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The Caribbean leagues were off on Monday, so let's take a look at highlights from yesterday's Arizona Fall League action.

  • Cody Asche, 3B, Phillies (22) (Peoria): 3-for-5, 2B (4), R, 2 RBI. Asche’s four doubles lead the AFL; batting .350/.381/.550 overall.
  • Jarred Cosart, RHP, Astros (22) (Mesa): 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, K. Closed the regular season by allowing just one earned run over his final 16 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City. 0-1, 4.91 ERA, 3-1 K-BB in the AFL thus far.
  • Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (21) (Peoria): 2-for-4, HR (1), 3 RBI. Back-to-back multi-hit games for the anti-Brendan Ryan; batting .417/.417/1.083 overall.
  • Kyle Jensen, LF, Marlins (24) (Phoenix): 0-for-3, RBI, BB, 3 K. Plus raw power, but little athleticism and a designated hitter defensive profile; batting .188/.316/.250 overall.
  • James Paxton, LHP, Mariners (23) (Mariners): 3.0 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 5 K. Power lefty has two plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and upper-70s curve; inconsistent control likely limits his ceiling to that of a good number-three starter. 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 10-2 K-BB in the AFL through two starts.
  • Chris Reed, LHP, Dodgers (22) (Mesa): 0.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R. Dodgers’ 2011 first-round pick hadn’t allowed a run to score prior to this disastrous outing against Peoria; 1-0, 22.50 ERA, 0-0 K-BB overall.
  • Matt Skole, 3B, Nationals (23) (Salt River): 3-for-4, 2B (2), 2 RBI, BB, K. Holds a comfortable advantage (.583 to .462) over Phoenix’s Nick Ahmed in the league batting title race.
  • Matt Szczur, CF, Cubs (23) (Mesa): 3-for-4, 2B (1), R, SB (4). Tied with Kevin Kiermaier and Josh Prince for the league lead with four stolen bases (in four tries); batting .368/.478/.421 overall.
  • Jeudy Valdez, 2B, Padres (23) (Peoria): 3-for-5, 2 2B (3), 3B (1), 3 R, RBI, K. Possesses good speed and surprising pop, but hit just .225/.273/.364 at Double-A San Antonio in his seventh professional season.
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals (22) (Surprise): 2-for-4, RBI, CS. Poised to become the first above-average college bat drafted by the Cardinals in the first round since J.D. Drew in 1998, and shouldn’t have any trouble pushing aside Daniel Descalso and Skip Schumaker by mid-2013.

Other Notes
SS Yordy Cabrera took the roster spot of 3B Miles Head after Head sustained a strained left shoulder on Saturday . . . RHP Tyler Chatwood took over the league strikeout lead by fanning five Phoenix batters in three and two-thirds innings . . . Seven Phoenix pitchers combined to strike out 13 Salt River Rafters on Monday.

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Thanks for the Jeudy Valdez mention ... made me go look for AFL box scores ...
It really frustrates me to see comments like the one on Kolten Wong. To suggest he's just going to waltz into the Cardinals lineup -- snap-snap -- by Mid 2013 is ludricous. It's totally dismissive of minor leagues vs major leagues and that's not to say I'm a card-carrying cheerleader for the Proven Veteran. Look, if the Cardinals were the Cubs, I'd say it's plausible. But the Cardinals aren't the Cubs, or any other team in the rebuilding portion of the Success Cycle. They are the current champions with the potential to repeat. Descalso has been a solid contributor (2011 as a Utility guy) and now as the starting 2B building a local cult following due to his playoff hitting and solid glove work. No matter how much prospect sheen Wong carries, the Cardinal Way won't won't allow him to simply push the incumbents aside 3 months into next season unless they're out of the pennant race.
You're joking, right? You do realize that there is no such thing as the Cardinal way, or the Yankee way, or any such nonsense. The Cardinals, like ANY MLB team, will play the best player available 99% of the time (I'm looking at you Royals / Francouer). Ankrom looks at prospects and attempts to ascertain when they will be ready for the MLB team. For goodness sake, it's not like Wong would be replacing Robinson Cano!!!!
Two quick points:

a) It was presumptuous to say that Wong will take over by mid-2013. I think he will be ready, but things rarely work out the way we expect them to. Saying that he would take over "sometime next year" would probably have been more appropriate.

b) Your argument makes more sense in a Jon Jay / Oscar Taveras context, to me, at least). Daniel Descalso is borderline-replacement level (depending on how much value you attribute to his defense), and I don't see him being much of an obstacle if/when Wong proves he is ready to play every day in St. Louis.

While I don't necessarily agree with your take on the Wong situation, I honestly do appreciate the comments and hope you'll continue to voice your opinion when you disagree with something I (or any BP author) write.
Bradley - A bit surprised on the comment about Paxton. He was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 11 starts after returning from his knee injury, which had bothered him (and his command). Obviously this affected his poor performance before being put on the DL. He was dominant in the playoffs and now continuing in the AFL in a hitting environment. His developing change-up is the pitch to watch, but Paxton said it got considerably better as the year went on, which would appear to coincide with his better 2nd half performance.
Paxton was better post-injury, but he still posted a 3.3 BB/9 (not to mention a 4.1 BB/9 in 2011). I like him a lot, and if he tightens up his control he could exceed my expectations, but there certainly isn't anything wrong with getting a good number-three starter out of the fourth round.