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Legends On Deck

Arizona Fall League Preview: Surprise Saguaros

It’s no secret that October is the best time of year to be a baseball fan. While we are all glued to our TV screens watching the best players the game has to offer in some of the most dramatic situations you will see on a baseball diamond, the stars of tomorrow are getting some valuable playing time as well. For us prospect junkies, October is not only marked on our calendar because of the MLB playoffs, but also because of the Arizona Fall League. Things kicked off this afternoon and over the next couple of days, we will be highlighting the rosters from each of the six squads.

Part One: Peoria Javelinas

Part Two: Glendale Desert Dogs

Today we move onto the Surprise Saguaros

Farm Systems: Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays

Stubby Clapp, a Canadian baseball legend, will suit up to fill out the lineup cards for the Surprise Saguaros this fall.  What is the significance here? His name is Stubby Clapp and he is Canadian. Oh, and he’s been involved in Minor League baseball for a long time including as a player and some successful stints as a coach and manager.

Top Position Players To Watch

Kansas City Royals: OF Khalil Lee .263/.382/.390 6 HR, 51 RBI, 16 SB

Raw would be the best way to describe Khalil Lee. He has solid tools across the board, but has a lot of untapped potential in virtually all areas as well. Right now he seems to rely more on his natural ability and with a little more seasoning, could become a main stay in the Royals outfield down the road.

Pittsburgh Pirates: SS Cole Tucker .259/.333/.356 5 HR, 44 RBI, 35 SB

A switch-hitting short stop, the 22 year old finds himself in a crowded middle infield pack within the Pirates organization. A first round pick back in 2014, Tucker has battled a few injuries, but found himself all the way up in Double-A in 2018. He has the defensive ability to stick at short.

St. Louis Cardinals: C Jeremy Martinez .237/.312/.358 5 HR, 20 RBI

A former fourth round pick and a University of Southern California product, Martinez is a good receiver who handles the bat relatively well considering his level of defense.

Texas Rangers: OF Julio Pablo Martinez .266/.378/.457 9 HR, 24 RBI, 13 SB

Despite not playing above Short Season in his first year of pro ball stateside, Martinez has some experience against a decent level of competition as he was one of the best players in the top league in his native Cuba before signing with the Rangers. This AFL stint will play a pivotal role in deciding what level he starts at in 2019.

Toronto Blue Jays: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. .381/.437/.636 20 HR, 78 RBI, 5 SB

Nothing insightful here. You know who he is and what he is capable of. One of the highlights of this fall will be watching the best prospect in baseball take on top pitching talent.

Top Pitchers To Watch:

Kansas City Royals: RHP Carlos Hernandez 3.29 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 82 SO, 23 BB

If you have ever read any of my work, you know there is one thing I love from a young pitching prospect, an advanced changeup. Hernandez has that to go along with his 97 mph fastball.

Pittsburgh Pirates: RHP Dario Agrazal 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 56 SO, 13 BB

Agrazal doesn’t have the most electric stuff, but he can almost always put the ball exactly where he wants and with that, gets a lot of groundball outs. He projects to be a solid middle inning reliever.

St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Conner Greene 4.09 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 69 SO, 63 BB

Greene has quite a heater, but the command can be off from time to time. If he can get the command under control he a lot of potential.

Texas Rangers: LHP C.D. Pelham 3.66 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 53 SO, 26 BB

Perhaps one of the most improved pitchers in the Rangers system, Pelham hasn’t been pitching full time for long. He has a high power fastball and his stuff should only improve as he gets more experience. Pelham made his MLB debut last season.

Toronto Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson 1.2 IP

A consistently triple digit fastball combined with a decent slider places the 6’6 right hander as the top pitcher to watch in the Blue Jays system. He will be returning from injury after a comebacker to the arm sidelined him for the 2018 campaign.

Featured Image Courtesy of Mathew Carper/LOD

Jake Berry
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Jake Berry

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at berrysbaseball.com

You can also reach out to Jake at jberry@legendsondeck.com
Jake Berry
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