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Calhoun powers West rout in Fall Stars Game

Dodgers prospect homers, plates three to back Honeywell and Kopech
November 5, 2016

Brent Honeywell and Michael Kopech set the tone and Willie Calhoun keyed a big night at the plate for the West Division at the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game.

The right-handers combined for eight strikeouts over four perfect innings Saturday, while the Dodgers' fourth-ranked prospect went 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs to power the West to a 12-4 victory over the East Division at Surprise Stadium. Calhoun was named MVP.

"It means so much, being recognized by everyone and being the Most Valuable Player on this field is a blessing, for sure," Calhoun told "Being out here with these guys and the talent these guys have is unreal. It's a real honor."

Honeywell (1-0), the Rays' No. 2 prospect, struck out the side in the first, twice battling through seven-pitch at-bats.'s No. 39 overall prospect also fanned top Indians prospect Bradley Zimmer and Blue Jays No. 3 prospect Anthony Alford in the second, departing after throwing 31 pitches.

"It was awesome," Honeywell told "It was the first All-Star Game I ever started, the first TV game, so I was pretty excited."

Kopech kept the momentum going. The fifth-ranked Red Sox prospect set down all six batters he faced in the third and fourth, fanning three, on 20 pitches.

"Pitching against the best guys in Minor League Baseball, it's fun to compete with them and see how your stuff matches up," Kopech told "I tried to mix in some changeups, mix in some sliders, change eye levels. Most guys try to sit on my fastball, so I tried to put my other pitches in early to throw them off and keep them off my fastball."

The West Division pushed across four runs in the second inning and four more in the third. Padres No. 10 prospect Michael Gettys cracked a three-run double off Giants right-hander Chris Stratton (0-1) in the second, while Calhoun laced a two-run single off Braves prospect Evan Phillips to cap the third. Cardinals No. 11 prospect Carson Kelly also drove in two runs on a single and a sacrifice fly and No. 10 Nationals prospect Drew Ward contributed an RBI single.

The East pushed back with three runs off Astros top prospect Francis Martes in the fifth, capped by a two-run homer from sixth-ranked Rockies prospect Ryan McMahon. But Calhoun responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run blast over the right-center field fence to make it 10-3.'s 87th overall prospect was replaced by No. 12 Red Sox prospect Mauricio Dubon to start the sixth.

"They were throwing into my strengths a bit tonight," Calhoun said. "Just tried to have a good plan and be able to see as [many] pitches as I can, and that's what I was able to do tonight. I was able to put the barrel on a few balls."

Top Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger extended the West's lead in the sixth with a two-run blast to right. Seventh-ranked Royals prospect Ryan O'Hearn reached base three times and scored three runs.

"I told them I was seeing the ball well all night," Bellinger said. "He just hung me a slider and I put a good swing on it."

The East did not collect its first hit until fourth-ranked Marlins prospect Brian Anderson's leadoff single in the fifth. Brewers No. 14 prospect Jacob Nottingham plated him with a double and Tigers No. 3 prospect Christin Stewart capped the scoring in the ninth with a solo homer.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.