Learning Experience for “Fall Stars” Kremer & McCoy

After strong starts to the Arizona Fall League season, RHP Dean Kremer and INF Mason McCoy have been selected to represent the Baltimore Orioles at this year’s Fall Stars Game.

McCoy, the Orioles’ 24th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has a .417 on-base percentage across 36 plate appearances. Though not displaying much power aside from a line-drive triple to deep right-center field the other night, he’s hit the ball well, including nine hits in 21 at bats against right-handed pitching.

Dean Kremer prepares to pitch.

Kremer, ranked 8th in the Orioles’ system, has started three games this fall, striking out 10 across nine innings, surrendering just five hits and pitching to a 2.00 ERA. Much of his success has arisen from holding opponents to just one hit with runners on base. Left-handed batters have especially struggled against Kremer, a trend that holds true to his regular season numbers.

I had a chance to talk to each of them about their experiences in the Fall League thus far. Both are clearly embracing the opportunity to improve their skills, especially playing against top-notch competition from across all of baseball.

“Having pitchers like this helps expose your weaknesses and flaws in your swing, which I feel will make me a better player in the future,” said McCoy.

On the transition to playing for different coaches and with different teammates than he’s used to, McCoy told me, “they start giving you their input on certain things and all of a sudden you’re gathering more information from more coaches and players and you’re really just trying to do anything to better your game, to add more tricks to your trade.”

Kremer echoed those sentiments.

“The competition here is probably the best it’s gonna be,” he said. “Everyone is really young, really good and so getting to hammer down some things I want to work on and even just talking with other guys and seeing how they go about their business is a great opportunity.”

He went on to talk about how much fun it is to interact with new teammates, saying, “all the guys are really cool, it’s nice getting to meet the guys from the other teams and see who’s the up and coming talent, and everybody in our clubhouse is just awesome.”

“It’s awesome getting to intermingle with the other players from other teams and getting to know them a little bit,” said McCoy. “You’ve got top players in every organization competing and showing what they can do on the baseball field.”

McCoy recognizes that while the objective is always to win games, this is an opportunity for players to refine their skills.

“Guys are here to work on things,” he said. “I feel like there aren’t a lot of guys here that need to work on their fastball, but there are a lot of guys here that are trying to develop a third or a fourth pitch, so I need to take that into my at bats, too.”

I talked to Kremer about what I’ve seen from him personally this fall and his ability to mix in all four of his pitches. I asked what, specifically, he’s trying to work on when he’s on the mound.

“I’m really hammering away at the slider,” Kremer explained, “trying to get it in consistent shape, being able to throw it in the zone and out of the zone when I want to and so far I’ve been OK, slowly but surely getting better. I’ve had a limited number of outings but I’ve been throwing a lot of bullpens in between.”

On his selection to the Fall Stars Game, he told me, “yeah, definitely an honor to get recognized for that.”

For McCoy, it’s his second All-Star selection of the season, as he was also a member of the Eastern League’s mid-season All-Star team earlier this summer. “It was definitely one of my goals going in and I’m very grateful to get the honor,” said the infielder. “I feel like every time I come out here, I have something to prove to somebody. There’s always going to be doubters but being able to come out here and show to the best of my ability that I feel like I can get there and that I’m trying to make strides to be the best player I can be.”

The “Fall Stars Game” will take place on Saturday, October 12, at 8:00 EST. The game can be streamed online at MLB.com/AFL if you want to catch a piece of the action, which will include Kremer, McCoy, and other talented prospects from all across baseball.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Ryan Blake. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Blake

Ryan Blake
Ryan joined the Eutaw Street Report crew for the site's launch in 2013 having spent the 2012 season as a member of the Orioles' tarp crew. Before then, he had never really considered writing, but has grown to enjoy sharing his opinions and is now ESR's "Hot Take" artist. In...more

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