2019 New York-Penn League All-Star Game Recap

Nathan Perry, NYPL All-Star Game, August 21, 2019. Photo credit Zele Photography.

The Blue All-Stars jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, as a consistent offensive onslaught powered the team to victory over Red All-Stars in this year’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The game was held on August 21 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. Representatives from each NYPL team were assigned as follows:

Blue Team (Away): Brooklyn Cyclones, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Lowell Spinners, Batavia Muckdogs, Tri-City ValleyCats, Williamsport Crosscutters, West Virginia Black Bears

Red Team (Home): Staten Island Yankees, Hudson Valley Renegades, Connecticut Tigers, Auburn Doubledays, Aberdeen Ironbirds, State College Spikes, Vermont Lake Monsters

A Home Run Derby was scheduled to open the day’s festivities. The derby was set to include members of the Red and Blue teams taking swings alongside representatives from the NYPD and FDNY. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. After four batters, the skies opened up and washed out the remainder of the derby.

As a result of the rain, the All-Star Game started an hour late. Staten Island’s Anderson Munoz opened the game on the mound for Red. Batavia’s J.D. Orr led off the game for Blue with a sharp single to right. Munoz then struck out the next two batters before giving up a deep single to Lowell’s Joe Davis. Davis was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double, but Blue took the 1-0 lead.

Blue’s offense continued in the second. Aberdeen’s Ryan Conroy allowed a leadoff single but induced a double play to empty the bases with two outs. Mahoning Valley’s George Valera (Indians #2) and Batavia’s Milton Smith II (Marlins #37) then hit back-to-back doubles, plating Valera. Williamsport’s Kendall Simmons (Phillies #26) added a single to center field to extend Blue’s lead to 3-0.

Milton Smith II, NYPL All-Star Game, August 21, 2019

The beat went on in the third inning as Blue added another run on a sac fly from Mahoning Valley’s Bryan Lavastida. A one-out walk from Brooklyn’s Wilmer Reyes and a single by Davis set up the sacrifice.

Red’s fortunes started to turn in the fourth, thanks in large part to the State College Spikes. State College’s Andre Pallante (Cardinals #45) pitched a quiet 1-2-3 inning in the top half. State College hitters sparked a rally to start the bottom half. Martin Figueroa reached on an error and Andrew Warner singled to left. With runners on first and third, David Vinsky lined a ball to Lowell’s Gilberto Jimenez (Red Sox #5) in center field. Jimenez couldn’t make the catch, but he was able to recover in time to throw Warner out at second while Figueroa scored.

After the State College outburst, Connecticut’s Eliezer Alfonzo to move Vinsky to second. After a flyout by Auburn’s Ricardo Mendez, Hudson Valley’s Greg Jones (Rays #10) drove in Vinsky, moving up to second on the throw. Auburn’s Caldioli Sanfler then hit a ground ball to left field, scoring Alfonzo, but he was thrown out at second base trying to advance on the throw to end the inning. As a result of the barrage, Red cut Blue’s lead to 4-3.

The momentum shifted to the pitchers after the fourth. Aberdeen’s Leonardo Rodriguez (Orioles #37) and Brooklyn’s Matt Cleveland traded scoreless frames for their respective teams.

Tri-City’s Nathan Perry (Astros #36)  hit a solo home run in the sixth to extend Blue’s lead to 5-3, but State College’s Hector Villalobos limited the damage to one run. Brooklyn’s Mitch Ragan blanked Red in the bottom half of the inning.

Speed was the theme in the top of the seventh. Mahoning Valley’s Brayan Rocchio (Indians #6) and West Virginia’s Blake Sabol led off the inning with back-to-back walks. With Williamsport’s Corbin Williams at the plate, Rocchio stole third. Two pitches later, Sabol took off for second. Displaying strong baserunning instincts, Rocchio took off for home as soon as the catcher threw down to second. On the next pitch, Auburn’s Fausto Segura buried a curveball to strike out Williams, but the pitch got away from the catcher. Not content to stop at third, Sabol scored from second on the wild pitch. Despite no hitter reaching base on a hit in the inning, Blue took a 7-3 lead.

Kyle Stowers, NYPL All-Star Game, August 21, 2019

The only other offense on the evening came on a Red solo home run from Aberdeen’s (Orioles #11) Kyle Stowers.

Vermont’s Jorge Martinez and Hudson Valley’s Joe LaSorsa (Rays #39) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, to close out the game for Red. West Virginia’s Cameron Junker ended the game with a scoreless ninth for Blue.

The story of this game was the contributions from so many players. While Perry took home the MVP award, no one player stood out. 14 hitters accounted for 18 hits in the game. Blue spread its seven runs over five innings. There were flashes of speed and power, along with solid defense. While several high-ranked prospects lived up to expectations (Valera, Jones, Stowers), several lesser-known prospects shined as well (Davis, Warner, Perry, Alfonzo).

Look for many players from this years’ rosters to make the jump to full-season A ball next year. Their development early in the season will give us a better picture into possible future major league impacts.


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