The Dodgers were once again very well represented at the Fall Stars Game, which is the annual mid-season All-Star showcase featuring the brightest prospects of the Arizona Fall League.
More than 4200 fans gathered at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Saturday night to watch the AFL East sneak by the AFL West, 4-2. Prior to this season’s affair, the West had won two straight contests.
Yusniel Diaz and Matt Beaty earned starts for the West, representing the Dodgers. Diaz started in right field and went 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI, while Beaty, an infielder by trade, started in left field and went 0-for-1 with a walk.
Justus Sheffield, a star of the Yankees’ farm system and brother of Dodgers’ prospect Jordan Sheffield, started the game on the mound for the East and threw two solid innings. Brennan Bernardino, a lefty reliever in the Reds’ system, notched the win.
Diaz and Beaty, joined by six other Los Angeles prospects, compete for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, which runs from early October through late November. Also included on the Glendale squad representing the Dodgers are pitchers Isaac Anderson, Shea Spitzbarth, Michael Boyle and Andrew Sopko, along with catcher Will Smith and outfielder DJ Peters.
Diaz is currently ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Dodgers’ system by MLB Pipeline, and was originally signed by Los Angeles as a 19-year-old free agent out of Cuba late in 2015. In 2017, he hit .292/.354/..433 with 11 long balls and 52 RBI in 114 combined games for High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.
Beaty, the 2017 Texas League MVP and batting champ, is rated as the 30th best prospect in the Los Angeles system, and was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB draft out of Belmont University. During the 2017 regular season, the 24-year-old Georgia native hit .326/.378/.505 with 15 home runs, 31 doubles and 69 RBI for the Drillers. Beaty has two home runs this fall, which leads the Desert Dogs.
Through 13 games as the Glendale’s primary catcher, Smith is hitting .378/.431/.578 with one home run, four doubles, a triple and 11 RBI. Boyle has appeared in seven games as one of the Desert Dogs’ chief relievers, and has posted a 2-0 record with a 0.96 ERA with eight punchouts over 9-1/3 innings of work.
As part of our Dodgers Prospects Series, TBPC had the privilege of sitting down and interviewing all three of Beaty, Spitzbarth and Anderson over the last 18 months.
Last year, Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun represented the Dodgers’ organization in the Fall All-Star affair.
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