Prospects shine in California-Carolina League ASG

Prospects shine in California-Carolina League ASG

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. -- Bobby Bradley may not have won the Midway Classic Home Run Derby on Monday, but he certainly showed the most power in Tuesday's California-Carolina League All-Star Game.

The Indians' No. 3 prospect, who ranks 84th on MLBPipelline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, showed off his prodigious power in the third inning. Bradley connected with a 93-mph fastball from Ryan Castellani (Rockies' No. 16 prospect) and launched it over Lake Elsinore's 36-foot wall in right field, helping lead the Carolina League to a 6-4 victory.

"After the first pitch, I was like in my mind, 'He's down, 1-0. He doesn't want to get down, 2-0, into a deeper hitter's count,'" Bradley said after the game. "'Just see a ball up, something I can do damage with.'"

"I kind of realized it. I was like, 'Hey, that one's gone.'"

Bradley's home run was just one of the highlights for the Lynchburg Hillcats and the Indians' organization, which was represented with six players, including No. 5 prospect Justus Sheffield, No. 11 prospect Yu-Cheng Chang, No. 22 prospect Greg Allen, Carolina League starter Julian Merryweather and catcher Daniel Salters.

Allen showed off his quickness on the base paths by walking in the first at-bat of the game, then stealing second and third base on the following two pitches.

Top Prospects: Allen, CLE

"[I was] just trying to be aggressive," Allen said. "Try and take the opportunity when it's presented to you. Luckily, he wasn't exceptionally quick to the plate, which gave me a chance to try and steal some bags.

"I was fortunate enough to have it work out."

Merryweather pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, sat between 91-94 mph with his fastball, and touched 96 mph.

Sheffield, who was the highest-rated pitcher in the game, sat in the low-90s with his fastball and struggled with his command in the sixth inning, allowing a base hit and a walk to the first two batters. He still managed to face just three hitters after Salters threw out back-to-back base runners attempting to steal second base.

Top Prospects: Sheffield, CLE

Salters recorded a 1.97 pop time on his first throw and a 1.88 on his second.

Nationals prospect Stevenson named MVP

Washington's No. 8 prospect and defensive guru Andrew Stevenson played left field -- as opposed to his normal position in center -- for Carolina. However, he impressed more in the batter's box than in the field en route to taking home the All-Star Game MVP honors.

Stevenson went 3-for-5 on the night with two triples, while scoring a pair of runs and driving in a pair as well. He hit his first triple off of a 95-mph fastball from San Jose righty Reyes Moronta.

Top Prospects: Stevenson, WSH

"Guys that throw hard like to throw hard, so I was expecting fastball," Stevenson said. "He threw one elevated, and I was able to put a good swing on it."

Stevenson showed that he could make hard contact on off-speed pitches as well, when he squared up an 85-mph breaking ball from Visalia's Bud Jeter in the top of the seventh.

"It was a cool experience," Stevenson said of the All-Star Game and winning the MVP Award. "[I] got to meet a bunch of guys I've been playing with and against the last few months, and it was cool just being out here.

"I'd never been to California. It was a good experience."

Martinez hits 101 on the gun

It took a while for the California league to show a spark in this one -- they scored three of their four runs during the bottom of the ninth -- but Giants No. 24 prospect Rodolfo Martinez put an exclamation point on the game when he entered in the ninth inning.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound righty's first pitch was 98 mph -- the highest number on the radar gun all night. He needed just three pitches (two 98-mph heaters and a sharp 87-mph curveball) to strike out Allen, and then used two fastballs to retire Stevenson in the next at-bat.

With Chang stepping to the plate as his third victim, Martinez pitched backwards with a pair of curveballs for strikes, and then struck him out with a 101-mph fastball -- easily the best velocity of the evening.

"It was coming in firm," Stevenson said. "It was an elite fastball. One of the top guys you'll see. He was pumping it.

"It was definitely one of the firmer fastballs I've seen all year, if not the fastest."

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.