If you follow this site regularly or the Arizona Fall League in general, then you know that KC Royals right-hander Brooks Pounders has been dominating the AFL. Over 12 scoreless innings, he had allowed just five hits, walked zero, and struck out 14.
So when the annual AFL Fall Stars Game rosters were announced on Monday, I was shocked that Pounders was not on the West roster. Then he wasn’t listed as the starting pitcher for Surprise that afternoon.
Pounders was added to the Team USA roster for the upcoming Premier 12 Tournament, which begins next week in Taiwan (the US left today). He joins current Royals minor leaguers Brett Eibner and Parker Morin, along with current free agent Casey Coleman.
Pounders started Monday afternoon in Team USA’s final exhibition game against Canada. He was shaky to start, hitting the first batter (which was thrown out trying to steal). He then allowed a two out infield single (on a ball hit off his foot), a stolen base, and an RBI single. In the second (his final inning), Pounders induced a ground out, but then allowed a single. That runner was picked off by the catcher before a strikeout ended the inning.
The game ended in a 3-3 tie, with Canada not collecting a hit after the 2nd inning. Eibner started in right field and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Morin came in to catch late in the game and walked in his only plate appearance.
Team USA is back in action in Taiwan with two exhibition games: November 6th versus the Netherlands and November 7th versus Chinese Taipei. They began Premier 12 round-robin games on November 10th against the Dominican Repblic (where Miguel Tejada is playing).
The Royals have just one player on the Fall Stars Game roster and that is infielder Ramon Torres. So far this fall, he has played defensively at both shortstop and second base. He is currently hitting .333 in eight games. He has hit three doubles, a triple, and a home run. Torres has walked just once while striking out six times.
You can watch the Fall Stars Game on Saturday evening at 8pm ET, as it will air on MLB Network. For complete rosters, click HERE.