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2011 Arizona Fall League Roster Review: Phoenix Desert Dogs

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Cincinnati Reds prospect Yasmani Grandal (Photo by Rob Tringali, Getty Images)
Cincinnati Reds prospect Yasmani Grandal (Photo by Rob Tringali, Getty Images)

Arizona Fall League Roster Review: Phoenix Desert Dogs

Major League Baseball announced the preliminary rosters for the Arizona Fall League last week Let’s review the key prospects on each team, continuing with the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

PHOENIX DESERT DOGS ROSTER REVIEW
 
Phoenix is stocked with players from the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays organizations. Here are important players to watch. You can find the complete roster here.

PITCHERS:


Austin Adams, RHP, Indians: This 25-year-old right-hander with an above-average fastball went 11-10, 3.77 with a 131/63 K/BB in 136 innings for Double-A Akron, with 147 hits allowed. A fifth-round pick in 2009 from Faulkner University, he’ll need to show sharper command to start in the majors.


Brad Boxberger, RHP, Reds
: This 23-year-old was drafted in the supplemental first round in ’09 from USC. He posted a 2.03 ERA with a 93/28 K/BB in 62 innings with just 32 hits, combining for 11 saves in Double-A and Triple-A this year. A good AFL could help ensure a clean shot at a bullpen spot next year.


Evan Crawford, LHP, Blue Jays: This 25-year-old ground ball specialist out of Auburn posted a 3.35 ERA with a 62/21 K/BB in 51 innings in Double-A, but with a strong reverse platoon split that could hamper possible use as a LOOGY.

Donnie Joseph, LHP, Reds: This 23-year-old University of Houston product posted an ugly 6.94 ERA in Double-A, but fanned 66 in 58 innings and held lefties to a .212 average. He has more potential than the ugly ERA indicates, with a low-90s fastball and a nasty slider.

T.J. McFarland, LHP, Indians: This 22-year-old southpaw picks up tons of grounders and usually throws strikes, posting 3.74 ERA with a 115/51 K/BB in 149 innings with a 2.49 GO/AO this year in High-A and Double-A. He has inning-eater potential.

Matt Packer, LHP, Indians: Another strike-throwing lefty from the Cleveland system, this 24-year-old Virginia product posted a 4.31 ERA but with a sharp 129/33 K/BB and a 1.71 GO/AO in 169 innings in Double-A. Like McFarland, he has a shot as an inning-eater. 

David Phelps, RHP, Yankees: Often overlooked in the New York system, the 24-year-old Notre Dame product has always pitched well, including a 3.19 ERA with a 90/26 K/BB in 107 innings in Triple-A this year. He has decent stuff, and a good AFL performance could make him valued on the trade market.

Tyler Sturdevant, RHP, Indians: This 25-year-old posted a 2.65 ERA with a sharp 82/19 K/BB in 75 innings this year, ending the season in Triple-A. The New Mexico State product could get a chance in the Cleveland pen next year as a middle man.

HITTERS:

Yasmani Grandal, C, Reds: First-round pick from Miami in 2010, Grandal hit .305/.401/.500 with 59 walks and 14 homers in his pro debut split over three levels, while throwing out 34% of runners, ending the year in Triple-A. It will be interesting to see how the Reds fit both him and Devon Mesoraco into the same lineup in 2013.

Dusty Coleman, SS, Athletics: The toolsy 24-year-old out of Wichita State hit 15 homers and stole 21 bases this year, but also fanned 185 times in 498 at-bats between High-A and Triple-A, hitting .247. It will be interesting to see how his strengths and weaknesses play this fall.

Brodie Greene, INF, Reds: This 23-year-old from Texas A&M hit a solid .287/.344/.436 this year with 14 homers, 41 walks, and 38 steals in High-A. He needs to prove his bat against better competition, but his broad base of contributions should get him noticed.

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays: Although he finished with a flurry in Triple-A (.389/.431/.537 in 25 games), he hit poorly in a much larger sample in Double-A (.235/.274/.347). Scouts love the glove and the Cuban defector is just 22, so he still has time to improve the stick.

Corban Joseph, 2B, Yankees: He hit 38 doubles in Double-A and draws notice for a nice-looking swing, but his overall line of .277/.353/.415 doesn’t stand out. At age 22 he still has time but doesn’t have anything like Hechavarria’s tools.

Ronnier Mustelier, 2B-OF, Yankees: An interesting Cuban defector signed this spring, he hit .333/.378/.524 in a 31-game trial in High-A, showing considerable pop for an infielder and earning his way onto the AFL roster. He is already 27 years old but a good AFL could give him some momentum for 2012.

Michael Choice, OF, Athletics: The 2010 first-round pick from UT-Arlington hit .285/.376/.542 with 30 homers this year in High-A, but also struck out 134 times. He’ll take a walk, his overall tools are solid, and his power is obvious but scouts are anxious to see how he adapts to Double-A next year. He turns 22 in November.

Anthony Gose, OF Blue Jays: The ultra-athletic Gose hit .253/.349/.415 with 16 homers, 62 walks, 154 strikeouts, and 70 steals in 509 at-bats in Double-A. Scouts drool over his speed, athleticism, and glovework, and he made progress with the bat this year, although the strikeout rate remains worrisome. He’s still just 21.

Grant Green, OF, Athletics: The former shortstop and 2009 first round pick from USC converte to the outfield this year in Double-A and hit better after the conversion. He hit .291/.343/.409 overall with 39 walks and 119 strikeouts, but the nine homers were disappointing and he’s got plate discipline concerns. He turns 24 this month.