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November 14, 2013

Minor League Update

AFL and Winter League Recap for Games of November 13

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Day: Japhet Amador, 1B, Astros (Peoria Javelinas): 2-4, R, HR, K. Amador has hit well this fall, albeit with an extremely aggressive approach at the plate (17 strikeouts, one walk in the AFL). It’s no surprise that he’s done well against AFL competition, given his success in the Mexican league, which is somewhere comparable to the upper minors in terms of competition. The questions remains how he’ll do against major league pitching.

Pitcher of the Day: Jason Adam, RHP, Royals (Peoria Javelinas): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. The erratic fall for Adam continued on Wednesday, as he mixed in a good start with his prior poor outings. His stuff is better than the numbers look at the end of the year, and outings like this are an indication of what he’s capable of doing when he puts it together.

Seeing it Well

  • Brent Keys, LF, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 3-5, R, 2B. Keys offers virtually no home run power, and very little gap power, too, which is why he’s not more highly regarded despite coming off of a season in which he hit .341 with a BB:K ratio of almost two-to-one. He has good plate discipline, but he has to hit over .300 in order to be an above-average hitter.
  • Stefen Romero, LF, Mariners (Peoria Javelinas): 2-4, R, HR. Now that he’s done pretending to be a second baseman, Romero can focus on being a quality hitter, which he is. Whether or not he has enough power to play every day in a corner outfield spot remains to be seen, however. He’s going to need that power because he doesn’t get on base a ton.
  • Stephen Piscotty, RF, Cardinals (Salt River Rafters): 4-5, R. Piscotty continued his hot fall and is now hitting .346 in the AFL.
  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 2-3, BB. Polanco is hitting .343 in 18 games this winter and has 14 walks to go along with 10 extra-base hits. He’s making a case for a short stint in Triple-A this season and for the Pirates not to waste time or money filling any holes in their outfield left behind by Marlon Byrd’s departure.
  • Rafael Ynoa, 2B, Dodgers (Aguilas Cibaenas, DWL): 3-5, R, 2 2B. Old for a prospect (26) and certainly not in the Dodgers long-term plans, Ynoa has decent on-base skills and could fill a utility role in the future.

Additional Home Runs

  • Steven Souza, RF, Nationals (Mesa Solar Sox): 1-4, R, HR, K. Souza cut down on his strikeouts this season without costing himself too much power, though it took him 11 games to connect on his first big fly of the fall. It was an impressive shot, however, coming off of a 96-mph fastball from Alex Meyer.
  • Orlando Calixte, SS, Royals (Peoria Javelinas): 1-5, R, HR, K. Calixte is still more tools and potential at this point and has yet to put them together into a truly productive season, and perhaps never will. There are questions about his bat, and his 15-to-1 K:BB ratio this fall isn’t helping.

Rough Days at the Plate

  • Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Glendale Desert Dogs): 0-4, 2 K. A strong season for Seager is ending with a whimper in the AFL, as Seager is now hitting .162 with 25 strikeouts in 18 games.

Forgettable Outings

  • Miguel Pena, LHP, Red Sox (Surprise Saguaros): 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, BB, K. Pena fell victim to the long-ball on Wednesday, allowing three home runs. He doesn’t have swing-and-miss stuff and relies on his change-up to miss bats, so when he doesn’t fool hitters, he can give up some loud contact.
  • Chris Reed, LHP, Dodgers (Tiburones de la Guaira, VWL): 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB. Reed’s first outing in the Venezuelan Winter League didn’t go well, as his control deserted him. The left-hander gets himself into trouble from time to time with free passes and doesn’t have the overpowering stuff to overcome it.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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