High-A) where he posted a 2.18 ERA across 20.2 innings(four starts) and struck out 20.
He was then selected to go out to the Arizona Fall League, where he has continued the success, posting a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings.
During the Fall Stars game, Penrod tossed a scoreless inning with his fastball sitting 94-96 and showing a curve and changeup in the low-to-mid 80s. It took him just nine pitches to get through his inning of work, but it was an impressive outing, and the stuff played up in a small sample.
National League (Beck)
Victor Scott II, OF, STL
I gave Scott MVP honors for the NL. He led off the game with an opposite-field double, then worked a pair of walks and stole three bags. It was a vintage Scott game, one I feel like I witnessed a half-dozen times in Arizona. He was among the most impressive players I had the opportunity to see live.
The window to buy at a reasonable price is about to slam shut. He’s what folks thought Esteury Ruiz would be.
Eric Brown Jr., SS, MIL
He’s finally healthy and looked really good when I saw him in Arizona. Two big home runs will do that, I suppose. He left the yard in the fifth inning off of Logan Workman, who I like quite a bit.
The Brewers have really quieted Brown’s pre-swing operation since the draft. He’s still holding his hands in front of his head before the pitcher starts his windup, but he gets them into an athletic position during his load. I wish it were a little sooner, but it’s hard to argue with the result in this game. Brown made specific mention of his focus in the fall league on his lower half; what that entails, I’m not totally sure. I’m just happy he’s healthy and playing.
Jakob Marsee, OF, SDP
Marsee continues to hunt down James Triantos in the AFL MVP conversation. It’s a pretty tight race, with Triantos holding a slight lead in the slash line, but Marsee has him beat in doubles, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases.
He got two plate appearances in the Fall Stars game; one ended in a strikeout, and the other was a deep opposite-field double. I like his swing; I just wish there was more in the underlying power department.
Keshawn Ogans, SS, ATL
Ogans is on the rundown because he had the most unfortunate night of any player. He came on in the 6th to face Emiliano Teodo and was promptly plunked by a 101 mph fastball. Luckily, he came away from it unscathed, but talk about being dealt a bad hand.
He ultimately finished the night 1-1 with a run scored, a caught stealing, and a HBP. His single was a short flare into right field. Looks like a screaming liner in the box score, though!
Tekoah Roby, RHP, STL
I only saw one inning of TK Roby for the entirety of my stay, but my immediate takeaway was that he’s the best arm I saw, and it’s not particularly close. He was pumping the fastball up to 97 mph and struck out both Kyle Manzardo and Chase DeLauter in his one inning. He showed off a nasty bender, too.
He’ll feature in my top 100. Arms are rather thin right now, and he’s one of a dozen or so that have real promise as a fantasy starter.