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Hitter of the Day: Jurickson Profar, MI, Rangers (AFL Surprise Saguaros): 1-2, 3 BB, 2 R, 2B

He’s technically not a “prospect” anymore, but for all intents and purposes he might as well be. And given the extreme amount of lost developmental time the Rangers have to be awfully happy with how well he’s been seeing the ball in the desert. Yesterday’s effort gives him 11 walks to just eight strikeouts across his 80 plate appearances, and he’s shown some pop with nine extra-base hits to boot. A healthy Profar heading into spring training gives the AL West champs the good kind of problem up the middle.

Pitcher of the Day: Jacob Barnes, RHP, Brewers (AFL Surprise Saguaros): 2 IP, 4 K, BB, W

An 11th-rounder in 2011 out of Florida Gulf Coast, Barnes tried and failed to convert into a starter only to reemerge as a quintessential mildly interesting minor-league middle reliever this year in his second tour of Double-A. He’s turned a bunch of heads in Arizona, however, putting together an outstanding fall campaign: 11 2/3 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts, three walks, and just six hits allowed. He can touch 96 and complement it with a decent slider, leading to a high-probability middle-relief profile that would constitute a stellar victory for the club given the draft pedigree.

Others of Note:

Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cardinals (AFL Surprise Saguaros): 2-5, 2B, 4 RBI, K

It’s been a rough couple of years for Wisdom, as the Cardinals’ 2012 first-rounder hit an offensive wall at Double-A that he just hasn’t been able to scale as yet. The defensive profile remains his carrying skillset, as he pairs a 70-grade arm with above-average reactions and plus glove work to project as the good kind of anchor on the hot-corner dirt. But outside of a seven-week “But wait, maybe…?” stretch earlier this year, he’s been consistently terrible at the dish since an initial Low-A stint after signing. There’s probably not much more to see here than org depth at this point.

Yandy Diaz, 3B, Indians (AFL Scottsdale Scorpions): 1-3, BB, R, HR, RBI, 2 K

Signed for a modest $300,000 after defecting from Cuba in 2013, Diaz boasts one of the better combinations of bat-to-ball skills and strike-zone command in the high minors. The 24-year-old has taken 127 free passes now in his two years since signing while striking out just 105 times in almost a thousand plate appearances, almost two-thirds of which have come at Double-A. He plays a solid third base, but a deficit of game power from his compact swing leaves questions open as to whether he can profile as an everyday player. There’s enough here for some intrigue about the possibility of a utility future, however, and he’ll likely head back to Triple-A next spring with his name floating around the back burners of the Cleveland depth chart.

Steven Moya, RF, Tigers (DWL Toros del Este): 3-5, 2 BB, R, K

Moya had one thing to do this year, and he…well, he didn’t do it. Homeboy can crush a mistake with the best of ‘em, but he posted a six-to-one ratio of strikeouts to walks at Triple-A this year. That was technically an improvement over his seven-to-one effort at Double-A the year prior, but that kind of effort doesn’t generally get you a parade. Unless dejectedly sauntering back to the dugout after yet another whiff counts as a parade, anyway.

Erik Gonzalez, SS, Indians (DWL Leones del Escogido): 3-4, R, E

Overshadowed by Francisco Lindor in the Cleveland system no more, Gonzalez now stands as the top shortstop prospect on the team’s farm. He’s no Lindor, but he does have the range, instincts, and arm to play passably at the six spot at the highest level, and there’s a whole bunch of defensive versatility on his resume as well. He’s got a long, wiry frame and the requisite contact concerns that come with his limbs, but he’s made strides with the stick over the past couple years to where it’s not hard to squint and see him holding down an everyday gig for a second-division squad at his peak. The defensive package and plus speed should be plenty good enough to get him into a big league uniform for a while regardless, however.

Fight Another Day:

Jairo Beras, OF, Rangers (AFL Surprise Saguaros): 0-5, 4 K

This was just the third game of the AFL season for the late-arriving Beras, and well… is it too early to suggest he maybe should’ve stayed home? 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts is not how you necessarily want to introduce yourself to new teammates, but it’s probably worth noting that the reps are the thing for Beras at this stage of the game. He signed a controversial $4.5 million deal back in 2012, ended up losing the subsequent year to suspension on account of said controversy, and then spent most of 2014 working out the rust. He made strides this year in the Sally, posting solid numbers despite a long-limbed swing that still limits his inner-third coverage. He’s the type of player that should do plenty of damage at High Desert, so it’s possible (if not probable) that we may not get a great read on his progress at translating his tantalizing tools into talent until the second half of next season at the earliest.

Thank you for reading

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jonjacoby
11/17
Did Profar play the field or did he DH again? I'm excited for his return, but would love to see him get some defensive reps in.
BuckarooBanzai
11/17
Nope, still DHing. I'm assuming at this point we won't see him in the field in Arizona.