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November 5, 2013

Minor League Update

AFL Recap for Games of November 4

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Day: Yorman Rodriguez, RF, Reds (Glendale Desert Dogs): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K. This game perhaps epitomizes Rodriguez as well as any game by any prospect has this fall. The Reds have dreamt on Rodriguez’s power for years and while it has showed up in sports in the minors, it hasn’t yet developed completely the way they had hoped. Much of that has to do with his unrefined approach, which leads to swings at bad pitches and big strikeout numbers. This game had both.

Pitcher of the Day: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K. There weren’t many dominant pitching performances on Monday, so a good outing from a great prospect gets the honor. Heaney wasn’t his normal dominant self on Monday, but he doesn’t give up any extra base runners, so even when he doesn’t have his best swing-and-miss stuff he can still be quite effective.

Seeing it Well

  • Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Padres (Peoria Javelinas): 3-5, R, 2B, HR, K. With his second home run of the fall, Spangenberg now has as many home runs in the AFL as he did in 76 Double-A games after a mid-season promotion. A lack of power has limited his ceiling thus far and he’ll never hit for much, but any sign that he’ll be able to drive the ball is a good one.
  • Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 3-5, 2 R. After a slow start to the AFL, Moran is heating up. He hit the ball hard in the Fall Stars game and now has two straight multi-hit games.
  • Brian Goodwin, CF, Nationals (Mesa Solar Sox): 2-4, R, HR. Speed is more a part of Goodwin’s game than is power, but he does have some pop in his bat that should allow him to become a major league regular. His power is usually more gap/doubles power, but he now has a home run in back-to-back AFL games.

Finding the Zone

  • Shae Simmons, RHP, Braves (Scottsdale Scorpions): 1 IP, 2 H, 3 K. Simmons, a diminutive power-armed reliever, had his fastball working on Monday, averaging almost 96 miles per hour with the pitch in his inning of work. He didn’t even throw a change-up in the outing, complementing his velocity with an 84-mph slider that got four swings-and-misses out of the six he threw.

Bad Days at the Plate

  • Cory Vaughn, RF, Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions): 0-5, 2 K. Days like Vaughn had on Monday aren’t helping him shed his reputation as a player wish issues making contact. He struck out more than once per game during the regular season and he’s continued that trend in the AFL, despite hitting just one home run.

Forgettable Outings

  • Matt Heidenreich, RHP, Astros (Peoria Javelinas): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K. Scouts still believe that there is projection in Heidenreich’s frame because he’s tall (6-foot-5) and still thin (listed at 185 pounds). At this point, however, he’s pretty much a finished product. He throws a ton of strikes but his low-90s fastball isn’t fooling too many guys. When he doesn’t have his command, like on Monday, he gets hit.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jeff's other articles. You can contact Jeff by clicking here

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