Notes on 12 prospects, including Astros first baseman Japhet Amador and Royals righty Jason Adam.
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.
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Notes on 15 prospects, including Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro and Dodgers lefty Jarret Martin.
Hitter of the Day: Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Surprise Saguaros): 3-4, 2 R, 2B. Alfaro is quickly becoming the second-best catching prospect in the game (behind only Austin Hedges). With plus power and a plus-plus arm, the only real flaw in his game is his plate discipline, but when you hit .409 like he is this fall, no one cares.
Pitcher of the Day: Jarret Martin, LHP, Dodgers (Glendale Desert Dogs): 1 IP, H, 3 K. Lefties with 97-mph fastballs get lots of chances for reasons like this. Martin sits in the low-to-mid 90s and has been mostly 92-93 this fall, but it hasn’t helped him throw strikes more often, having walked 16 batters in 14 1/3 innings for the Desert Dogs. Martin isn’t a more well-known prospect because he generally has no idea how to throw strikes or use his velocity, but when he does, it’s pretty awesome.
Notes on 12 prospects, including Athletics shortstop Addison Russell and Cubs right-hander Dallas Beeler.
Hitter of the Day: Addison Russell, SS, A’s (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-5, R, 2B, K. There were a few questions about Russell when he was drafted in 2012, but there are very few surrounding him now. Still shy of his 20th birthday, Russell has handled every assignment put in front of him to this point and is now hitting .307 in the AFL. The strikeouts are a little bit of a concern, but as long as he keeps producing, no one will notice.
Pitcher of the Day: Dallas Beeler, RHP, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Coming off a start in which he allowed seven unearned runs, Beeler was strong on Monday, pounding the strike zone and generating weak contact.
A look at the notable prospect performances in the desert and abroad.
Games of Friday, November 8
Hitter of the Day: C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Mesa Solar Sox): 4-4, R, 2 2B, BB. Cron is known for his power, which is his lone plus tool and the sole reason he ranked third in our ranking of the weak Angels farm system last week. He is not, however, known for the overall hitting prowess he showed on Friday. He also went 2-for-4 on Saturday with a double and a home run and didn’t strike out all weekend.
Notes on prospects playing in the desert, and in the winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
Hitter of the Day: Jonathan Schoop, SS, Orioles (Surprise Saguaros): 3-3, 2 R, HR, 2 BB. Schoop did two things on Thursday that he didn’t do much of this season: hit for power and draw walks. Schoop is a generally aggressive hitter and has hit for moderate power in the past but has struggled to show it off against more advanced pitching. Of course, this one came off of Noel Arguelles, so take it with a grain of salt. Before this year, Schoop absolutely killed lefties but this season his splits reversed.
Pitcher of the Day: Jamie Walczak, RHP, Reds (Glendale Desert Dogs): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K. Walczak has worked primarily as a reliever throughout his five-year professional career, so it’s impressive to see him having success as a starter. The 26-year-old can be dominant when he throws strikes because he misses a ton of bats, despite possessing only a low-90s fastball.
Notes on prospects who stood out in the desert last night, including Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr and Marlins righty Nick Wittgren.
Hitter of the Day: Aaron Altherr, CF, Phillies (Peoria Javelinas): 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B. One day after being on the bad part of this list, Altherr put together the best night in the AFL. Such are the trials and tribulations of developing such a raw and inconsistent prospect. Altherr made great strides this season in Double-A, but the fact that he still needs to take more signifies exactly how far away he was when the Phillies first got him. Still, after posting a career high ISO (isolated slugging percentage) of .180 this season, he’s shown a lot of signs of putting it together.
Pitcher of the Day: Nick Wittgren, RHP, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. WIttgren is a polished college starter whose stuff has played up in a relief role as a pro. He has great control and has struck out well over a batter per inning in his professional career, and has continued that trend this fall.
Notes on nine prospects, including Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw and Mets righty Hansel Robles.
Hitter of the Day: Travis Shaw, 1B, Red Sox (Surprise Saguaros): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB, K. Shaw is an on-base machine that is unfortunately stuck playing first base. He has some pop, although it usually comes in the form of doubles, but his real value comes from what happens when he doesn’t swing. He likely won’t be a starting first baseman, at least not on a first-division team like the Red Sox, but there’s a niche out there for him somewhere.
Pitcher of the Day: Hansel Robles, RHP, Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Robles is a relatively inexperienced prospect for his age (23) having taken four seasons to get to a full-season league and never having thrown more than 95 1/3 innings in a season despite working as a starter. Robles’ performance has rarely been in question, but as an undersized right-hander (5-foot-11), he needs to prove that he can handle the workload as a starter.
Notes on eight prospects, including Reds outfielder Yorman Rodriguez and Marlins left-hander Andrew Heaney.
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.
Byron Buxton was among the prospects who showed off their skills over the weekend.
The Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game is the centerpiece of the fall season, coupling the major-league ready talent of the AFL with the ease of the desert’s second season to produce the best showcase for top minor-league talent.
And was that talent ever on display over the weekend. The AFL showcase served as a chance not only to see the best of the AFL’s talent-laden pool in action but also to see it against other top-flight talent.
Notes on nine prospects, including Cardinals infielder Jacob Wilson and Yankees lefty Vidal Nuno.
Hitter of the Day: Jacob Wilson, 2B, Cardinals (Salt River Rafters): 2-4, R, HR. As a senior sign out of college, Wilson has had to battle to overcome the stigma that comes with that label. Continuing to hit against better competition will help him to do just that. He has good pop for a second baseman, hitting 15 home runs in 97 games in the Midwest League this season. He also has a decent eye at the plate. That combination will help him as he faces better pitching, but it’s probably not enough to make him a major-league regular.
Pitcher of the Day: Vidal Nuno, LHP, Yankees (Scottsdale Scorpions): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Nuno worked as both a starter and a reliever in his brief stint in the majors this season, but this was by far his best AFL start. His role in the majors still hasn’t been determined, but it’s good to see him have success a second time through the lineup, even if it is against minor-league competition.
Notes on eight prospects, including Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw and Cardinals righty Sam Gaviglio.
Hitter of the Day: Travis Shaw, 1B, Red Sox (Surprise Saguaros): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Shaw doesn’t have many tools, but he does hit for some power and get on base. The power was on display on Wednesday both in the gaps and over the fence, a good sign for Shaw who struggled in his first taste of advanced pitching this season in Double-A.
Pitcher of the Day: Sam Gaviglio, RHP, Cardinals (Salt River Rafters): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Velocity isn’t the only way to strike batters out, but it certainly makes things easier. Gaviglio struck out six batters on Wednesday despite an average fastball velocity of 89 MPH. He relies heavily on his two-seam sinking fastball, which he threw 59 percent of the time on Wednesday and comes in just as fast, and on Wednesday it generated more strikeouts than ground balls. Sometimes that just happens.
Notes on nine prospects, including White Sox outfielder Jared Mitchell and Marlins lefty Andrew Heaney.
Hitter of the Day: Jared Mitchell, RF, White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs): 3-4, R, HR, BB, K. Mitchell followed up a bad 2012 with a horrific 2013, yet because he still has many of the tools that got him selected in the first round, he got a chance in the AFL. He’s hitting .389 this fall but that won’t be enough to erase the memory of back-to-back terrible seasons. He still fails to make contact at far too high a rate, although his 11-to-5 BB:K ratio this fall is a great sign, even if it is in a small sample size.
Pitcher of the Day: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (Glendale Desert Dogs): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. After dominating the Florida State League and doing well in Double-A, his 1.45 AFL ERA is really just showing off. The Marlins have been ridiculously aggressive promoting prospects in the past year, but Heaney can probably handle it if they move him quickly. At the very least, Heaney’s fastball/slider combo should have no problem in a return to Double-A to begin next season, and the Marlins have a recent history of skipping prospects over Triple-A altogether.