Monday, October 8, 2012

Arizona Fall League

It’s that time of the baseball year again.  For many, the season is coming to an end as the playoffs go on but for prospect lovers, the Arizona Fall League provides another 30 games to follow.

As a Twins/D-backs follower, I thought I’d touch on a couple players each team sent to the AFL.

Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters)
-Evan Marshall: This is a guy who I think could contribute for the Diamondbacks as soon as early next season.  He spent all season in Double-A and posted a solid 3.51 ERA.  He was a reliever in college at Kansas State so he is used to the role.  I don’t think he’ll be a closer like he was in the minors but he could be a solid lefty specialist and get a few righties out as well.  In 48.2 innings he only struck out 27 and walked 16 which isn’t promising but maybe some more experience can get that ratio better.

-Matt Davidson:  After being drafted by the D-backs in the 35th overall as a third baseman (he was actually the second high school third baseman selected by Arizona in the 2009 draft after Bobby Borchering, who was dealt to Houston after his stock in the system dropped) he has made his way across the diamond and has put up solid power numbers.  Like many other hitters who have made their way through the Arizona system, Davidson strikes out at a rate nobody would like to see but he draws his walks and can put the ball in the gap and over the fence.  In the AFL he’s going to put up stellar numbers because the stats are so inflated but it’ll be cool to see how his swing matches up against above-average arms.  And we’ll see if he can keep the hitch in his swing.

Twins (Peoria Javelinas) 
-Kyle Gibson: For Twins fans, this is a guy you may want to follow throughout the spring.  After Tommy John Surgery, Gibson is on his way to Minnesota.  In 2011 he probably would have gotten a September call up but instead he found himself on the operating table.  He was able to throw 28.1 innings across three minor league levels and he showed good control as he had a 33:6 K/BB ratio.  Granted he was facing inferior competition in the GCL and the Florida State League, the AFL will be a great test of not just talent, but health.  Gibson could fill a rotation spot out of spring training but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him start the year in the minors to get more innings under his belt.

-Chris Herrmann: As far as the Twins position player prospects, there isn’t one who gets me really excited.  But Herrmann did get time with the big league team in September so he must be an alright player.  He caught and played some outfield for the Twins so he could be a more valuable (and less expensive) player on their bench than a guy who can’t hit (cough Drew Butera cough).  As far as power goes, there might not be much but throughout the minors he has always had a solid OBP and as long as he can catch, I think he’ll be OK.  

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