Minor League Ball Gameday, Oct 26: AFL Edition

Mesa's one man slaughterhouse, Kris Bryant. - used with permission from Flickr user BeGreen90

The best place to go for info on what happened yesterday in the Arizona Fall League.

Hello everyone. I hope you are all enjoying a fine weekend full of Halloween festivities and World Series on the tube. Out in the desert yesterday, Byron Buxton of Glendale and Jorge Soler of Mesa both went yard along with Patrick Kivlehan from Peoria. Today we have ourselves another slate of day games with each kicking off at 3:35 PM EST. Let's get to it.

League Standings

TEAM WIN LOSS TIE GB
AFL EAST



Mesa Solar Sox 10 4 1 -
Scottsdale Scorpions 7 7 3
Salt River Rafters 6 9 4
AFL WEST
Surprise Saguaros 8 6 -
Glendale Desert Dogs 7 7 1 1
Peoria Javelinas 5 10 3.5

Game Recaps

Salt River 4 - Glendale 2

Glendale jumped out in front in the first inning but couldn't hold off the Rafters' big 6th inning. Salt River was led offensively by lead off man and center fielder Kenny Wilson who doubled twice, struck out the other three times he went up to bat and was picked off. Jacob Wilson and Mike Freeman knocked in one each, with Wilson going 1-4 with a run scored and Freeman going 0-2 with a walk and a sac fly. Right fielder Stephen Piscotty went 1-3 with a walk, punch out, run scored and stolen base. Ryan Brett swiped a bag as well, going 0-2 with a pair of walks. Even short stop Nick Ahmed got in on the thievery, swiping his first bag of the fall while going 1-3 with a walk, run scored and punch out as well. Starter Drew Hutchison went four innings, only allowing one run on a home run with one other hit, no walks and four strike outs. Anthony Ferrara followed with 1.1 innings of shut out baseball, allowing just a hit. Lefty Lee Stoppelman continued to blank the opposition, walking and striking out one in an inning of work. Stoppelman is now at 4.1 innings over four appearances with no runs allowed and just one hit, he has walked five though. Matt Stites finished it off with a strike out in the 9th, getting the save.

Glendale got two innings out of starter Charlie Leesman, only allowing a hit and striking out one. AJ Achter pitched in two more scoreless frames, giving up two hits, a walk and two punch outs. Onelki Garcia made his debut, throwing a shut out inning with a walk, hit batsman and strike out. Mike Thomas stepped in and gave them 1.1 innings with a hit and walk allowed, no runs scored and a pickoff of Kenny Wilson at second base. Yimi Garcia and Nick Wittgren each threw a hitless inning at the back end of the game, with Garcia striking out two and Wittgren putting down one. Garcia is now at 5.2 scoreless innings with just two hits and walks allowed. Wittgren stretched his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings, with just two hits and no walks to pair with 12 punch outs. This was his only appearance without striking out at least two batters. At the plate, Byron Buxton went yard in the first, his only hit in four at bats with a strike out as well. Designated hitter Yorman Rodriguez was 1-4 with a run scored, two strike outs and his second stolen base of the fall. Tucker Barnhart got a single in three at bats, and Brent Keys got other hit for the Desert Dogs, also striking out twice.

Mesa 7 - Peoria 5

It was a back and forth, tug of war type of game between the Solar Sox and Javelinas yesterday, with six lead changes and each team leaving the park. Mesa got behind AFL MVP front-runner Kris Bryant who knocked three extra base hits, two doubles and a triple, scored three times, drove in one and struck out twice in five plate appearances. Designated hitter Jorge Soler gave them a temporary lead in the 8th with a two-run homer off Austin Wright, and also had a single, walk and punch out in five trips. Tyler Collins was 2-4 with a pair of RBI, a run scored, walk and strike out, and Max Muncy was 2-3 with a walk and an error in the field. Taylor Lindsey also had two hits, both singles, and scored twice with a strike out. Zach Borenstein had a rough day on the bases, getting caught twice after going 1-4 with a walk. Reliever Richie Mirowski was the only man on the Mesa staff to not allow a run, working a scoreless 9th inning with just a walk allowed to get the save. Kenny Faulk got the win, striking out the side but giving up a home run to blow the lead. Michael Roth started and went 4.1 innings allowing a pair of runs on four hits, three walks, a hit batter and two strike outs.

Peoria did everything the could but could not hold the lead at the end of the game. They were very active on the basepaths, especially with Seth Frankoff on the mound, stealing five bases on the night with Cory Spangenberg swiping two and Delino DeShields taking both second AND third base off Frankoff. Stefen Romero kicked in the fifth steal. Romero was also caught stealing, as was Nolan Fontana. Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan provided the thump, hitting a solo shot in the 8th, and an RBI single as well. Spangenberg has the only other RBI, part of a 1-3 day with a run scored, walk and strike out as well as the steals. Designated hitter Cameron Perkins was 2-5 with a triple and a run scored, and Tommy Medica was 1-3 with a walk, run scored and a punch out. Lead off man Lane Adams had a rough day in general. He was 0-4 with two strike outs, a walk, and two errors in the outfield, both fielding. He did throw out a runner at second base though. Starting pitcher Kyle Hunter lasted 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk with two strike outs. Angel Baez kept it interesting in his 1.2 innings of relief, not allowing a hit or run but walked three and struck out three. Dominic Leone let the lead slip in the 9th, allowing three hits and two runs in 1.1 innings of relief.


Surprise 3 - Scottsdale 1

Surprise received great pitching from their staff with starter Tim Berry going four shut out innings, only allowing three hits and struck out two. Nick McBride handled 1.2 innings, allowing a walk and two hits but no runs. Keone Kela made his second AFL appearance, going 1.1 innings with a walk, no hits or runs and three strike outs. Jason Gurka came in next and threw a scoreless inning, working around a pair of hits. McBride, Kela and Gurka all threw a wild pitch as well. The number nine hitter, Joe Wendle, was the catalyst tonight. He was 2-3 with a walk, double, triple, RBI and a run scored. Catcher Jorge Alfaro had an eventful day, going 1-3 with a double, a walk and strike out. He picked off Mason Williams at first base, then was picked off first base by opposing starter Vidal Nuno, then picked off Elmer Reyes at first base, and allowed a passed ball in the 9th. Lead off man Tyler Naquin was 2-4 with a sac fly and two RBI. Henry Urrutia was 1-3 with a walk playing left field, and he was picked off by Matt Benedict. Third baseman Ryan Rua went 0-3 with a run scored, walk, strike out and a throwing error.

Scottsdale also got a great start from Vidal Nuno. He threw four shut out innings, allowing two hits, a walk and two punch outs with a pick off. Tyler Waldron followed and gave up the lead, throwing two innings allowing three hits, two runs (one earned) and a strike out. Cody Hall and Matt Benedict threw scoreless innings and Derek Law gave up an unearned run. Hall gave up a hit, Benedict walked one, struck out one and picked off one, and Law walked two, threw a wild pitch and struck out one. Cory Vaughn and Mason Williams had a pair of singles and a strike out each with Williams also working a walk and got picked off. Angel Villalona had the only RBI, going 1-4 with a punch out. Elmer Reyes was 1-4 at the plate too but made a pair of fielding errors at short stop and was picked off. Catcher Andrew Susac was 1-2 with two walks and the only run scored. Third baseman Peter O'Brien was 1-4 with a fielding error.

Probable Starters

Salt River @ "Peoria" - 3:35 PM EST

Salt River - Bo Schultz RHP - AZ (13.1 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 15 K)

Peoria - Jason Adam RHP - KC (11 IP, 10 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

Scottsdale @ Glendale - 3:35 PM EST

Scottsdale - Aaron Northcraft RHP - ATL (8 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 10 K, 1 HR)

Glendale - Jamie Walczak RHP - CIN (4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 5 BB, 8 K)

Surprise @ Mesa - 3:35 PM EST

Surprise - To Be Determined

Mesa - Sammy Solis LHP - WAS (12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 14 K, 1 HR)

Pitch f/x Notes

Yesterday's contest between Mesa and Peoria was at Surprise Stadium which is equipped with the pitch f/x system. A very simple way to explain pitch f/x is two camera's are set up in the stadium to track the speed and break of pitches and the release point of pitchers. Here are some notes from what it picked up.

- Mesa reliever Angel Baez let loose the fastest pitch of the day, a 97 mph fastball to Jorge Soler up and in for a ball. Armando Rivero and Dominic Leone hit 96 with their heat.

- Peoria starter Kyle Hunter threw the slowest pitch, a 73 mph curve with 14 inches of break on it to Zach Borenstein for a ball.

- Seth Frankoff ripped off a 77 mph curve to Cameron Rupp that had 15 inches of break to it and was in the dirt for a ball.

Foreign Winter League Notes

The Arizona Fall League is not the only place where baseball is still being played. The Dominican, Venezuelan and Mexican Winter Leagues are already going with the Puerto Rican League kicking off November 1 and the Australian Baseball League opens October 31.

In the Dominican League, Jurickson Profar is pacing the circuit in batting average, hitting .579 while Gregory Polanco leads the league with three home runs. Licey leads by half a game through six games.

Magallanes has a one game lead in the Venezuelan League with Daniel Mayora hitting .477 to lead the league. Mario Lisson leads in homers with six. Mayora is a 28 year old second baseman who last played affiliated ball in 2012 with the Giants at AA Richmond. Lisson is 29, plays third base and spent the past year in the Mexican League, hittting 12 home runs with a .260/.345/.465 line.

Former big leaguer Kevin Kouzmanoff leads the Mexican Winter League with a .467 average while 32 year old third baseman Brian Burgamy leads the league in homers with five. He's played independent league ball since 2009, this past season with four independent teams and a Mexican league team. Hermosillo leads by 2.5 games so far.

Linkage

****Jack Magruder at MLB.com took a deeper look at Peoria third baseman Patrick Kivlehan and other Mariners prospects in the AFL.

****JJ Cooper spoke with a handful of 2014 prepsters to find out what kind of equipment they have in their bag while the 15th Annual World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) World Championships are kicking off in Jupiter, FL.

****Mike Rosenbaum at Bleacher Report put together another solid piece on under the radar AFL players with MLB upside. Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid the slideshow. He includes five pitchers and six hitters.

****USA Today had an article on exactly what baseball fans want to know...what is Ryan Dempster wearing?

****I guess that's more interesting than what Fox Sports came up with, Robinson Cano's 31st birthday celebration with Jay-Z.

****MiLB.com unveiled their MiLBY Awards for 2013. So far they have named the Relief Pitchers, Offensive Players, and Stating Pitchers of the year. There is a fan's choice and staff's choice for each category. The next award to be announced will be the Game of the Year on October 28.

****I'll end the linkage with some good, hearty laugh-inducing GIF's, including Prince Fielder's epic belly flop in the ALCS.

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