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October 23, 2013

Minor League Update

AFL Recap for Games of October 21

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Day: Kyle Parker, RF, Rockies (Salt River Rafters): 2-4, R, 2B, HR. After taking out a mortgage on the bad part of these recaps for the first week of the AFL season, Parker finally broke out on Tuesday. He connected on a double and a home run, and more importantly, didn’t strike out after doing so 12 times in his first eight games. Inconsistency is the plight of the young power hitting prospect, but it sure is nice to see them run into one every now and then.

Pitcher of the Day: Thomas Collier, RHP, Tigers (Mesa Solar Sox): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. As a relatively non-descript prospect coming off of a non-descript season, Collier has been a pleasant surprise for the Solar Sox and likely the Tigers, who couldn’t have seen one run over three appearances coming.

Seeing it Well

  • Tyler Naquin, CF, Indians (Surprise Saguaros): 2-3, R, BB, K. I’ve mentioned here before that scouts aren’t nearly as high on Naquin as his draft status and reputation would suggest, but that’s not based on his production this fall. He’s now hit safely in all 10 AFL games in which he’s played and is doing his part to make up for his struggles after a late-season promotion to Double-A.
  • Kyle Kubitza, 3B, Braves (Scottsdale Scorpions): 2-3, R, 3B, BB. Kubitza flies under the radar to a certain extent because his best tool is his plate discipline, but pair that with a number of other average abilities and the Braves could have something on their hands. He doesn’t have traditional third base power, but his on-base ability could make up for that.
  • Japhet Amador, 1B, Astros (Peoria Javelinas): 3-4, 3 singles. Amador is becoming a regular on this list, which is both a product of the fall he is having and the fact that there are only six teams from which to choose. Regardless, he’s now hitting .344 on the fall, although I doubt anybody saw a game coming in which he collected three singles.

Finding the Zone

  • Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Heaney wasn’t as dominant on Tuesday as he was in his first AFL outing, but he was still plenty effective.

Bad Days at the Plate

  • Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 0-4, 2 K. It’s been a rough go of things for Moran in the AFL, and Tuesday’s game drops his batting average to .161 on the fall, although he does have nine walks in as many games. With just four strikeouts in 31 at-bats, it also appears that he could be running into a little bit of bad luck.
  • Marcus Semien, SS, White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs): 0-4, 2 K. Semien has been even worse than Moran and is now hitting just .143/.286/.179 for the fall.

Forgettable Outings

  • Omar Duran, LHP, Athletics (Mesa Solar Sox): 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 0 K. Duran can do some amazing things with his left arm, missing both bats and the strike zone with frightening frequency. On Tuesday, it was the latter, and when that happens, things get ugly in a hurry.
  • Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (Scottsdale Scorpions): 1 2/3 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 3 K. Everyone was likely hoping to see more than 1 2/3 innings of Crick on Tuesday afternoon, but it took him 44 pitches to get through that much of the game. Crick battles himself on the mound with his wildness, leading to strange stat lines like this one where he strikes out tons of batters, walks too many, and hits the showers early. In fact, Crick failed to come back out to the mound after the fifth inning in eight of his 14 starts this season, many due in part to high pitch counts.
  • Grayson Garvin, LHP, Rays (Salt River Rafters): 3 1/3 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Garvin followed up a strong first start with a poor second one, then made things even worse with this outing. He’s trying to make up for missed time from this season.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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