I was focused on the bats on that day, though there are some notes on a few pitchers along the way.
That said, here are some quick impressions from the all-star game.
Gary Sanchez, C, NYY
I am re-thinking my stance on Gary Sanchez as a catcher. The pop times were 2 seconds or better and he showed a powerful, accurate arm behind the plate. There isn't much question about his bat speed and physical strength as a hitter.
It was more the latter on his HR as Sanchez got out in front early of a hanging slider and was still able to hit a monster shot that landed deep beyond the LF wall. That kind of strength in his hands to be able to adjust and still hit the ball a long way is what makes him such an intriguing power prospect despite the lack of big HR numbers in the minors thus far.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, TOR
Tellez impressed on his first at-bat when he showed good control of the barrel, bringing in his hands and hitting a line drive double the opposite way. But it was a tough day from there as Tellez faced a series of tough match-ups in lefties Chaz Hebert, David Rollins, and Donnie Hart, a sidearmer. After that first AB, Tellez was fed a steady diet of sliders (especially from Hebert) and offspeed pitches. It's an adjustment he'll have to make but there is certainly power and an overall ability to barrel up.
Austin Dean, OF, MIA
Dean thrilled the crowd with an inside the park HR in the second inning. Once again, Dean showed his quick hands. After Lucas Sims (who showed good stuff but left the ball up too much in this game) started him off with a breaking ball in the lower 80s, he tried to blow a 96 mph FB on the inner half by him, but Dean got his hands in and through the zone quickly, ripping it down the RF line past a diving Derek Fisher. As I said in my last write-up, I believe Dean will hit MLB pitching, it is more a question of whether he can develop enough power to be viable starter in a corner OF spot, probably LF. If not, then he can at least be a role 4 type player who brings value in a 4th OFer role off the bench.
Adam Engel, OF, CHW
Engel was the fastest player and best athlete in this game. He essentially created a run with his legs when he reached on an infield single (an impressive 4.1 time to first from the right side), an easy steal of 2B, advanced to 3B on a passed ball, and then scored on a sac fly.
Engel also showed a willingness to take a walk, doing it twice. With the hit tool still a question, it is encouraging to see Engel understand his role -- get on base first and then make things happen. This is a great athlete, if the Sox are patient and let the bat develop a bit, they could have themselves an exciting player in 3 years, maybe less if it all comes together for him.
Austin Meadows, OF, PIT
We know Meadows has a solid approach and a good feel for hitting but he is starting to develop a little power. After Tigers prospect Adam Ravenelle tried to unsuccessfully get him to chase low pitches in the count early, he left one up just enough -- right about at the knees -- and Meadows quickly got the bat head down on a 96 mph FB and deposited the baseball just over the RF wall.
At this point, he looks more advanced than fellow Georgia prep star Clint Frazier, who looked vulnerable to good breaking balls, especially from Damien Magnifico (who, to be fair, was pretty nasty on this night), who just came right after him with hard sliders from the first pitch. Frazier has great bat speed and has improved his plate discipline in the minors, but this fall pitchers with good command of secondary stuff have been able to exploit his aggressive mentality. Frazier still has a high ceiling, but there is still some work to do.
Phillip Ervin, OF, Reds
Ervin is still raw but he showed some of the quickest hands in this game. He turned on a 96 mph fastball for a line drive single, ripped 97 mph down the line foul on Corey Black and then adjusted, kept his hands back and hit a hanging slider right back up the middle for another single. Ervin is known more for his toolsy skill set, but those quick hands give him potential as an average hitter with average to above average power.
Speaking of Corey Black, he really struggled. He may have been a bit pumped for this game and was throwing harder than I've ever seen him throw, with one radar gun clocking him has high as 99. He was at least in the 96-97 range consistently and threw a high 80s slider. But it all came with maximum effort and some violence in his delivery with some late head movement. Still, Black seemed to be repeating it early on and then suddenly lost his rhythm and was unable to get back on track.