Archive for the 'Arizona Fall League' Category

Top Ten Prospects in the AFL

Monday, November 19th, 2018

This is a little late, but myworld is in San Diego enjoying the sunshine. We had hoped on spending a week in Arizona watching the AFL prospects but other issues came up. This top ten list is based on a combination of performance in the AFL and prospect status. If a player did not perform to expectations in the AFL he does not appear on this list.

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays/Surprise) - He did not hit for power but still managed a .351 average. The minor league player of the year gapped seven doubles, which were his only extra base hits in the AFL. He made consistent contact, only striking out six times in 77 at bats while walking 8 times. His comfort level at third base is improving but there is still a chance a move to first could be in his future, depending on how his body transforms as he ages. Batting titles could also be in his future. With Josh Donaldson gone expect Vladimir to compete for the Blue Jays third base opening next season.

2. Keston Hiura 2B (Brewers/Peoria) - A .563 slugging percentage and five homeruns shows his ability to hit for average and power. His .323 batting average is evidence that he will be competing for batting titles in the National League while Guerrero does so in the American League. Elbow injuries prevented him from playing second base during the minor league season, but he saw some time there in the AFL. If second base does not pan out there is always a move to left field. Keston delivered the game tying RBI single in the AFL championship game which got him voted the MVP of the game. He also delivered an AFL high 33 RBIs on the season.

3. Forrest Whitley RHP (Astros/Scottsdale) - Easily the top pitcher in the AFL based on stuff alone. The only reason he was in the AFL is drug suspensions and injuries limited him to eight starts during the 2018 minor league season. The AFL was an opportunity for him to eat more innings. He feasted on AFL hitters, striking out 36 in 26 innings and finishing 1-2 with a 2.42 ERA in six starts. AFL hitters could manage only a .189 average. The 6′7″ righthander easily blazes a fastball across the plate in the mid-90s, hitting triple digits on occasion. A good spring and a fast start to his minor league season could see him compete for a starting spot in the major league rotation by midseason.

4. Luis Robert OF (White Sox/Glen Desert) - As a teenager he was dominating the Naccional Series in Cuba, vying for their triple crown. He left for the states halfway through the season. That shows you how far the Naccional Series has dropped because of defections. Luis is battling in A ball in the minor leagues, though thumb injuries at the start of the season impacted his flight up the minor league ladder. In the AFL he continued to show his tools, hitting .324 with two homeruns and a perfect 5 for 5 in stolen bases. His power should develop as he matures and he has the speed to play centerfield with an arm suited for right. Don’t expect to see him in the major leagues until 2020 but with Eloy Jimenez and Roberts in the same outfield the Sox could be scary.

5. Peter Alonso 1B (Mets/Scottsdale) - Myworld is drawn by his power. We witnessed it in the Future’s Game. In the AFL he did not hit for average (.255) but he put his power on display. His six homeruns tied for the AFL lead with two other players. His 27 RBIs was second to Huira. Driving in runs will be his forte. While he was 4 for 4 in stolen bases in the AFL he failed to steal a base in his 132 minor league games. Expect him to compete for the Mets first base job next season. If he does not win it by spring he should have it by mid-season if the power stays. The Mets need someone to draw in fans.

6. Jazz Chisholm SS (Diamondbacks/Salt Lake) - He was one of two shortstops from the Bahamas starting in the AFL championship game (Lucius Fox was the other). He did not get enough at bats to qualify for the batting title but his .442 average opened some eyes. He also hit three homeruns and contributed a 1.257 OPS. In 10 games he stole seven bases in nine attempts, scoring 12 runs. Jazz should see time in AA next season and vie for a starting shortstop job by 2020. The tools are there for him to play shortstop in the major leagues.

7. Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks/Salt River) - Last year was not the same eye popping season as 2017 when he was putting up video game numbers. Health concerns haunt Duplantier. In the minor league season shoulder problems limited him to 16 starts, making him available in the AFL. He stepped on the mound for six starts in the AFL, finishing 1-1, 3.32 with 32 whiffs in 21.2 innings. He was a little more hittable in the AFL, coughing up 23 hits. His stuff is good but if he continues to have health problems a move to the bullpen could be in his future. Another season in AA will define his role.

8. Darwinzon Hernandez LHP (Red Sox/Mesa) - He was virtually unhittable in the AFL, striking out 24 in just 11.1 innings. That put him tied for seventh in the AFL, but the six others were all starters. The lefthander did pick up one save but appears to be primarily used to get lefthanded hitters out. They only hit .118 against him with 13 whiffs in five innings. If he wants to work himself into the closer role he will need to do a better job of retiring righthanded hitters. He also needs to improve his command and conditioning if he hopes to stick in the majors.

9. Tyler Nevin 1B (Rockies/Salt River) - The son of Phil won the AFL betting title with a .426 batting average. He failed to carry a ball over the fence but still slugged .593 with his three doubles and three triples. Tyler plays third base but a average arm could make him better suited for first base. If he moves there the power will have to come. Last year he hit 13 homeruns in the California League, a career high for him. Next year he will jump to AA.

10. Jordan Yamamoto RHP (Marlins/Salt Lake) - One of the more consistent pitchers in the AFL, going 3-0, 2.08 with the opposition hitting him at a .172 clip. He also struck out 27 in 26 innings despite not having an over powering fastball. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has good spin and command of the corners. His curveball and change are good complementary pitches. The small 6′0″ frame could see him move to the bullpen, but he could also see the back end of a starting rotation.

Just missing the top ten. They would have made it based on performance.

Garrett Williams LHP (Giants/Scottsdale) - Last year in the minors his ERA was 6.06. His winter league performance was exceptional (3-0, 1.88) with the opposition hitting him at a .184 clip. He needs to be less Jekyl and Hyde. Next year he could repeat AA or based on his AFL performance move up to AAA.

Melvin Adon RHP (Giants/Scottsdale) - Perhaps the hardest thrower in the AFL. His 21 whiffs in 12.1 innings fell just short of Hernandez in the K department. His 2.92 ERA left him off the top ten. The fastball can light the radar in triple digits.

Ryan McKenna OF (Orioles/Glendale) - His .344 average put him in the top ten in batting average, but not on this list. His defense in center is also exceptional. Myworld saw too much of his performance in AA, which mark him as a fourth outfielder type. If he keeps on putting up these numbers that match what he put up in Frederick he will find himself as a starting outfielder.

Daniel Woodrow OF (Tigers/Mesa) - His .371 average was second in the AFL as was his 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Power is lacking as evidence of his one extra base hit in 62 at bats and his three minor league homeruns in three years, all last year in AA. The AFL performance may have opened up some eyes, but it has not yet put him on the prospect map.

Peoria Wins AFL on Davidson Walkoff

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Peoria won the AFL championship, defeating the Salt River Rafters 3-2 in ten innings. The leading homerun hitter in the AFL, Braxton Davidson slugged a solo homerun in the tenth inning to clinch the victory. Peoria had to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Both scored with Keston Hiura batting. The first scored on a wild pitch and the second scored on a Hiura single.

Pitching was the story early for the Rafters with Jordan Yamamoto pitching four shutout innings. It was difficult for him to find the plate walking five and allowing two hits, but he kept the runners from scoring. Jesus Tinoco followed with two shutout innings. Monte Harrison drove in the first run for the Rafters with a single in the second inning and Daniel Johnson made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

Keston Hiura was voted the MVP of the game. Six different bullpen pitchers shutout the Rafters for the final six innings.

Myworld will name our top ten prospects in the AFL based on their production.

West Wins AFL All Star Game

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

If you wanted to watch prospects Arizona was the place to be. The West won 7-6 scoring two runs in the last of the ninth to pull it out. It all started with the fourth error of the game by the East, a throwing error by shortstop Andre Gimenez that allowed Vladimir Guerrero to reach second. The East appeared geared to get out of the inning, retiring the next two hitters and getting two strikes on Buddy Reed, but he blasted a 3-2 pitch from Justin Lawrence over the left fielder’s head for a triple to tie the game. Meibrys Viloria won the game with a single driven into the right centerfield gap, creating a mob scene at first base bag as his teammates rushed to congratulate him.

It was a game that saw West starting pitcher Nate Pearson hit 104 miles per hour on the radar. It was a game that also saw slugger Peter Alonso tag a 103 mile per hour fastball from Pearson over the right center field fence. Alonso scored three times for the East, accounting for half of their runs. Pearson only pitched the first inning but eight of his 11 pitches were clocked at over 100 miles per hour.

Forest Whitely got the start for the East. He is another pitcher that can fire the heat in the high 90s, but has hit triple digits. He worked two innings, did not allow a hit, but walked two and struck out one. He missed much of last season because of a drug suspension and injury.

Brett Hanewich, a ninth round pick of the Angels in 2017, struck out the side in his eighth inning of work, clipping the radar with a triple digit pitch. Another relatively unknown prospect Austin Listi, a 17th round 2017 pick of the Phillies, slugged a three run homer in the eighth inning to give the East a temporary 6-5 lead. He finished the game with four RBIs, driving in his first run with an RBI ground out.

Before the three run homer by Listi, Taiwan native and Indians infielder Yu Chang buried a triple into right field in the sixth inning that drove in two runs to give the West a 5-3 lead. The West hit three triples in the game. Estevan Florial also triples and scored in the third.

Other than getting on base via an error to score the tying run, the top minor league player in the game, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, did not make much of an impact. He finished the game 1 for 4 with a walk, but he did score the tying run. His one hit was a double.

Perhaps the top pure hitter in the game Keston Hiura was relatively silent. He went 0 for 2, driving in one run with a sacrifice fly.

Arizona Fall League in Full Swing

Friday, October 12th, 2018

The Arizona Fall League has begun. Most people have no affiliation with a AFL team, but they follow their favorite prospects. Below are the prospects that have made an impact after three games.

Glendale Desert Dogs

Ryan McKenna (Orioles) CF - He is hitting .500 with three walks for a .667 OBA. His three hits are a homer short of the cycle. With so many times on base he is second on the team in runs scored with four.

Luis Robert (White Sox) CF - The Cuban sensation is leading the team in runs scored with five. He has not shown any extra base power with all four of his hits falling for singles (.286 average).

Jordan Foley (Yankees) RHP - The Yankees are loaded with young pitching. The 6′4″ righthander was used mainly in relief in AA last year but got the start in his first AFL game, going 2.1 innings and striking out five. He did give up a run. At 26 years of age his time is now. The Yankees like him since they drafted him twice, once out of high school and again out of college (fourth round).

Mesa Solar Sox

Eli White (Athletics) SS - Eli was drafted in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. He doesn’t have any stand out tools and he has a couple shortstops in Franklin Barreto and Joreg Mateo ahead of him. What he does have is the ability to play multiple positions and he may do that in the AFL. In his first two games he hit .556. If his bat continues to shine (.306 in AA) the Athletics will find a spot for him.

Daz Cameron (Tigers) CF - The Tigers have had a black hole in centerfield for awhile. Daz can fill it with his defense. A bat would be a plus. In two games he is hitting .333 with as many hits (3) as whiffs.

Bobby Dalbec (Red Sox) 3B - The Red Sox like his power. His shaky defense could force a move to first. The strikeouts have been a concern and in nine at bats he has two walks and six whiffs. Only one ball has been put in play.

Darwinzon Hernandez (Red Sox) LHP - The Venezuelan blew away five of the seven hitters he faced, striking out all three lefthanders that tried to make contact against him. His big weakness has been his command, but in two innings of work he did not walk a batter.

Peoria Javelinas

Keston Hiura (Brewers) 2B - The Brewers first round 2017 pick has had two big games with seven RBIs on three hits. One of those hits was a grand slam. He has also walked twice for a .600 OBA with a .429 batting average.

Lucius Fox (Rays) SS - Originally signed by the Giants out of the Bahamas and traded to the Rays, Lucius is a defense first type of player. In the AFL he has two multiple hit games in the two games he has played for a .400 average. He also has stolen three bases. A little more bat to go with his speed and defense can make him a dynamic force in the major leagues.

Evan White (Mariners) 1B - The Mariners 2017 first round pick is more a gap hitter than an over the fence power source. His two doubles and .385 batting average in five games have driven in five runs. He has also walked twice and yet to strike out in 13 at bats. The Mariners hope for more leverage in his swing so his power can appear.

Salt River Rafters

Tyler Nevin (Rockies) 1B - The son of Phil is trying to make his mark in the major leagues. In his first two games he is hitting .444 with two walks for a .545 OBA.

Pavin Smith (Diamondbacks) 1B - The Diamondbacks 2017 first round pick is not noted for his power, a tool most look for in a first baseman. Last year he sacrificed his ability to hit for average (.255) to hit a few more homeruns (11) but it resulted in a .392 slugging. In the AFL he has four singles in two games for a .444 average.

Jordan Yamamoto (Marlins) RHP - Not overpowering but did pitch at three levels last year, finishing at AA and limiting the opposition to a .177 average. Jordan shows excellent command and his breaking pitch is an excellent swing and miss pitch. That proved true in his first AFL start with five whiffs in three innings of work where he did not allow a run.

Scottsdale Scorpions

Peter Alonso (Mets) 1B - Myworld has been impressed with the power shown in Alonso’s bat. He hit one of the longest homeruns we have witnessed at Nationals park at the Futures Game. In the AFL he has gone deep once but is also hitting .583 with a .643 OBA. He has also stolen two bases in his two games played. He and not Dominic Smith is the Mets first baseman of the future.

Shed Long (Reds) 2B - Shed shreds line drives for the Reds but whether they will have a position reserved for him in the major leagues is unknown. He is hitting .400 with a .571 OBA in his two AFL games.

J.B. Bukauskas (Astros) RHP - The Astros first round 2017 pick had a good opening day start striking out 5 in his 3.1 innings of work. He did give up an unearned run on three hits. At 6′0″ he is not tall for a right hander, but his fastball zips across the plate in the mid-90s and he has a quality slider. If the rotation does not work he could find a role as a closer.

Forrest Whitely (Astros) RHP - At 6′7″ the 2016 first round pick does not have the small right hander problem of J.B. Forrest has an excellent plane as his arm comes down to throw his mid-90s fastball. A 50 game drug suspension and minor injuries limited him to 26 innings last year. He is making up for those lost innings in the AFL. In his first start he struck out eight in just 3.1 innings of work, though he did give up two runs.

Surprise Saguaros

Vladimir Guerrero Jr (Blue Jays) 3B - He continues his superstar performance in the AFL with a .667 average and .700 OBA after two games. Four of his six hits were doubles. Vladimir was the minor league player of the year last year.

Meibrys Viloria (Royals) C - The Colombian hit .376 in 2016 in the Pioneer League. After five minor league seasons that batting average appears to be an anomaly. Meibrys saw some major league time last year and wants to show a good bat to match his solid defense. In two AFL games he is batting .500 with two doubles and two singles. His two walks put his OBA at .600.

Cole Tucker (Pirates) SS - Cole will be competing with two Kevins (Newman and Kramer) for the starting shortstop opening in Pittsburgh. Cole showed some speed in AA last year with 35 stolen bases and is 3 for 3 in his two games in the AFL. He has swatted four singles for a .444 average, with two walks bringing his OBA up to .500.

Top 20 AFL Players to Watch

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Below are the top 20 players who will be playing in the Arizona Fall League that myworld will try to get out to watch. Austin Hays, one of the players we initially had on the list will now not be playing because of ankle surgery.

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr (Blue Jays/Surprise) 3B - The son of the Hall of Famer and the minor league player of the year in most organization readings. How could you not want to go out and watch him if you have not seen him play already? Flirted with .400 this year and showed impressive power. Some question his defense at third and think a move to first may be required.

2. Luis Robert (White Sox/Glendale) OF - He came hyped with lots of tools. Those tools, especially the power did not make an appearance in his second minor league season, though he was limited to 50 games because of injuries. There were no homeruns in his bat.

3. Forrest Whitley (Astros/Scottsdale) RHP - Most pitchers who appear in the AFL are there because they pitched little in the regular season because of injuries. Forrest was limited to 8 starts last year. At 6′7″ he has length and a blazing fastball that can hit triple digits. He needs to increase the 26 innings he pitched in the regular season and show the fastball is difficult to hit.

4. Domingo Acevedo (Yankees/Glendale) RHP - The same that was said of Forrest also applies to this 6′7″ righthander except he had a few more starts (12) and innings (69) to his season. The strikeout numbers (55) were not impressive, especially when you consider he can hit the high 90s with his heat.

5. Jon Duplantier (Diamondbacks/Salt Lake) RHP - Last year he had an unbelievable season with a 1.39 ERA. Only Justin Verlander has had a lower ERA in the minors. This year his season was delayed by injuries. He did squeeze in 16 starts and his numbers were excellent (2.55 ERA) but not when compared to last year. Myworld expects only four starts from him in the AFL before he is gone, so get there early if you want to see him.

6. Peter Alonso (Mets/Scottsdale) 1B - In the Futures game he hit one of the longest and highest homeruns myworld has ever seen at Nationals park. He has power. Right handed hitting firstbaseman are not given a lot of respect by major league analyzers, but his 36 homeruns last year could change some minds.

7. Taylor Trammell (Reds/Scottsdale) OF - He was voted the MVP of the Futures Game, almost hitting two homeruns in his two at bats. His first almost homerun he ran into a triple after it hit the top of the wall. He began his circle around the bases with a homerun trot, but then had to shift it in high gear after the ball did not travel over the fence. This year the toolsy outfielder hit only 8 homeruns in the Florida State League, but his resume shows the potential for power and speed.

8. Bo Bichette (Blue Jays/Surprise) SS - The son of Dante is not said to have the tools to play major league shortstop. Myworld was impressed with what we saw of him in the Futures game. He does have a potent bat that sprays the gaps with doubles (40 plus) and hits his fair share of balls over the fence (15 plus).

9. J.B. Bukauskas (Astros/Scottsdale) RHP - He does not carry a lot of height (6′0″) for a right handed pitcher but he was the Astros first round pick in 2017. Last year injuries restricted him to 14 starts but they were an impressive 14 starts (2.14 ERA and .199 opposition average). He throws in the mid 90s.

10. Sixto Sanchez (Phillies/Scottsdale) RHP - Another smallish pitcher (6′0″) who throws gas. Last year injuries limited him to 8 starts (2.51 ERA). A good AFL and strong spring will put him in AA, a stone’s throw from the major leagues.

11. Keston Hiura (Brewers/Peoria) 2B - Maybe one of the purest hitters in the Fall League. Batting titles are in his future. Elbow issues restricted most of his appearances to DH duties. When he does play defense it is at second base. He may get a lot of second base playing time in the AFL.

12. Keibert Ruiz (Dodgers/Glendale) C - One of the better catching prospects in the minor leagues. He can hit for pop (12 homeruns) and has a decent arm, though he was only able to gun down 26 percent of those who stole against him. Makes solid contact striking out just 33 times in over 400 at bats.

13. Carter Kieboom (Nationals/Salt Lake) SS - A first round pick of the Nationals in 2016. The reports on him is that his arm and range may be short to play shortstop in the major leagues. Since Turner has that spot locked up (whose scouting report was similar to Carter) second base may be his best position. Expect him to get some time there. He shows good pop with the bat with 16 homeruns last year.

14. Daulton Varsho (Diamondbacks/Salt River) C - The son of Gary, an ex-major leaguer, he was named after Darren Daulton. Another catcher with some pop who had a little more success nabbing base runners (40 percent). He showed some speed for a catcher with 19 stolen bases in 22 attempts. If he is half the player of Darren Daulton he will make it at least as a back up.

15. Estevan Florial (Yankees/Glendale) OF - The Haitian born prospect was all the talk of the Yankees prospect system last season after hitting .298 with 13 homeruns in 2017. Last year he had difficulty replicating those numbers, though his season was limited to 84 games because of injury.

16. Buddy Reed (Padres/Peoria) OF - The Padres have a wealth of minor league and young major league outfielders. Buddy shows some good tools to play center field, but will they be enough to beat out Manuel Margot. Last year he stole 51 bases to go with his 13 homeruns.

17. Pavin Smith (Diamondbacks/Salt Lake) 1B - The Diamondbacks drafted him in the first round of the 2017 draft. That is pretty high for a first baseman who may be a bit short in the power numbers. Last year he hit 11 homeruns but his batting average was only at .255, not indicative of his college numbers (.342). Pavin needs to hit for pop to justify his first round selection.

18. Bobby Dalbec (Red Sox/Mesa) 1B - Because there is someone we want to see play at Mesa. The power is there with 32 homeruns last year, but it comes at the expense of having a right handed bat. There is still a lot of swing and miss in his swing that he will have to learn to tame if he wants to see Fenway park.

19. Lucius Fox (Rays/Peoria) SS - All the tools and gracefulness to play short but his bat may hold him back. The Giants signed him out of the Bahamas but made him one of the players included in the Matt Moore trade.

20. Alfredo Rodriguez (Reds/Scottsdale) SS/2B - There was a lot of hype about him and his glove when he came out of Cuba. The glove has been good but the bat has been blah (.241/.294/298 slash line for average/OBA/slugging). Injuries limited him to 46 games last year. At 24 he should be knocking on the major league door rather than scuffling in the Florida State League.

Acuna Leads Peoria to AFL Championship

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Ronald Acuna was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. He was also the MVP of the championship match, driving in four of the eight runs in the Peoria Javelinas 8-2 whipping of the Mesa Solar Sox. Mesa scored two runs in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead but it was all Peoria after that.

Acuna drove in his first run in the third inning with a single to tie the game. Alex Jackson delivered the big hit of the inning with a two run single to give the Javelinas a 4-2 lead.

The fourth inning saw Acuna punch a single to drive in two to increase the Javelina lead to 6-2. in the eighth he hit a sacrifice fly to end the scoring for Peoria.

Mesa strafed 10 hits off the Peoria pitching staff but three double plays by the middle infield combination of Lourdes Gurriel and Luis Urias short circuited three innings. Mesa entered the game as defending champions. Peoria won for the first time since 2012. It was their sixth AFL championship.

Robles Leads AFL East in Fall Stars Game

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Victor Robles scored two runs and drove in one to lead the AFL East to a 4-2 win over the AFL West. He walked in the first inning and later scored on a ground out by Ryan Mountcastle to account for the first run. In the eighth with the team trailing 2-1 he tied the game with an RBI single, scoring Luis Guillorme who had hit a one out double earlier. Robles later scored the go ahead run in the inning after a Sheldon Neuse single.

Luis Urias hit the lone homerun of the game. His solo shot in the fifth gave the West a 2-1 lead. Tanner Scott pitched two impressive innings for the East, giving up just one hit and striking out four.

AFL Update

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

The Arizona Fall League is playing their All Star game today, a bit late to put together our first update. These are the players doing well in the AFL.

Arizona Fall League East

Mesa Solar Sox (12-9)

David Bote went on an early homerun tear, hitting four in the first week. He’s been struggling since, hitting just .212 in his last 10 games to drop his average to .356 and keeping his homerun total at four. Sheldon Neuse leads the team in RBIs with 18 and runs scored with 14. He also has four homeruns and is hitting .286.

Pitching is tough in Arizona and two big name pitchers are struggling. Alec Mills (1-3, 4.26) and Logan Shore (1-0, 6.19) are getting knocked around a little more than they are used to.

Scottsdale Scorpions (11-9-1)

Billy McKinney leads the AFL in RBIs with 19 despite only one homerun. He has driven in at least one run in 10 of the 12 games he has played. Estevan Florial has scored 10 runs and has his average at .300. Kevin Kaczmanski has been a difficult out, hitting .375. Taylor Sparks leads the team in homeruns with 3 and carries an impressive .340 average.

Mickey Jannis has only given up one earned run in his four starts (0.53) and has limited the opposition to a .119 average. He has pitched three innings or more in all his starts and has allowed just one hit in three of them. Justus Sheffield has an impressive 2/21 walk to whiff ratio in his 19 innings of work, stitching together a 2.37 ERA.

Salt River Rafters (9-11-1)

Yonathan Daza has been dazzling with his legs, stealing 9 bases in 10 attempts. He has been getting on base with a .313 average. Ryan Mountcastle is the RBI leader for the Rafters with 13, but his 17 whiffs and .242 average tell the tale of his struggles. He and Monte Harrison share the team homerun lead with three.

Zach Jemiola has been their most effective starter with a 2.12 ERA. He did not give up a run in his first two starts covering eight innings but has allowed four in his last two.

Arizona Fall League West

Peoria Javelinas (12-9)

Ronald Acuna is showing why he is the best prospect in baseball, slugging five homeruns with 12 RBIs and a .344 average. He has scored a AFL leading 19 runs. His future teammate Austin Riley will be fighting for a third base job next year (.326, 4,14). Alex Jackson (.286, 5, 13) is another Brave flying balls over the fence. Lourdes Gurriel (.295, 3, 11) leads the team in doubles with six. He has yet to take a walk in 61 at bats.

Max Fried leads the team in pitching with a 1.96 ERA in five starts. He has an AFL leading 29 whiffs in 23 innings. T.J. Zeuch (0.64) has been tough to hit in his three stars and one relief appearance, limiting the opposition to a .149 average. Touki Toussaint has been wildly inconsistent (13.50) with three good outings and three poor outings.

Glendale Desert Dogs (9-12)

Francisco Mejia (.396) is leading the AFL in hitting. Will Smith (.378,1,11) is the only player on the team with double digits in RBIs. Will is seeing most of the time behind the plate while Francisco gives third base a shot. Bobby Bradley has sent two balls over the fence but his 25 whiffs keep his average at .241. He has yet to walk in 54 at bats.

Mitch Keller (2-0, 1.72) is looking sharp, limiting the opposition to a .151 average. Look for him in the Pirate starting rotation in 2018.

Surprise Saguaros (9-12)

The big bats are Nicky Lopez (.386) and Andrew Knizner (.353). Knizner leads the team in homeruns with three while Michael O’Neil (.314, 2, 12) leads the team in RBIs.

Keller Dominates in AFL

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Myworld could not get excited for any of the performances of the AFL players on Sunday. Paul Clemons pitched four innings of no hit ball, but he is a journeyman that has been released by a couple teams already. On Monday, Mitch Keller is the winter league player of the day, though it was a very limited schedule for the Caribbean Leagues.

Mitch pitched five innings of one hit shutout ball in the Glendale Desert Dogs 3-2 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions. For Keller it was his fourth start in the AFL and his second shutout performance. His ERA sits at 1.72 and the opposition has struggled to make solid contact off him, batting .151. That performance has earned him an appearance in the AFL Fall Star game.

Last year Keller reached AA, pitching at three different levels. He compiled a 3.03 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .202 average. The second round 2014 pick sits in the mid 90s with his fastball with an above average curveball. He sprung into prospect status after whiffing 9.5 hitters per nine innings in Low A in 2016. His strikeout rate in the AFL (10 in 15.2 innings) is not as great, but he is still able to limit contact. If he continues to have success next year expect him to see some time in the Pirates rotation in 2018.

Acuna and No Hit Outings Dominant Winter League Action

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Myworld has identified three players for winter league player of the day for October 27.

Ronald Acuna

He will probably be considered the best prospect in baseball when the prospect rankings for 2018 come out. He has all five tools, ability to hit for power, speed, an arm to play right and the defense to play center and the ability to hit for average. His pop showed up on Friday with two solo shots in the Peoria Javelinas 9-8 win over the Salt River Rafters. Acuna also contributed a double and scored three runs in the victory.

The three hits raised his AFL average to .378 with three homeruns. Last year at three different levels, finishing at AAA he hit .325 with 21 homeruns and 82 RBIs. At 19 years of age, the Braves saw no reason to promote him to the major leagues. Next year will be a different story.

Mike Mayers

Mayers threw five innings of no hit shutout ball, striking out 9 in a losing cause with the Toros winning 2-1 over Escogido. The bullpen came on in the seventh and coughed up two runs on RBI singles.

Mayers was a third round pick of the Cardinals in 2013. After next year he can become a six year minor league free agent if not placed on the 40-man roster. In 2016 he struggled in a September callup, finishing with a 27.00 ERA Last year he had an 11.57 ERA in three September appearances.

In two appearances in the Dominican League Mayers has only given up one run in 11 innings, striking out 14. He has only given up three hits, one of those a solo shot that accounts for the only run he has given up. His fastball has some velocity, hitting the mid-90s, but his secondary pitches have held him back. The Cardinals may try to use him in the bullpen where his lack of a breaking pitch will have less of a negative impact.

Daniel Rodriguez

In the Mexican League Daniel Rodriguez had a perfect game no hitter until giving up a leadoff single in the ninth inning. The Culiacan Tomateros were able to hold on to defeat the Navojoa Mayos 1-0. After a sacrifice bunt Chad Guadin came on to get the last two outs of the inning to earn his fourth save.

Rodriguez has pitched in the Mexican Summer League for the last three years. At 32 years of age it would be difficult to find a team in the major leagues. In three appearances in the Winter League he has been sharp, giving up only two runs in three appearances. He has only given up 9 hits in 20 plus innings with a 0.89 ERA.