Arizona Fall League Preview: Peoria Javelinas
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. This year it kicks off on Tuesday, October 9th and over the next couple of days, we will be highlighting the rosters from each of the six squads.
Today we Start with the Peoria Javelinas
Farm Systems: Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays
The 2017 AFL champions return a high caliber squad as they will be represented by a few of the top farm systems.
Top Position Players To Watch
Atlanta Braves: OF Cristian Pache .279/.307/.410 9 HR, 47 RBI, 7 SB
After bursting onto the scene prior to the 2018 season, Pache’s bat didn’t take the steps forward that the Braves were hoping for. At just 19, there is still a ton of time left for development and the AFL is a pretty good place to start.
Milwaukee Brewers: 2B Keston Hiura .293/.357/.464 13 HR, 43 RBI, 15 SB
I don’t say this lightly and I know what a big claim this is. In my opinion, Hiura is the best pure hitter in Minor League baseball. Despite a few injury set backs early on, he hasn’t missed a beat at the plate. Now, this fall, he will face his toughest competition yet.
San Diego Padres: OF Buddy Reed .271/.319/.435 13 HR, 62 RBI, 51 SB
You all remember Buddy Reed from this year’s Futures Game and no, that is not a typo. He really stole 51 bases between two levels this year.
Seattle Mariners: 1B Evan White .300/.371/.453 11 HR, 66 RBI, 4 SB
White profiles much differently than a prototypical first baseman. He is more of a contact hitter than a power hitter and is above average in the field.
Tampa Bay Rays: SS Lucius Fox .268/.351/.341 3 HR, 39 RBI, 29 SB
The switch hitter out of Nassau, Bahamas brings his great plate approach and glove to Peoria. Look for Fox to get on base often and use his speed to get in scoring position and generate some runs for the Javelinas.
Top Pitcher To Watch:
Atlanta Braves: LHP Kyle Muller 3.03 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 129 SO, 46 BB
The 2016 second round pick flew through the Braves system this year going all the way from Single-A, to High-A, before ending the season at Double-A.
Milwaukee Brewers: RHP Miguel Sanchez 2.52 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 95 SO, 22 BB
Exclusively a bullpen arm, Sanchez was one of the toughest pitchers to get on base against in the Brewers system. Milwaukee hopes he can soon add to that deep bullpen at the big league level.
San Diego Padres: RHP Miguel Diaz 3.33 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 81 SO, 43 BB
Diaz made his MLB debut this year and while he struggled in a very small sample size, some exposure to the best bats in Minor League baseball this fall may have him ready to stick with the Padres bullpen at some point in 2019.
Seattle Mariners: RHP Wyatt Mills 3.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 59 SO, 13 BB
Mills struggled in his short time in Double-A this season, but the fastball slider combo has the Mariners excited about him as a potential bullpen piece.
Tampa Bay Rays: RHP Phoenix Sanders 3.08 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 89 SO, 22 BB
The Rays have a couple of University of South Florida arms in their system and Sanders, a product of Germany, is one that they are particularly excited about. The K/BB ratio certainly is promising. The 5’10 righty has a nice 2 seam, slider combo and good control.