The 2017 Ban Johnson All-Star game had the looks of everything but a showcase with the J’s dominating the B’s in a 7-0 victory at Kauffman Stadium.
But perhaps the biggest star of Thursday’s lopsided night was the catcher on the losing team, Allante Hall.
During the first inning, Hall fired a laser and threw out an opposing base runner by four strides — a moment that provided fans a glimpse of his future. Hall, a member of the Ban Johnson’s Milgram Mustangs and an incoming senior at Blue Springs South High School, is highly thought of amongst the MLB-prospect list and is committed to play at Arkansas.
“It was a fun experience to play with other great players in a big-league park,” Hall said. “It’s an honor, and someday I dream to play professionally on the big-league field.”
Hall maintains a busy schedule playing summer baseball. He will be traveling to Chicago next week to play in another showcase at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. At the end of July, he’ll be attending another MLB-prospect camp in Florida.
Hall is listed at 6-0 and 170 pounds and possess a cannon-arm and an impressive POP time of 1.79. He hopes to improve his all-around game and baseball IQ heading into his senior season.
“One of the things we try to do is show him, it’s more than just your arm,” Mustangs manager Kevin Shaw said of Hall. “As a catcher, a lot of times people think, ‘your defense is how good your arm is.’ There’s more to the game than just that. He’s got one of the best arms we’ve ever seen as a catcher. It’s a gift. Now, he just needs to work on the little things.”
Hall first played baseball when he was 10, trying every position but catcher. He was forced to put on the extra gear and mask three years ago, when the starter on his little league team got hurt. His father, Brian Hall, coached that team and remembers his son throwing out the first base runner he saw, similar to how he did on Thursday night.
“When I saw him make that throw, wow. I knew he was going to be a good catcher,” Brian said. “He works consistently. If he wants to get to the next level, Allante has to always think outside the box. You can’t just be good, you have to be great to move to the next level.”
Hall’s favorite professional player is Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Hall said it was an awesome moment kneeling at the same plate as his idol.
“I tried to make some of the same type of defensive stops as him,” Hall said with a smile. “Hopefully, one day I will be back here.”