Big day number one

Mike Moustakas
, 3B, Royals (AFL: Surprise)
Yesterday’s stats: 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR, R, 7 RBIs

Sure is nice to get out of Wilmington . . . not that there’s anything wrong with the largest city in Deleware, but their ballpark is not exactly a good place to spend a year, especially if power is a major part of your game. The ballpark alone can’t wipe away Moustakas’ .250/.297/.421 showing with the Blue Rocks this year, but if you’re a Royals fan, it’s good to see a big game out of him, even if it is in a league that is so far batting .296/.384/.473.

And a second big day

Scott Sizemore
, 2B, Tigers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday’s stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB

Sizemore has already stated his case for the Detroit second base job next year by batting .308/.389/.500 across Double- and Triple-A during the regular season, but the Arizona Fall League is a chance to make one more impression before going into spring training next year. He can hit for average, showed career-best power this year with 17 home runs, walks at a decent clip, and stole 21 bases in 25 attempts. There’s really not a glaring weakness in his game.

Getting a look and the new guy

Danny Gutierrez, RHP, Rangers (AFL: Surprise)
Yesterday’s stats: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

A surprising late-season acquisition, Gutierrez pitched less than 30 innings this year when the Rangers traded for him, and he’s yet to pitch more than 100 innings in any season, adding injury-prone to what is already not the best of reputations due to some off-the-field incidents. So why would a team be interested in him? Well, because he can get it up to 94 mph, he can sink it, he can cut it, and he’ll flash you a quality breaking ball pretty regularly. All of those were on display Thursday; now the Rangers just need to keep him on the mound and out of trouble . . . and the trainer’s room.

What to do with this guy?

Wilson Ramos, C, Twins (VEN: Aragua)
Yesterday’s stats: 2-for-2, 3B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB

In six game for the Tigres, Ramos has reached base 12 times while adding a pair of home runs, and he’s likely lined up to begin next year with Triple-A Rochester. He’s not a monster prospect, but a very good one, especially as a catcher with above-average skills both at and behind the plate. Normally he’d be trade bait, as the Twins have the best catcher in the big leagues, and Joe Mauer is only 26 years old. Mauer is also a free agent after the 2010 season, so until that’s all settled, Ramos isn’t going anywhere.

Others of Note

  • Grant Desme
    , OF, Athletics (AFL), 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K: Continues to display power and propensity for striking out with seven whiffs in 12 at-bats.

  • Connor Graham
    , RHP, Indians (AFL), 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 6 BB, 0 K: Massive righty acquired from Colorado for Rafael Betancourt threw 33 pitches yesterday, nine of them for strikes.

  • Brandon Laird
    , 1B/3B, Yankees (AFL), 5-for-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI: His going 9-for-11 in two games has drawn some attention, but scouts see a bench guy on the corners at best due to a lack of secondary skills.

  • Mike Leake
    , RHP, Reds (AFL), 2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K: Top Reds pick last June scuffled a bit in unofficial pro deubt and rarely got up to 90 mph.

  • Josh Thole
    , C, Mets (VEN), 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI: Now batting .391 for Caracas. He might hit .300 in the big leagues, but he has to in order to be valuable because they’ll mostly be singles.
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Anyone see 19-year-old Jose Iglesias? While it's a (very) small sample size, it's at least encouraging to see the defensive whiz with a single, a double, a homer, and a walk in his first two AFL games. Boston must have seen SOMETHING in his bat to give him $6+ million dollars.
Iglesias hit a homerun yesterday in the fifth in Surprise, then was hit in the back with an 0-2 fastball by a different pitcher in his next at bat in the 7th. He spun to the ground, slammed his bat down, and yelled something in Spanish at pitcher Scott Gorgen. The ump intervened and Iglesias took first. He played another inning in the field, then in the 8th he was replaced by Starlin Castro. We speculated he might have admired his homer too much, or taken a slow trot, setting off Surprise, but we didn't notice it. This may all mean nothing but even a minor incident like this is very unusual for the AFL. The umpire warned both benches after the hbp, which I've never seen here before.
The 'others of note' here is really short for each player, but has great information in there.
Really glad to see these kinds of updates. Any chance we'll get something similar from the Latin winter leagues?
You already have notes from Venezuela and Mexico in the last couple of days, and the Dominican League kicks off tonight.
So I do. You're the man, Goldstein.
Wow, I'd always thought that the Wilmington team in the Carolina league was in Wilmington NC (and I live in NC!). How odd.

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