On Sunday, the 16th annual Arizona Fall League Fall-Star Game took place at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. A change to years past, the teams were split into American & National League squads like the MLB does during their All-Star Game.
The NL won 9-3 over the AL, putting up 6 runs in the 5th.
The St. Louis Cardinals were well represented with four prospects being selected to participate in the Fall Stars Game. Here’s some info leading up to their appearances followed by their game recap.
OF/3B Jordan Walker (#STLCards #1 ranked prospect/MLB #6): Walker (20 yrs old) had an amazing minor league season posting a .308/.390/.508 slash line with 30 doubles, three triples, 18 homers, 64 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.
Through 18 games in the AFL, Walker is slashing .299/.364/.597 (10 of his 20 hits have been XBH. has driven in 15 runs, doubled five timed, and homered five-time. As of Friday, Walker’s 5 HR is tied for the most in the AFL.
Walker was named a starter for the NL in the Fall Stars game starting as a DH and batting cleanup. He went 1-5 in the contest with a ground-rule double (that drove in 2 runs including fellow Cardinal Masyn Winn) and ended the game going head to head vs teammate Tink Hence that resulted in a hard hit ball to the warning track for an out.
SS Masyn Winn (#STLCards #2 prospect/MLB #51): Winn (20) posted a .285/.364/.473 slash line in 116 games between High-A Peoria and Springfield. The right-handed hitter has 35 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers, 63 RBIs and 41 steals in 46 tries.
That (along with his great arm & speed) has carried over to the AFL this fall where he has stolen 8 bases in 9 attempts and posted a .327 batting average along with a .448 on-base percentage.
Winn entered the game in the 5th inning as a pinch runner. He scored on Jordan Walker’s ground-rule double. He went 0-2 in the game, but showed off his cannon with an absolute laser to 1B in the 9th inning
RHP Tink Hence (#STLCards #6 prospect/MLB #91) Hence (20 years old) is coming off his first full professional season in the minors posting an impressive 1.38 ERA and flashy 13.9 strikeouts per 9 innings for the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals.
To limit/manage his workload, Hence has been used out of the bullpen in the AFL and has an ERA of 1.23 in his 7 innings of action. He’s also struck out 7 batters in that time.
In the 9th inning of the AFL Fall Stars Game, Hence was brought in where he faced a total of 2 batters (giving up one hit) before finishing the game going head to head vs fellow Cardinal Jordan Walker. Walker took him to the warning track on the first pitch, flying out to RF.
LHP Connor Thomas (#STLCards #24 prospect): Thomas (24 years old), had a rough season at Triple-A Memphis Redbirds in 2022 posting a 5.27 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP over 26 games (23 starts). A season after he was arguably the best pitcher for Memphis in 2021 with a 3.10 ERA.
He has found success in the AFL this fall however, with a 1.59 ERA across 22 2/3 innings and sits atop the AFL leaderboards with 31 strikeouts.
Thomas was the starting pitcher for the National League in Sunday’s game and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to start the game for the NL including a strikeout.
It was exciting for many to watch these young Cardinal prospects in action, as the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game was broadcast on the MLB Network & was streamed on MLB.com. Also, as a side note... you don’t have to have a sweet pair of shades like Jordan Walker to know the future looks bright for the St. Louis Cardinals.