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.