AFLAC All-American 2006: Lasting Impressions

The AFLAC All-American game is the pinnacle of the summer season before the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association Championship Series in Jupiter, Florida this October. Gameday confirmed some players will see their stock rise and others may see it fall.

Each pitcher got one inning of work to get everyone action this day.

Michael Main labored through the first inning, throwing 50 pitches and allowing four runs. Main hit a high of 96 on the radar gun but his fastball had no movement. He mixed in a breaking ball that had good movement but fell out of the zone more often than not. Several hitters sat on the heat and were able to pull quite a few foul. He then began to overthrow and had changing arm slots. Main gave up three straight extra base hits but did manage to strike ou the side as the West sent nine men to the plate.

Tim Alderson had the first 1-2-3 inning of the game, coming in the bottom half of the third. He didn't have the velocity that many of the other pitchers possessed but was very efficient. He threw eight pitches, seven of them for strikes and ended up as one of two hurlers (Josh Smoker) to net the perfect inning.

"That is how I pitch," said Alderson. "I always work fast and strikes is my game. I knew my first pitch was going to be kind of wild but he grounded out on the second one and from there I felt great. It was such a blur."

Matt Harvey had perhaps the easiest delivery on the mound. The right-hander flowed through his mechanics with little effort and had what one scout called "an extra gear." While his fastball looked to be in the 85-89 range it actually topped out at 95 and looked to have some extra zing as it hit the halfway point between the mound and home.

Cameron Rupp may have won the home run derby but he was pulled after the fourth inning so Robert Stock could see his time behind the plate. Stock began the game as the first pitcher of the contest, giving up two runs. Stock used his fastball, sitting between 90-94, to strike out the side. Ironically, Rupp, the man Stock replaced behind the dish, had a rough first inning. He dropped four balls, and was charged with a passed ball on a fastball that bounced off his mitt. Stock, meanwhile, hit a solo shot in the fifth inning, and had trouble behind the plate, charged with three passed balls.

Josh Vitters had a heck of a battle in the first inning off Main. The designated hitter fouled off several tough pitches from the flamethrower, getting wood on fastballs and changeups alike. He then hammered a 2-2 pitch for a double and an RBI. Vitters ended the day with three hits in four at bats, all doubles, to go along with two runs scored. Vitters has an easy swing and generates tremendous power with his bat speed.

"I was feeling good and pretty relaxed at the plate," Vitters explained. "I was just waiting for the pitchers to make mistakes and when they did I hit it."

Jason Heyward went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored, two RBI's and four stolen bases. Had his East team won the game, he would have been a shoo-in for the MVP award. His wheels, bat, and abundance of tools make him one of the elite players heading into 2007.

Christian Colon made a name for himself with his MVP performance. He reached base four times, getting plunked twice and netting two singles. He also wreaked havoc on the basepaths with three stolen bases and scoring three runs. The shortstop from California became a hot prospect with his efforts and hustle.

  • John Tolisano clubbed a solo homer, his lone hit of the day, but also had an error in the field.
  • Derrick Dietrick struck out on a pitch that bounced before the plate.
  • Of the 17 runs scored in the game only six were earned.
  • Rick Porcello, Robert Stock, and Michael Main whiffed the side but each pitcher allowed two runs or more.
  • The West team recorded 17 strikeouts on the day with every pitcher except Paul Demny recording two strikeouts or more.
  • The East team hit three batters, including Colon twice.

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