Here are four items of notice from the 2016 Arizona Fall League:
Gavin Cecchini, INF, New York Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions): In his first six Arizona Fall League contests, Cecchini is 4-for-15 (.267) with a pair of doubles, four RBI, and four walks, fanning twice. Cecchini hit .325/.390/.448 during the regular season for Triple-A Las Vegas and went 2-for-6 with a pair of doubles during his brief major league trial late in the year. He's playing shortstop for Scottsdale but I continue to believe that he may be best-suited for second base in the long run. His glove has been stagnant for a couple of years at the same time that his hitting has improved.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): Cubs outfield phenom Eloy Jimenez had an excellent regular season, hitting .329/.369/.532 in the Low-A Midwest League with 40 doubles and 14 homers, although with unattractive 25/94 BB/K ratio. The Arizona Fall League has been a bit tougher so far on the slash line, with a .222/.391/.389 line. He's hit a home run while fanning five times, but of positive note are five walks. Keeping the strike zone under control is his main need going forward . He doesn't turn 20 for another month so even holding his own in Arizona is a positive marker for his development.
Andy Ibanez, 2B, Texas Rangers (Surprise Saguaros): One of the hottest bats so far in Arizona is Texas Rangers infielder Andy Ibanez, hitting .381/.381/.476 through five games with two doubles and three RBI. The 23-year-old Cuban had a solid regular campaign, hitting .285/.355/.449 between Low-A and Double-A with 15 homers and a 54/74 BB/K in 492 at-bats. Signed for $1,600,000 in July of 2015, Ibanez has been a sound investment so far and could see the majors in 2017.
Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros (Glendale Desert Dogs): An early success story from Arizona: Houston Astros outfield prospect Ramon Laureano. Through seven games he is 10-for-25 (.400) with four doubles, two triples, and four stolen bases. Laureano is one of the more obscure names in the league but he won't be for long. Drafted in the 16th round in 2014 from Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College, Laureano was born in the Dominican Republic. Age 22, he's a right-handed hitter and thrower with 60-grade speed who hit .319/.429/.528 with 40 steals on the year between High-A and Double-A. The main question is power development given his 5-11, 185 frame, but he was hot all year and has maintained it this fall. Keep an eye on him.