Archive for the 'Arizona Fall League' Category

Brave Pitchers Shine in AFL Opener

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

A number of the best prospects continue their baseball careers in the Arizona Fall League. The Atlanta Braves had many of those prospects on the mound for the Peoria Javelinas in their 3-0 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs. Max Fried struck out seven in three innings of shutout ball and Touki Toussaint followed with two innings of shutout ball, striking out four. Touki was given credit for the victory.

Josh Graham, another Braves pitcher worked an inning and struck out two. Corbin Clousse got in two innings of work and struck out four. That gives Braves pitching prospects a total of 16 whiffs on the day. The only non-Brave to pitch was Blue Jays Andrew Case. He did not strike out any hitters in his one inning of work, but pitched the last inning to pick up the save.

Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis drove in two runs with a double and Lourdes Gurriel drove in one run with a single.

Justus Sheffield threw five innings of one hit shutout ball in the Scottsdale Scorpions 7-4 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. Sheffield struck out six in his outing. He was supported by a Billy McKinney three run homer in the third and a solo shot from Tomas Nido in the eighth.

2016 Post Season Arizona Fall League All Stars

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Myworld has selected our Arizona Fall League All Stars based on current production plus future production. So if a talented prospect did not put up good numbers he will be absent from this All Star team. If a Tim Tebow type had put up good numbers he would not be considered because we don’t consider him a viable prospect. Below is the AFL All Star team by position.

C - Carson Kelly (Cardinals) - There were some good catching prospects in the AFL. The 2016 number one pick by the White Sox Zach Collins just did not get enough at bats. Carson was tied for second in the AFL in RBIs and hit a solid .286 with a slugging average of .455. With Yadier Molina aging and becoming injury prone Carson is ripe to take the catching job away from Yadier, first handling the back up responsibilities before taking over the starting role in 2018.

1B - Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) - You have to pick a player who provides some power. The three homeruns hit by Cody were just two away from the league leader and his 17 RBIs were just one down from Carson. Cody also showed he could hit for average with a .314 average to go along with his .557 slugging. Greg Bird could have the most future potential but his .216 average showed a bit of a struggle as he tried to return from his injury.

2B - Travis Demeritte (Braves) - He still strikes out too much, but he has shown potential to be a high octane offensive performer at second base. The former shortstop had a .855 OPS, which will make most managers forgive his swing and miss transgressions. He did hit four doubles, four triples and four homeruns with 14 RBIs. Brandon Dixon had a higher average (.333) than Travis but we feel Travis has the higher upside.

3B - Brian Anderson (Marlins) - We would have liked to have given it to Miguel Andujar because myworld feels he will make more of a future impact, but Miguel did not bring his A game to Arizona, which is power. He hit nary a ball over the fence while Brian parked 5 over the fence to lead the AFL in homeruns. Anderson hit .273 while Andujar was up to .284. Anderson won the RBI race 12 to 5. Myworld is still not sure of the impact Anderson will make in the future.

SS - Gleyber Torres (Yankees) - There were a lot of good shortstops in the league. Three of the top four hitters for batting average played shortstop. But Gleyber easily won this award with his AFL leading .408 average. He also showed pop with three homeruns and a .645 slugging. Tagging along with the pop was incredible patience at the plate with a 14/8 walk to whiff ratio resulting in a .513 OBA. Dee Gordon put up some good numbers with a .346 average, but his numbers pale in comparison to Torres. He also does not have as much upside.

LF - Tyler O’Neil (Mariners) - This Canadian will hit for 20 plus homers a year once he reaches the major leagues. In the AFL he mashed three with 14 RBIs, hitting a respectable .292. The Mariners would like to see him cut down on his whiffs, but he has shown the patience to take walks (12). Christin Stewart could be an impact player for the Tigers, but his power bat was absent in the AFL with just one dinger.

CF - Andrew Stevenson (Nationals) - A nice breakout AFL for this first round pick. He was second in the AFL in batting with a .353 average and he showed some pop with his two homeruns and .518 slugging percentage. He also showed blazing speed with nine steals in just 11 attempts. Only three other players had more stolen bases. The most intriguing of the three is Greg Allen, who hit one more homer than Andrew, but his batting average was at .269

RF - Bradley Zimmer (Indians) - It was a toss up between Anthony Alford, who has more physical tools, but they have yet to be displayed in on the field production. Zimmer hit .257 to the .253 for Alford with Zimmer clocked in one more RBI (16 to 15) than Alford. The big separator was in OPS where Zimmer won out .935 to .789. Most of Zimmer’s power resulted in gap doubles, his seven being just one behind the AFL leader. Zimmer was also 8 for 9 in stolen bases. Alford equaled him in stolen bases, but was caught three more times.

DH - Anthony Alford (Blue Jays) - This is where we would like to put someone like Eric Wood here to reward him for his AFL leading 20 RBIs, but we are not convinced he will be an impact player. Alford just decided to focus on baseball after trying to establish a football career. The more he plays the better he gets, with five tool potential starting to gestate. See Bradley Zimmer for his numbers comparisons.

Starting pitcher - Francis Martes (Astros) - Francis throws hard with his 25 whiffs in 22.1 innings a testament to that. Some believe his three digit heat and lack of command to be ideal for the bullpen. In the AFL he had a 3.22 ERA, not allowing a runner to score in two of his last three starts. Michael Kopech also throws six digit heat. His ERA (2.01) was better than Martes but character flaws may prevent him from achieving his potential.

Happ Powers Mesa Over Surprise in AFL Championship

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Ian Happ blasted two homeruns to lead the Mesa Solar Sox to a 6-1 win over the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL championship game. Happ finished the game 4 for 4 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Both teams had won their division by a half a game because of either a tie in their record (Surprise) or because they had played one more game than the second place team (Mesa).

The big hit of the game was by Brian Anderson when he powered a three run homerun in the first inning, scoring Happ with his first of three runs scored to give the Solar Sox an early 3-0 lead. Happ finished off the scoring with a two run homer in the third and a solo shot in the seventh.

Dylan Covey silenced the Saguaros bats to just one hit and one run in his five innings of work. He gave up his run in the fifth inning after a lead off walk, single and wild pitch put runners at third and second with no outs. The runner scored from third on a ground out double play that first went to first and then to third to complete the double play.

Jose Trevino got the only two hits for Surprise in the game, the first hit not coming until the fifth inning. Frankie Montas followed Covey and pitched three shutout innings, allowing the second Trevino hit. For Mesa it is their first AFL championship since 2003. During that time all five other AFL teams had won championships during the Mesa drought.

AFL All Star Game

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

It was the West playing the East but it would be hard to find anyone with a rooting interest in one of the teams. Most of those in attendance were there to get an overdose of prospect performance. The best of the AFL put their skills on the line with the West beating the East 12-4. Not that anyone really cared about the outcome. It was more about who shined to produce the outcome that mattered the most.

Brent Honeywell showed that his screwball may be a pitch for major league hitters to try to figure out next year. He struck out five of the six hitters he faced in his two innings of work for the West. When he was not throwing his screwball he was hitting mid-90s with his fastball.

Michael Kopech followed Honeywell on the mound for the West. He does not have a screwball but his fastball breaks the 100 mile per hour barrier with ease. He also pitched two perfect innings striking out three. When your changeup hits 91 you know there is something special in that arm The West had the game under control after four innings, jumping out to an early 8-0 lead.

Homeruns were hit by Ryan McMahon, Christin Stewart, Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun, all names you should remember for future major league All Star ballots. Calhoun was voted the MVP of the game with his 3 for 3 performance and three RBIs. Stewart and McMahon were the two players from the East squad to go deep.

Michael Gettys cleared the bases for three RBIs with his double in the second to give the West an early 4-0 lead. Carson Kelly drove in the first run with his RBI single in the second and then added another RBI with his sacrifice fly in the third. Ryan O’Hearn only collected one hit, but he also walked twice which allowed him to score three times in the game from his designated hitter slot in the lineup.

Gleybor Torres struggled a bit, striking out in three of his four appearances at the plate in a hitless performance. Chris Stratton and Evan Phillips were tagged for four runs each. Chris at least pitched a scoreless first inning. Phillips could only retire one batter before he was removed.

Sam Bragg and Jared Miller had Jekyl and Hyde performances. In their one inning of work they each struck out the side. They also each gave up a homerun, Bragg to Calhoun in the fifth and Miller to Bellinger in the sixth.

The East did most of their damage against Francis Martes, who followed Honeywell and Kopech. Martes also has a fastball that hits triple digits but that did not prevent the East from assaulting him for three runs. Ryan McMahon drove in two of those runs with his homerun. Ryan Brinley only faced one batter in the ninth. Christin Stewart sent him deep to score the fourth and last run for the East.

A couple months from now the fans who attended the game will not remember which team won the game. They will remember the players whose performance shined above the rest.

An AFL No Hitter

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Three Mesa Solar Sox pitchers combined for the third no hitter in AFL history. It has been 15 years since the last no hitter was thrown. Two Oakland Athletics prospects Dylan Covey and Frankie Montas worked the first eight innings. Covey went five innings and walked one while Montas worked three innings and walked two. Each pitcher struck out one hitter in the game.

The Mesa offense was also being shut down by the Surprise Saguaros pitchers, with Michael Kopech firing four shutout innings with six strikeouts and allowing just one hit. Four other Surprise pitchers followed him with one shutout inning each to make it a 0-0 game after eight innings.

Mesa was finally able to table a run in the ninth with three hits. Brian Anderson got the key hit with his RBI single. That brought in Drew Steckenrider to finish up the no-no. He retired the side in order with one strikeout.

No hitters are rare in the AFL because position players are usually better prospects than the pitchers. Most teams are trying to give their top position prospects at bats while resting their top pitchers from throwing too many innings.

AFL All Stars

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The Arizona Fall League is also flying along. They will be playing the All Star game this Saturday and below are the rosters for the two teams.

West All Stars

Pitchers - Astin Barrett (Reds), Trey Ball (Red Sox), Ryan Brinley (Nationals), Diego Castillo (Rays), Brent Honeywell (Rays), Michael Kopech (Red Sox), Francis Martes (Astros), David Paulino (Astros), Edgar Santana (Pirates), Rowan Wick (Cardinals)

Catchers - Carson Kelly (Cardinals), Jose Trevino (Rangers)

Infielders - Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Willie Calhoun (Dodgers), Paul DeJong (Cardinals), Nick Gordon (Twins), Joe Connor (Pirates), Ryan O’Hearn (Athletics)

Outfielders - Harrison Bader (Cardinals), Michael Gettys (Padres), Tyler O’Neil (Mariners), D.J. Stewart (Orioles), Drew Ward (Nationals)

East All Stars

Pitchers - Sam Bragg (Athletics), Matt Dermody (Blue Jays), James Farris (Cubs), Jarlin Garcia (Marlins), Jared Miller (Diamondbacks), Evan Phillips (Braves), Adam Ravenelle (Tigers), Tyler Rogers (Giants), Chris Stratton (Giants), Dillon Tate (Yankees) and Corey Taylor (Mets)

Catchers - Jacob Nottingham (Brewers), Taylor Ward (Angels)

Infielders - Brian Anderson (Marlins), Franklin Barreto (Athletics), Kevin Cron (Diamondbacks), Scott Kingery (Phillies), Dawel Lugo (Diamondbacks), Ryan McMahon (Rockies), Gleybor Torres (Yankees)

Outfielders - Anthony Alford (Blue Jays), Eloy Jimenez (Cubs), Brett Phillips (Brewers), Christin Stewart (Tigers), Bradley Zimmer (Indians)

AFL Review

Friday, October 21st, 2016

The Arizona Fall League has finished their first week and it’s time for myworld to take a look at some of the key players doing well and not so well. This is the premium winter league to watch if your goal is to identify the prospects of the future.

Salt River Rafters (5-3-1)

At 6′6″ Grayson Greiner may be a little tall for catcher but his bat is forcing eyes to take notice. He does not hit for a lot of power but he makes good contact, rarely striking out even with his large strike zone. He is hitting .556 with one homerun and three doubles, one for each game he has played. He has yet to strike out in his 11 at bats. Jacoby Jones may not hit for the power necessary for a corner infielder but he leads the team with 5 RBIs with his .381 average. Despite this lack of power in his bat he does have one homerun. JaCoby leads the team in stolen bases with three.

Another tall drink of water is lefthanded pitcher Jared Miller at 6′7″. AFL hitters have been having trouble making contact off him as he has struck out four hitters in each of his three relief appearances, without allowing a walk. This in only 5.1 innings of work where hitters are batting .111 against him. Jared has yet to give up a hit to a right handed batter and has struck out 8 of the 11 right handed hitters he has faced.

Mesa Solar Sox (5-5)

This team has been lighting up the AFL base paths with their stolen bases. Bradley Zimmer leads the team with six stolen bases in six attempts. His 9 walks and .300 average has ensured he has been on base with great frequency. Yefri Perez has five stolen bases in six attempts and Greg Allen has four in five attempts. Greg has been one of their hottest hitters in the AFL with his .350 average. The big run producer on the team has been Ryan McBroom, who has two homeruns and 10 runs driven in.

Frankie Montas has been mowing AFL hitters down in relief with a 0.67 WHIP and six whiffs in six innings of work. He has yet to give up a run in his two relief appearances.

Scottsdale Scorpions (3-7)

The player to watch is Yankees recent acquisition Gleyber Torres who is hitting .429 with two homeruns. The only down side for the shortstop is his two caught stealings in four attempts. His OPS is up at 1.330. Greg Bird is getting tuned up for the 2017 season after missing all of 2016 because of injury. He is hitting a quiet .261 with four of his six hits doubles. The first base position is his with the Yankees if he has a good spring. Tim Tebow is a publicity draw that is hitting .100 with two singles and seven whiffs in 22 at bats.

The starting pitching has been solid with Chris Stratton (1.00 ERA), James Kaprielian (1.50 ERA) and Marcos Molina (1.80) deserving wins in each of their two starts. The bullpen has been a sieve with Dillon Tate (9.00 ERA) being taken deep twice in just four innings of work.

Peoria Javelinas (7-1-2)

Tyler O’Neil has bombed three balls over the fence for the top team in the AFL resulting in seven runs driven in. Tyler is hitting .250 but five of his eight hits have been for extra bases, leading to a .908 OPS. Hitting was supposed to be the weak part of the game for Guillermo Heredia but he is hitting .400 with two doubles and one triple. The Cuban defector is better known for his center field glove than for his bat. Michael Gettys has struck out in nearly half his at bats (14). The speed is there to steal bases and the power exists to blast balls over the fence, but if he continues to struggle with his inability to recognize pitches he may never see the major leagues.

Luz Gohara has been feast or famine with 10 whiffs but nine hits given up in just 5.2 innings of work. One of those hits was a four bagger. Brent Honeywell has struggled (16.62 ERA) in his two starts, giving up three homeruns.

Surprise Saguaros (4-4-1)

Yoan Moncada has been the player to watch. The top prospect in baseball last year has struggled to make contact with 9 whiffs, but when contact is made he barrels the ball, hitting .333 with one homerun. Another Red Sox prospect to keep an eye on is Panamanian shortstop Maurice Dubon, who is hitting .318. He won’t hit for a lot of power but his defense at short is superb. Andy Ibanez is another Cuban showing a good bat with his .381 average. He makes contact with only one whiff and no walks in his 21 at bats.

Michael Kopech and his three digit fastball made one start with three hitless innings. He struck out five in his perfect outing. Josh Staumont has yet to give up a run in his two starts covering seven innings. The opposition is hitting only .125 against him.

Glendale Desert Dogs (3-7)

Ramon Laureano has opened some eyes with his .400 average. Of his 10 hits four have been doubles and two he has stretched for triples. Ramon is also 4 for 4 in stolen bases.

Ryan Brinley has not give up a hit or walked a batter in his three perfect relief outings covering four innings.

Myworlds Arizona Fall League All Stars

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

These are the players myworld would select on the Arizona Fall League All Star team based on performance.

C - Gary Sanchez (.295, 7, 21) - Led the AFL in homeruns and RBIs. His defense may not be gold glove caliber but with his bat and a good throwing arm he will survive back there. He should make the team as the Yankees backup in 2016 behind Brian McCann.

1B - Sam Travis (.344, 1, 14) - He led the AFL in runs scored (19) and doubles (10) but the Red Sox have a crowded situation at his position. The plan is to move Hanley Ramirez there after his disaster in left field. Travis Shaw also showed a good bat but the Red Sox may try Shaw more at third base.

2B - Chris Bostick (.268, 4, 12) - His .883 OPS led all second baseman. Drafted in the 44th round by the Athletics, he was traded by them to the Rangers who then traded him to the Nationals in the Ross Detwiler deal. Since he has only played a half a season in AA expect a half a season in AA before a promotion to AAA. He could see a September call up.

3B - Jeimer Candelario (.329, 5, 15) - When he is ready the Cubs may move Kris Bryant to the outfield to make room for Jeimer at third base.

SS - Aledmys Diaz (.315, 4, 14) - His 17 runs scored was second in the AFL. At 25 the Cuban defector is older than most. Six multi hit games in his last eight games shot his average over .300. Diaz is ready for the major leagues if Jhonny Peralta is not available for the Cardinals or he could be used as trade bait.

OF - Adam Engel (.403, 1, 9) - Voted the MVP of the league, his 10 stolen bases and 9 doubles were second in the AFL. He still has one full year in the minor leagues before he joins the White Sox outfield. Last year he stole 65 bases in the High A Carolina League.

OF - Jacob Scavuzzo (.377, 4, 7) - His .377 batting average was second in the AFL though a 2/23 walk to whiff ratio is a cause for concern. The Dodgers can be patient with their 21st 2012 pick since he has only played a half a season in the High A California League and the Dodgers outfield is crowded.

OF - Mac Williamson (.370, 2, 14) - He finished third in the AFL in hitting. Power has been absent in his game and only five of his 27 hits went for extra bases. His lack of speed will limit him to a corner spot so the Giants want to see more bat from him.

DH - Jrickson Profar (.267, 2, 20) - shoulder surgery limited him to the DH spot, but he was third in the AFL in RBIs.

SP - Sean Manaea (0-2, 3.86) - He did not win a game and his ERA was pretty high but his 33 whiffs led the AFL and a 6/33 walk to whiff ratio was excellent. In four of his six starts he did not allow more than one run, striking out 20 in his last three starts. Manaea is slated to make the Athletics starting rotation next year with a good spring.

Long Relief - Josh Hader (2-0, 0.56) - Only two starts in his seven appearances but the Brewers wanted to limit his innings. The Orioles traded him to the Astros where he was then included with a number of other players in the Carlos Gomez trade.

Set Up - Jacob Barnes (1-0, 0.00) - He appeared in eight games and put together three holds. His 3/17 walk to whiff ratio in just 11 innings was impressive. He could make the Brewers roster in the pen with a good spring.

Closer - Jake Reed (1-0, 0.00, three saves) - He had a rough year last year in AA. Second in the AFL in saves. The Twins will have him repeat in AA but a good spring and little depth in the bullpen could give him an opportunity this year.

Scorpions Sting Saguaros for AFL Championship

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

The Scottsdale Scorpions won the AFL championship with a 6-4 win over the Surprise Saguaros. For the Scorpions it was their third championship, their last one being in 2010. The Saguaros were last champions in 2013.

The Scorpions got the runs they needed in the fourth, erupting for three runs. Back to back fielding errors opened the gates for Scottsdale, setting up the RBI double by Dominic Ficociello. Adam Brett Walker followed by driving in the first of his three runs with an RBI single. Carlos Asuaje finished off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field. The Saguaros committed their third error of the inning, but this one did not lead to any runs.

Both teams exchanged runs in the fifth. Mac Williamson drove in the Scorpion run with a triple. An error by the Scorpions set up the Saguaros first run, scoring when Yadiel Rivera grounded into a bases loaded double play.

In the seventh the Saguaros pulled to within one, another error by the Scorpions setting up an RBI single by Dustin Fowler. The second run scored on a sacrifice fly from Ramon Torres. That was as close as they got.

Adam Walker got the two runs back in the eighth with a two run double to extend the lead to three again. In the bottom of the eighth Jake Reed struck out the side after walking the leadoff hitter. Closer Nick Burdi came on in the ninth with his three digit fastball. Dustin Fowler rifled the ball over the right field fence to pull the Saguaros to within two. Burdi was able to retire the last three hitters to pick up the save.

West Bash East in AFL All Star Game

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

The East squad got off to an early 2-0 lead after Austin Dean circled the bases for an inside the park two run homer off Lucas Sims after a failed diving catch by Derek Fisher in the second inning. After that it was all the West bats in their 8-3 drubbing of the East. Sims was the only West pitcher who went two innings.

In the fourth Gary Sanchez continued his homerun exploits with a two run homer off Kyle Freeland to tie it. It was a make up for his mishandling of the throw at home that may have gotten Dean on his inside the park homerun. Freeland was working his second inning after Sean Manaea worked the first two innings, walking one and striking out four.

The big star may have been Adam Engel, using his speed to create runs. With one out he started things with a infield single, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Ramon Torres hit one deep enough to right field to score Engel for the 3-2 lead.

The West again showed off their power with an Austin Meadows two run homer in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-2. Engel got another infield single in the eighth with two outs that drove in one run. Alex Blandino rocketed a ball over the left field fence to drive in the last two runs and extinguish any hope the East had of getting back in this game.

Jeimer Candelario drove in the last run for the East with his RBI double in the seventh inning. That had made the score 5-3.

Attendance for this game of future major league all stars was 6,793.