Twenty-eight of the 50 prospects selected last November to participate in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Showcase appeared in the major leagues in 2010. Nationals farmhands Michael Burgess and Cole Kimball, who represented the organization in this year's game, played in Surprise, Ariz., on Saturday night, hope history repeats itself.
Burgess, a 22-year-old right fielder who played for Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2010, entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning for the AFL East squad and finished 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Burgess is hitting .224 with seven RBIs in 13 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The powerful left-handed hitter batted .265 with 18 homers and 85 RBIs last season.
Kimble, a 25-year-old right-hander who split last season between Potomac and Hagerstown, earned his way onto the Rising Stars roster after posting a 1.00 ERA and one save in eight games. He's walked one and struck out 11 in nine innings. He didn't pitch in Saturday's game, one of three East pitchers not to appear in the game.
The East squad, a 3-2 loser, was managed by Harrisburg skipper Randy Knorr. Tampa Bay outfield prospect Leslie Anderson won it for the West with a walkoff homer off Colorado right-hander Bruce Billings in the ninth.
Noticeably absent from the Rising Stars Showcase was outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft by the Washington Nationals. Harper, who is hitting .348 with a home run and four RBIs in six AFL games, was ineligible for the contest because he plays for the Scorpions' taxi squad. Only players who started the season on AFL teams' regular rosters were entitled to play.