By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
There was not a shortage of story lines or interest for both Canadian and Blue Jays fans with the 20th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park in Miami.
Blue Jays prospects Vladimir Guerrero (Montreal, Que.) was the DH for the World, while Bo Bichette pinch hit and took over at shortstop for the US team.
Also on the World Team besides Guerrero were 1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.), RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) and RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.). Soroka is a fast riser in the Atlanta Braves system, while Quantrill and Naylor are two of the San Diego Padres most prized prospects.
How they did:
Vlad Guerrero ...
Hitting .316 with 21 doubles, a triple, seven homers and 45 RBIs with an .888 OPS in 71 games at class-A Lansing he hit seventh for the World and went 2-for-4 as he split time between DH and third base.
Facing RHP Brent Honeywell (double-A Montgomery) he struck out on a 2-2 pitch to end the second inning.
Facing LHP Tanner Scott (double-A Bowie) he lined a 2-0 single to centre with two out in the fifth.
Facing RHP Jon Duplantier (class-A Kane County) he lined a first-pitch single to centre. And after a walk to Yordan Alvarez scored on a two-run single by Thomas Nido cutting the USA gap to 7-4 in the seventh.
Going against RHP Triston McKenzie (class-A Lynchburg) he popped up a 2-2 pitch to 1B Ryan McMahon in the ninth.
Former Ontario Blue Jay Josh Naylor ...
Batting .297 with 16 doubles, two triples, eight homers, 46 RBIs with an .813 OPS in 72 games at class-A Lake Elisnore, he batted eighth for the World and was 1-for-2 knocking in a run.
Facing RHP Michael Kopech (double-A Birmingham) he grounded out sharply on an 0-2 pitch as second baseman Brendan Rogers made a highlight reel play for the first out of the third.
Facing LHP Tanner Scott, lined a 2-0 pitch to right field to score Guerrero, who had advanced to third on a wild pitch, cutting the USA leam to 7-1.
Ontario Terriers grad Cal Quantrill ...
Currently 6-5 with 3.67 ERA in 14 games with 24 walks, 76 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings with Lake Elisnore, pitched the second inning allowing two runs on two hits and one walk.
Brian Anderson (double-A Jacksonville) led off with a double to left on an 0-1 pitch.
Chance Sisco (triple-A Norfolk) tripled on a line to centre on an 0-1 pitch putting USA up 2-0.
Brendan Rodgers (class-A Lancaster) hit a scoring fly ball on a 1-1 pitch giving USA a 3-0 lead.
Nick Gordon (double-A Chattanooga) popped up an 0-1 pitch.
Lewis Brinson (triple-A Colorado Springs) walked on a 3-2 pitch and stole second.
Derek Fisher (triple-A Fresno) ground out to 1B Josh Naylor.
Former Calgary PBF Redbird Mile Soroka ...
Presently 9-5 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts with 21 walks and 73 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings at double-A Mississippi, he worked the third for the World and allowed one run -- unearned -- on a base hit and he struck out one.
Rhys Hoskins (triple-A Lehigh Valley) was hit by a 1-0 pitch.
Nick Senzel (double-A Pensecola) bounced to short and Hoskins was forced at second, with Senzel advancing to second on a throwing error.
Kyle Tucker (doouble-A Corpus Christi) doubled to left on a 1-1 pitch to up the score to 4-0.
Brian Anderson (double-A Jacksonville) struck out on a 1-2 pitch.
And Chance Sisco (triple-A Norfolk) grounded out to first base to end the inning.
INF Bo Bichette ...
Hitting .384 with 32 doubles, three triples, 10 homers and 51 RBIs with 1.071 OPS in 70 games at Lansing was hitless in his two at-bats.
Pinch hitting against Luis Escobar (class-A West Virginia) he flew out to right field on a 1-1 pitch.
Facing former Jays prospect Jairo Labourt (double-A Erie) he struck out on a 2-2 pitch to end the seventh.
What the scouts saw ...
Scout 1: “He is going to be a good one. He’s going to be a major league player. I don’t know if he will be a left fielder, a third baseman, a first baseman or a DH, but the bat will play.”
Scout II: “He’s a special hitter to face the quality of pitching he did and fare as well as he did. He’s a pure hitter. He’s everything you look for in a hitter.”
Scout 1: “I don’t think there was a fastball there that he could not turn around. He had one hit and should have had two but they stole a hit from him. He’s a lot bigger than the last time I saw him (last July). He was very impressive with the bat -- just as his younger brother was in the home run derby. I just hope weight is not an issue for Josh.”
Scout II: “He started at first base and faced the two hardest throwers in the game: a righty at 100 MHP (Michael Kopech), then he stayed in against a lefty (Tanner Scott) throwing 98 and pulled a ball to right field, His BP was impressive. He was showed a ton of bat speed. Not intimidated by that big stage.”
Scout I: “He was OK, not great, but OK. He’ll mix speeds and he will be good. He’s going to make the big leagues. He has a better feel for pitching than Soroka, but Soroka has a better arm. Quantrill has the moxie right now. He gave up a couple of balls that were hit real hard and looked like he handled his emotions well. He was at 94 MPH.”
Scout II: “He gave up two runs on a couple of mistakes, but he was 94-95 MPH. He was good. He looked exactly like he does during his starts, he was not affected by being on the big stage.”
Scout I: “He’s going to have to learn to change speeds. It’s very impressive that he’s at double-A and he’s still only 19. How does Toronto miss on an arm like that? He was 94-95 MPH. Threw easy.”
Scout II: “He was really, really good, 93-96 MPH. He looks like a big-league starter. He is very advanced for his age and has a great future.
Scout I: “I had not seen him in a while, but he was very disciplined and like Guerrero had a solid knowledge of the strike zone. The only things is there are too many moving parts to his swing ... which result in too many holes.”
Scout II: “He was the one guy I had never seen before. He plays very confident. Staying at short might be a stretch. His arm stroke (throwing) is a little funky. Those numbers he put up in the Midwest League as a teenager were pretty ridiculous.”