Three of the top prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization have been selected to the annual AFL Fall Stars showcase, with the club’s 2014 Minor League Player of the Year, Josh Bell, and 2014 Tribers, Elias Diaz and Adrian Sampson, each receiving an All-Star nod. The selections – by league rule – are made in conjunction with the players’ parent organizations.
The game is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. ET on Nov. 1 and will be broadcast live on MLB Network and online via MLB.com. [Fall Stars Rosters]
Bell, MLB.com’s 29th overall prospect, earned the All-Star selection at his recently inherited position of first base. The former outfielder begins Tuesday’s action having reached safely in 12 of 13 AFL contests with 11 hits, four walks, one hit-by-pitch and a .304 on-base percentage. Behind his rare combination of speed and power, Bell also ranks third in the league with five doubles, has scored six runs and totaled four RBI.
Diaz, who recently burst onto the scene as the Buccos’ heir-apparent behind the dish, recently began finding his stride with Scottsdale to go 5-for-14 (.357) over a four-game hitting streak leading up to the All-Star announcement. The 23-year-old backstop is 6-for-27 with one double, a triple, four runs scored and two RBI in eight total games on the season, and ranks second among AFL catchers by cutting down five runners attempting to steal (16 attempts, 31.3%). Diaz’s selection this offseason follows a 10-game Triple-A debut with the Indians in which he went 5-for-33 (.152) with one double and four runs scored.
Sampson, MLB.com’s No. 19 prospect in the Pirates system, capped a standout 2014 campaign with his Triple-A debut and a 2.13 ERA (3 ER/ 12.2 IP) in two starts at Victory Field. The 23-year-old righty received his All-Star invitation while pitching exclusively in relief with the AFL Scorpions, and along with posting a 3.38 ERA (3 ER/8.0 IP) with one save, has held opponents scoreless in four of his six outings this fall. Sampson enters Tuesday riding a four-inning scoreless streak over his last three appearances.
FULL FALL STARS ROSTERS