Jeffress Wows the Crowd At AFL Rising Stars Game
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The fifth annual Arizona Fall League Rising Stars was played last night at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. The Brewers had three representatives in the game. OF Caleb Gindl, who started in left field and batted second and RHP Jeremy Jeffress will pitch out of the bullpen for the West squad. Mike Guerrero, who is managing the Surprise Rafters and is the manager of Double-A Huntsville, managed the West team.
After the West tied the game at 2-2 in the third, neither team scored until a walk off home run by Leslie Anderson.
The home run dazzled the crowd, but it was Jeffress who drew what were perhaps the loudest cheers of the night. The crowd rose to its feet and cheered his final pitch of the inning to strike out Brandon Laird that read 101 mph on the stadium scoreboard. Earlier in the at bat, the scoreboard read 99 and “00″ for 100.
“I don’t know if I had ever received an ovation like that,” said Jeffress. “The home run was a bigger deal than me hitting 100 tonight. That won us the game which is the most important thing. I was just trying to get the outs, hit my spots and I really let it go. I guess it’s the All-Star game and everyone is watching, so why not?”
Jeffress pitched one inning, struck out two, walked one and allowed one hit. Gindl finished the night 0-for-4.
Gindl at bat in last night’s AFL Rising Stars Game in Surprise, Ariz.
A showcase game that features the top talent here in Arizona, 4,749 fans and scouts from every Major League team were in attendance. The game was broadcast on the MLB Network and on mlb.com.
Guerrero was excited for the opportunity to manage the West team.
“It is exciting to be here with all these future stars,” said Guerrero. “This is such a special league and to be a part of this game is an honor. It was nice to see Jeremy show everyone what he has. He has a bright future in the Brewers organization.”
Gindl is currently hitting .298 (14-for-47) with two home runs and six RBI in 13 games. He also has four doubles and one triple in Fall League play. Jeffress has allowed only one earned run in 9.1 innings pitched in Fall League play this year. His 0.96 ERA ranks fourth among pitchers in the AFL. Today was a scheduled off day for the AFL.
The teams were selected by scouting and minor-league directors from every Major League organization, in consultation with Fall League Director Steve Cobb and his staff. Twenty-eight of the 50 players who appeared in last year’s Rising Stars Game played in the Major Leagues in 2010.
I’m currently at Sky Harbor International Airport about to board my flight back to Milwaukee. I’m trying to soak in the last couple minutes of sunshine before returning to Milwaukee and the beginning of winter. I have a couple of stories I will continue to post throughout the week regarding the Arizona Fall League. Also, please continue to send us your questions for Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin regarding the Brewers Minor League system. I can’t wait until I return to Phoenix for Spring Training!