Hitter of the Day: Henry Urrutia, RF, Orioles (Surprise Saguaros): 3-6, 2 R, 2B, HR. We still don’t know how Urrutia’s game will translate against major-league pitching, but there’s not much else he can do to prove he can hit minor-league competition.
Pitcher of the Day: Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions): 2 IP, H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Familia is in the desert to make up for time he lost this season after elbow surgery in June and because if that, he’s likely to have some inconsistencies. When he’s on, however, he has a great arm and on Thursday showed why he could be in the Mets plans for next season. The lost time won’t help with his need to develop his secondary pitches, but with a plus fastball and a future in the bullpen, he needs only an average second pitch to have a future as, at the very least, a middle reliever.
Seeing it Well
- Jorge Soler, RF, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-4, R, K. Soler went 1-for-something in each of his first five games, but broke out on Thursday and now has a nine-game hitting streak in the AFL. The Cubs are still waiting for the power to come out of a frame that looks like it should have a ton of it, but for now, it continues to come in the form of doubles.
- C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-5, R, HR. The Angles slugger connected on his third home run of the fall, which is a good sign after his power diminished this season. Cron needs to hit for power to have any value, as he’s limited to first base defensively and doesn’t walk much.
- Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Scottsdale Scorpions): 2-4, 2 R, HR, K. There are questions about Hanson sticking at shortstop, and it’s unlikely that he will, but there are few who question whether or not he has a major-league bat. What kind of power and consistency he develops, however, will decide whether he’s simply a regular or a potential star. Either will likely be at second base.
Finding the Zone
- Stephen McCray, RHP, White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. McCray has consistently posted better ERA’s in the minors than his FIP’s would suggest he should, so he has continued to have to prove himself. He’s doing that again this fall and has now thrown 10 2/3 scoreless innings, despite striking out just five and walking four.
Bad Days at the Plate
- Brian Cavazos-Galvez, LF, Dodgers (Glendale Desert Dogs): 0-5, 3 K. The one tool BCG has is power, but it comes with an extra-aggressive approach that can lead to days like these and has generally led to him being a Quad-A player.
- Gift Ngoepe, SS, Pirates (Scottsdale Scorpions): 0-4, 2 K. Ngoepe’s rough day now has his batting average down to .091 for the fall, and that coupled with his poor offensive season only further solidify his reputation as a defense-only player.
- Phil Irwin, RHP, Pirates (Scottsdale Scorpions): 2 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K. Irwin was the Pirates replacement when Jameson Taillon left the AFL with an injury, which sucks for everyone because Irwin isn’t half the prospect Taillon is. Irwin’s best quality is that he’s as ready for the majors as he’ll ever be and could provide the Pirates depth this season, but he’s a very low-ceiling prospect who will likely be a long-man.
- Will Lamb, LHP, Rangers (Surprise Saguaros): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 0 K. It’s not getting any better for Lamb who got shelled for the third time in the AFL and had his worst battle with control yet.
- Branden Kline, RHP, Orioles (Surprise Saguaros): 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K. The Orioles were hoping that Kline’s stuff would play up in a relief role, and to a certain extent it has in the AFL, but on Thursday he was throwing batting practice.
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