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Nicholas, Romero power West to win11/03/2013 1:07 AM ET
By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com
The competition was stiff, but Rangers prospect Brett Nicholas and Mariners No. 7 prospect Stefen Romero shined the brightest Saturday night in the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game.
Nicholas took home the MVP award after becoming the first player to homer twice in the eight-year history of the showcase. Romero drilled his second dinger an inning after Nicholas pulled off the feat. Romero drove in three runs and Nicholas went 3- for-4 with two RBIs, powering the West to a 9-2 romp over the East.
"It feels incredible," Nicholas, a Phoenix native, told MLB.com. "The other part, too, I've got a lot of family and friends here. I'm from Arizona. It's just an incredible experience and it's something I'll remember for the rest of my career."
The Fall Stars Game featured 21 of MLB.com's Top 100 prospects , and it was top overall prospect Byron Buxton (Twins) who started the scoring. He plated Indians No. 5 prospect Tyler Naquin with a third-inning dribbler, then stole a base and came home on a fielder's choice by Dodgers No. 2 prospect Corey Seager.
Nicholas opened the fourth by going yard off Angels prospect Cam Bedrosian and took 11th-ranked Mets prospect Jeurys Familia deep in the seventh.
"It feels nice to do something like that," said the 25-year-old first baseman. "It's an honor to be a part of this. Some of the guys in there, the Byron Buxtons, the Kris Bryants, those guys are incredible players. Just to be able to be out here and competing with and against them, it's a great experience. It's something I obviously want to keep doing for a long time. Hopefully, I can put my name out there and continue to do that."
Nicholas, who's hitting .244 with a homer and four RBIs for first-place Surprise, was drafted as a catcher in 2010.
"I'm heading down to the Dominican after the Fall League to catch full-time and try to continue that," the University of Missouri product said. "It's something that I believe if I can do, it will make me a little better of a prospect for the Rangers and maybe a little more valuable for them. Hopefully, someday I can break that 25-man roster."
Romero's first homer was a two-run shot in the sixth off Rays No. 8 prospect Mike Montgomery. He led off the eighth with another blast, connecting on the second pitch he saw from Tigers No. 15 prospect Corey Knebel.
Alex Meyer, Minnesota's top pitching prospect, scattered three hits and a walk while striking out three over three scoreless innings to earn the win. The 23-year-old right-hander, who's 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA in the AFL, hadn't expected to go more than an inning or two.
"I thought there was a chance I was going to go two. But before the game they said, 'Hey, you're supposed to go three tonight.' I said, 'I don't know. I didn't hear that,'" Meyer told MLB.com. "I got out there, stretched it out and got ready for it. It was fine. I was able to pace myself a little bit, knowing I had to save some bullets."
Top Giants prospect Kyle Crick gave up two runs -- one earned -- on two hits and a walk in one inning took the loss.