On Wednesday, the best players from the Pacific Coast League faced on the best players from the International League in the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game. The Los Angeles Dodgers were represented by four players from Oklahoma City in top prospects Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun, as well as veteran Minor Leaguers Wilmer Font and Madison Younginer.
Verdugo, fresh off his appearance in the Futures Game, started in right field and batted eighth. To hit Verdugo that low in the lineup was a curious decision by the PCL club’s manager, to say the least.
Nonetheless, Verdugo went 0-for-2 on a groundout to second base and comebacker. Calhoun, on the other hand, was successful at the plate.
Starting at second base and batting cleanup, Calhoun grounded out to second in his first at-bat but doubled in his next two plate appearances. The 22-year-old is currently hitting .302 with 20 doubles and 19 home runs in 82 games for Oklahoma City.
One of the bigger surprises in the Dodgers’ farm system this season has been Wilmer Font. The 27-year-old journeyman has pitched 195 games in the Minors and just five in the Majors, but he’s been dominant at times for OKC.
Font earned the start for the PCL team and worked a 1-2-3 first inning. He has 119 strikeouts in 88.1 innings pitched this year.
Younginer earned the win in the Triple-A All-Star Game, pitching a perfect fourth inning while recording a strikeout. The 26-year-old has a 3.43 ERA with OKC while primarily pitching out of the bullpen.
Overall, it was a strong showing for OKC and the PCL, who won 6-4. While Verdugo hasn’t collected a hit in his two recent showcases, his .346 average represents his true offensive ability.
Calhoun’s bat also isn’t questioned and he’s attempting to expand his defensive value by spending some time in left field. Font and Younginer likely don’t fit into the Dodgers’ plans long term, but either one could have an outside chance of helping the club out of the bullpen this year.
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