Hitter of the Day:
Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (AFL Mesa Solar Sox): 2-3, BB, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI. Alford’s tantalizing tools were stuck in the garage for big chunks of this season, but he’s built quite the foundation in Arizona thus far. Seventy-grade speed and potentially plus defense in center set a nice floor for his profile, and his advanced approach for a player who is still relatively baseball-raw is encouraging given the physical gifts. He has the talent to emerge as one of the breakout stars of this year’s AFL if he can keep up anything close to his early pace.
Pitcher of the Day:
Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (AFL Peoria Javelinas): 4 IP, H, 2 K. The Rays’ minor league pitcher of the year got cuffed around a bit in each of his first couple turns in the desert, so yesterday marked a nice rebound effort. He was one step ahead all day, inducing off-barrel contact with ruthless efficiency
Others of Note:
Josh Van Meter, INF, San Diego Padres (AFL Peoria Javelinas): 1-2, 3 BB, 2 R, SB. That Van Meter got back to stealing bases at a relatively steady, efficient clip by June this season is an excellent sign after a gruesome broken leg wiped out the vast majority of his 2015. He’s a solid player across the board, and he’s been positively raking thus far in the AFL.
Austin Gomber, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals (AFL Glendale Desert Dogs): 5 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K. Three starts, three positive MLU mentions now for Gomber. As a large left-hander with a solid fastball, command, and an excellent changeup, Gomber is my stereotypical swoon song. I like him. Thomas Desmidt likes him. You should like him too, for he will pitch big-league innings for a long, long time.
Corey Littrell, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals (AFL Glendale Desert Dogs): 2 IP, H, 5 K. A day after rocking his TB12 jersey to a non-Patriots NFL game like a boss, Littrell channeled the GOAT’s pinpoint accuracy in a strong effort. He throws four not-particularly-notable pitches, and it’s a straight relief projection nowadays after a completed ‘pen conversion this season.
D.J. Stewart, OF, Baltimore Orioles (AFL Peoria Javelinas): 2-3, 2 BB, R, RBI, K, SB. Stewart has gotten on base at a nice clip, and he’s stolen a couple with his sneaky speed, too. And that’s pretty much his M.O.
Jairo Labourt, LHP, Detroit Tigers (DWL Gigantes del Cibao): 2 IP, K, W. The wait for Labourt to develop rotation-worthy command was apparently in vain, and Detroit finally up and converted him to the bullpen this summer. He continued to walk just an obscene amount of hitters in that role, but he’s only 22 and lefties who can run it up into the mid-90’s with a swing-and-miss slider tend to have 99 lives.
Lew Ford, RF, FA (DWL, Leones del Escogido): 1-2, 3 BB, R. As long as there is a professional baseball league of some kind in operation, one presumes Lew Ford will be employed by it, and I will note his exploits.
Fight Another Day:
James Kaprielian, RHP, New York Yankees (AFL Scottsdale Scorpions): 3.1 IP, 4 ER (5 R), 7 H, 3 K. Whoops. The Yanks’ first-rounder a year ago had wowed with his pumped-up velocity and solid execution across two starts since returning from a strained flexor tendon that had deleted his regular season. Not so much yesterday, when he struggled from the jump despite Harrison Bader’s best efforts in contributing two outs on the base paths.
Rodolfo Martinez, RHP, San Francisco Giants (AFL Scottsdale Scorpions): 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, HRA. Yunno, I came this close to writing up Rodolfo’s 80-grade heater in our “Best Tools” Ten Pack, and I didn’t. And now he’s getting destroyed every night I write this update. Sorry for cursing you, Rodolfo? I guess?
Tim Tebow, “OF,” New York Mets (AFL Scottsdale Scorpions): 0-4, K. Tebow managed to jet-set his way back to Arizona in time for the game, which is too bad, because literally any other Mets minor leaguer busting his ass to make a career for himself would be more deserving of this roster spot.
Thank you for reading
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