The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is nearing the end of its season. After two weeks, the Salt River Rafters (which all Arizona Diamondbacks AFL prospects play for) were 6-5 and in first place in the AFL East. In the last two weeks, the team has gone 8-6 for a total of 14-11, although they are now in 2nd place, 2.5 games behind the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Diamondbacks’ prospects have given some uneven performances in the AFL for sure, but here have been some high points.
November 7th was the Fall Stars game. Two D-backs prospects were selected for the game in relief pitcher Adam Miller and catcher Oscar Hernandez. Miller did not pitch in the game and hasn’t pitched in the AFL since October 27th. Information as to why is pretty much unavailable. Seems no one knows what is going on with Miller at the moment, not even Twitter. It’s weird. Hernandez on the other hand started at catcher, but did nothing exceptional. The game belonged to game MVP Gary Sanchez from the New York Yankees’ organization and Miami Marlins’ prospect Austin Dean, who hit a 2-run inside-the-park home run.
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As for regular play, Hernandez has been cool recently, hitting .217 with three doubles and 11 strikeouts in 46 at-bats. The best hitting Diamondback would be Daniel Palka if he weren’t a Minnesota Twin now, but instead it is Gabby Guerrero hitting .286/.362/.381 for an OPS of .743, with a home run and a double. Jack Reinheimer is hitting .203 in 64 at-bats; balmy.
Pitchers have not fared that well either. Yoan Lopez is 2-2 with a 5.18 ERA and 1.81 WHIP over 24.1 IP in 6 starts. Daniel Gibson has 5 relief appearances spanning 5 IP, with an ERA of 0.00 and WHIP of 1.40. Lopez has 26 strikeouts and 14 walks, while Gibson has 9 strikeouts and 4 walks.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospects are having a poor AFL showing so far with the exception of Vladimir Guerrero‘s nephew, Gabby. Maybe it’s time to start considering that the Snakes need some minor league changes at the lower levels as the last 365 days have shown their prospects have not been making positive strides in pitching or plate control. Maybe it’s just an unlucky year. Either way, the Diamondbacks prospects’ have been rated fairly high by many outlets such as MLB.com and ESPN, but with extended performances like these, expect to see Arizona drop in the prospect rankings almost across the board. What are the chances Hernandez’s performance in the AFL played a part in the trade for Chris Herrmann a few days ago?
With a week left of games before the championship in the AFL, the Diamondbacks’ prospects are running out of time to prove they are ready to climb the ladder toward the show.