2019 Florida State League HR Derby and All-Star Game Recap

Jordan Holloway, Royce Lewis. Florida State League All-Star Game. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Jupiter, FL. June 15, 2019. Photo credit Tom Hagerty on Flickr (lakelandlocal)

Written and submitted by Bailey Srebnik (@FsuBailey12). FSL ASG photos from Tom Hagerty and Bryan Green can be seen in each of their Flickr albums.


This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Florida State League. The Florida State League, also referred to as FSL, is a twelve team league of affiliated Minor League Baseball. It is one of the three Class A-Advanced leagues. Throughout the years, the FSL has seen many talented players stop by on their way to The Show, and this year was no different. On Saturday June 15, 2019, I attended the 2019 Florida State League All Star Game in Jupiter, FL. The game was played at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, the home field of the Miami Marlins affiliate Jupiter Hammerheads and St. Louis Cardinals affiliate Palm Beach Cardinals. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is also the Spring Training home of the Marlins and Cardinals, giving the stadium the self proclaimed title: “the busiest baseball stadium in North America,” and they are not wrong.

Before I get into the game recap, I would like to give a shout out to the folks working at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. From the amenities to the merchandise, they put on a fantastic event. The autograph signings before the Home Run Derby was a very good idea, and well executed too. The whole night was an extremely enjoyable experience, and I highly recommend that you catch a game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. You are sure to have a great time.

Florida State League All-Star Game. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Jupiter, FL. June 15, 2019. (Photo by Tom Hagerty.)

This year’s FSL rosters were loaded. Six of MLB Pipeline’s top ten farm systems have affiliates in the FSL. Likewise, thirteen of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects have played in the FSL this season, and six made the All-Star Game. Royce Lewis, Alec Bohm, Jonathan India, and Travis Swaggerty headlined a star-studded group of players.

Prior to the ASG, the Home Run Derby took place.The participants were the league leader in HR and Yankees prospect Dermis Garcia, Twins prospect Ryan Jeffers, Rays prospect Jim Haley, Tigers prospect Brady Policelli, Cardinals prospect Julio Rodriguez, and Pirates prospect Dylan Busby. Garcia and Jeffers advanced to the finals, but Jeffers was no match for Garcia, as he put on a show. Dermis Garcia clubbed 12 home runs in the finals and 25 overall, winning the 2019 FSL Home Run Derby.

After a brief intermission between the Derby and the ASG, the players took the field and the game began. Tony Dibrell started the game for the South Division. He is the Mets’ No. 17 overall prospect, and was a 4th round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. The 23 year old is sporting an ERA of 2.67 and a WHIP of 1.28 with 58 K through 13 starts for St. Lucie. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and got Jonathan India to lineout. India is the Reds’ No. 3 overall prospect, the No. 42 overall prospect in all of baseball, and was the 5th overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft. The 22 year old is slashing .252/.345/.412 with 8 HR in his 67 games with Daytona. In the bottom half of the first inning, Calvin Mitchell wasted no time as he lead off with a double. Mitchell is the Pirates’ No. 6 overall prospect, and was a 2nd round pick, 50th overall, in the 2017 MLB Draft. The 20 year old is slashing .267/.304/.433 with 9 HR in his 66 games with Bradenton. Taylor Walls followed Mitchell with a single. Walls is the Rays’ No. 19 overall prospect, and was a 3rd round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. The 22 year old is slashing .269/.339/.417 with 13 SB in his 41 games with Charlotte. With the first two batters on the corners, the South struck first as Lewin Diaz hit a sacrifice fly to CF, scoring Mitchell. Diaz is slashing .290/.333/.533 with 13 HR in his 57 games with Fort Myers. Diaz was promoted to Double-A Pensacola shortly after the ASG. Trevor Larnach then sharply singled to CF, and Taylor Walls hustled from first to third. Larnach is the Twins’ No. 4 overall prospect, the No. 94 overall prospect in all of baseball, and was the 20th overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft. The 22 year old is slashing .317/.384/.477 with 25 2B in his 69 games with Fort Myers. The runners were then stranded, and the score was 1-0 South after one inning.

In the top of the 2nd inning, Jordan Holloway came in to pitch for the South. He consistently hit 98-99 MPH on his fastball, and pitched a perfect inning. Holloway is the Marlins No. 13 overall prospect, and is having an encouraging season after being sidelined in 2018 while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. The 23-year-old has an ERA of 3.72 and a WHIP of 1.35 with 51 K in his 11 starts for Jupiter. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the scoring continued for the South. After being down 0-2 in the count early, Travis Swaggerty remained composed and launched a no-doubt home run way over the RF wall. Although ASG stats do not officially count for players, it was the slugger’s 6th HR of the season. The employees at the stadium flickered the lights to simulate a power surge during Swaggerty’s home run trot, but they then broke the lights. This lead to about a ten minute lighting delay, but they luckily repaired the lights and the game resumed. Swaggerty is the Pirates’ No. 3 overall prospect, the No. 64 overall prospect in all of baseball, and was selected 10th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. The 21 year old is slashing .218/.316/.319 with 13 SB in his 65 games with Bradenton.

In the top of the 4th inning, Trevor Rogers came in to pitch for the South. After walking Simon Muzziotti, the Phillies’ No. 12 overall prospect, he got the next three batters out. India lined out, Isiah Gilliam struck out, and the HR Champ Dermis Garcia struck out. Rogers is the Marlins’ No. 15 overall prospect and was a first round pick in 2017. The 21 year old has an ERA of 2.79 and a WHIP of 1.29 with 72 K in his 12 starts for Jupiter. After that half inning, it began to pour, and the game entered a rain delay. After an about half hour delay, the tarp was removed from the field, and the game resumed in the bottom of the 4th inning. Tarik Skubal entered the game to pitch for the North, and he threw a masterful 1-2-3 inning, striking out the first two batters he faced and then getting Swaggerty to fly out. Skubal is the Tigers’ No. 17 overall prospect, and is having a terrific campaign in his first full professional season. The 22 year old has an ERA of 2.98 and a WHIP of 1.03 with 83 K in his 13 starts for Lakeland.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Royce Lewis lead off with a powerful shot to deep left center field, but Matt Vierling caught it at the wall. Lewis is the Twins’ No. 1 overall prospect, the No. 7 overall prospect in all of baseball, and was the first overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. The 20 year old is slashing .235/.286/.356 with 13 SB in his 69 games with Fort Myers. Calvin Mitchell followed up Lewis’ great effort with his second hit of the game, both doubles. Alas, Mitchell only made it to 3rd base as Manny Rodriguez and Lewin Diaz were unable to score him. The score remained 2-0 at the end of five.

In the top of the 7th inning, possible history was thwarted. The South pitched a No-Hitter through 6.1 innings until the HR Champ Dermis Garcia singled to LF. Brady Policelli followed it up with a single of his own, and the North had runners on the corners. With 2 outs, Riley Delgado struck out, ending the threat. Delgado is the Braves’ No. 29 overall prospect. In the bottom half of the 7th inning, Brad Wilson of the Dunedin Blue Jays came in and performed a difficult task. He struck out Jeffers and Swaggerty, and then got Royce Lewis to lineout on one pitch. That third out was caught by Andy Sugilio, the Reds’ No. 21 prospect, and was tossed up to me. It was very nice of Andy. As you can see in the Tweet I attached, the baseball had a pristine logo commemorating the 2019 FSL ASG.

The top of the ninth inning began with a flyout to CF by Alec Bohm. Bohm is the Phillies’ No. 1 overall prospect, the No. 38 overall prospect in all of baseball, and was the third overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft. The 22 year old is slashing an incredible .329/.395/.506 with 17 XBH in his 40 games with Clearwater. Clearwater is the second place he has put up unreal numbers this season, as he was beyond outstanding during his 22 games with Lakewood. Bohm was promoted to Double-A Reading shortly after the ASG, as he looks to continue his brilliance at his third level this season. With one out, Isiah Gilliam singled, and brought the tying run to the plate: the HR Champ Dermis Garcia. He was beat in this at bat, as he struck out on three pitches. The North was down to their final out, as the tying run Matt Vierling stepped to the plate. He flew out to RF on the second pitch he saw, and the South won the game. They defeated the North 2-0. A solid crowd of 5,380 people gathered to see the future stars in action. Calvin Mitchell was named the MVP of the 2019 FSL ASG. He went 2 for 4, and both hits were doubles. He was very deserving of the award. An impressive firework show took place postgame to conclude the amazing night.




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