Friday, October 24th
Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (Peoria): 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. A high pick by the Royals, this college left-hander was expected to move quickly. Sound familiar? Selman has been passed by the likes of Brandon Finnegan, but he’s far from a lost cause. He still misses bats like the high-end pitcher he was drafted to be, but he needs to throw more strikes. The Royals began using him as a reliever in July, which could be a sign of things to come.
Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (Salt River): 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, K. Story rebounded this season in the California League after struggling badly there last year, but then struggled even more after a midseason promotion to Double-A. It’s his approach that gets him in trouble: He has the tools to hit and good power for the shortstop position, but his propensity to swing and miss is holding him back. He’ll take another crack at Double-A, and perhaps his time in the AFL will help him make the necessary adjustments, but it would be nice to eventually see him handle a level on his first try.
Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Salt River): 4 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K. Anytime Bradley throws strikes, he’s effective. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened nearly often enough to enable him to be the ace starter he has the potential to be. Two plus-plus pitches give him the arsenal, but without effective enough command of either one, he’s left the Diamondbacks, and the scouting community, wanting to see more. True to form, he’s walked seven batters in 11 AFL innings.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Scottsdale): 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K. Glasnow, on the other hand, has overcome his control issues this fall. The Pirates right-hander has walked too many batters as a professional as well, but he’s managed to overcome the additional baserunners while on the field. He’s also yet to hit the upper-minors where Bradley first had his troubles. Glasnow has walked six batters in 9 2/3 innings this fall, but after an opening outing in which he failed to make it out of the first inning, he’s walked just one batter in each outing. Still, while Glasnow has been remarkably successful despite his control problems, mainly because he rarely gets hit hard, he’ll need to show improvement as he reaches the upper minors, as soon as next year.
Saturday, October 25th
Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (Mesa): 4-6, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 K. Pompey’s meteoric rise to the majors this year was unexpected, even by those of us who pushed the publicity of his talent early in the season, but the fact that he handled each and every challenge the Blue Jays threw at him leaves open the possibility that he will be able to handle taking over in center field next season for the likely-to-depart Colby Rasmus. These at-bats this fall are just more experience for Pompey, who, despite his major-league time, is still a novice when it comes to facing advanced pitching. Every at-bat he gets against better competition gives him a better chance to make the Blue Jays roster this spring.
Daniel Robertson, 3B, Athletics (Mesa): 5-6, 2 R. Robertson proved this season what kind of hitter he is and why he was taken in the first round in 2012, and he’s taking that proof to a whole new level in the AFL. Ten games into the short season, Robertson is 16-for-36 with nine walks to just three strikeouts. His patient approach at the plate helps him get in good hitters’ counts and allows his natural ability to take over, barreling the ball up consistently.
Samuel Tuivailala, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria): 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 R, 4 K. Tuivailala rose quickly through the Cardinals system much like Pompey did north of the border, finishing the season pitching in a pennant race. The converted position player has a lightning-quick arm and took major steps forward this season in learning how to use it effectively as a pitcher. He also took major steps forward on refining his slider. He should be ready to contribute in a big-league bullpen as soon as next year, and could finish the year near the back end of it.
Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, and Tyler Austin (Glendale): One homer each. Saturday proved to be a big day for the Yankees farm system, or at least as big of a day as a farm system can have in late October. Judge is the best all-around hitter of the group while Bird has the most plate discipline (though Judge’s isn’t too far behind). Austin hasn’t been able to back up a strong 2012 season but could still be a useful piece. This may not be a look at the middle of the Yankees lineup in a couple of years, but it’s a good look at the depth the organization has rebuilt over the past few.
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