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November 18, 2013

Minor League Update

AFL Championship Game and International Games of November 15-17

by Jeff Moore


AFL Championship

The typically offense-friendly Arizona Fall League hosted its championship game on Saturday, but the season ended not with the bang of the bat, but with the whimper of a pitchers' duel.

  • Dallas Beeler, RHP, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 5 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 5 K. Beeler has been excellent this fall, holding opponents without an earned run in his last four outings (although he did allow seven unearned runs three starts ago, so some of that is his fault). He does it with a fastball that typically sits 92-93 and struck out just 14 batters in 26 2/3 innings.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Surprise Saguaros): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K. Rodriguez is a much better prospect than Beeler, but he didn’t pitch nearly as well for the majority of the fall. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as Rodriguez showed why he’s one of the more highly-rated prospects in a weak Orioles farm system. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he knows how to pitch and how to attack hitters.
  • Henry Urrutia, LF, Orioles (Surprise Saguaros): 2-3, R, 2 2B. The lone offensive catalyst in this game, Urrutia hit even better in the AFL than he did in the minors this season. Scouts still have plenty of questions about Urrutia’s swing and whether or not it will play in the majors, especially after his ultra-aggressive approach in 58 at-bats there this season. Still, as he continues to dominate minor-league competition, the Orioles have little choice but to find out for themselves next season.

Games of Friday, November 15

The Good

  • Arismendy Alcantara, 2B, Cubs (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 2-4, R, K. The Cubs infielder is getting good playing time this winter, but he’s hitting just .214 after the weekend.
  • Chris Marr ro, 1B, Nationals (Tigres del Licey, DWL): 2-4, R, HR. Marrero is hitting just .108 (4-for-37) this fall, but he does have a pair of home runs. He’s probably a bench player at this point, but it will take the return of his power to even warrant that for a player who is stuck at first base.
  • Elvis Araujo, LHP, Indians (Aguilas del Zulia, VWL): 4 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. The large lefty has been great this fall, allowing just one earned run in his first six relief appearances before finally earning a start. He is still considerably raw and is making up for missed time this season.
  • Luis Sardinas, SS, Rangers (Tiburones de La Guaira, VWL): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, BB. Known mainly for his speed and defense, Sardinas is hardly a slouch with the bat. He’s hitting .363 this winter with nine doubles in 30 games, showing the gap power that could be the difference between him being a regular shortstop and an All-Star

The Bad

  • Bryce Brentz, LF, Red Sox (Leones del Escogido, DWL): 0-4, 3 K. Brentz struggles with good breaking stuff, which hitters see more of in international leagues.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Cangrejeros de Santurce, PRWL): 0-5, 3 K. Singleton’s rough day on Friday ended a five-game hit streak that included a home run. He’s been controlling the strike zone better this fall than he did during the regular season, Friday not withstanding.

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