It’s the last leg of the journey. Yesterday we looked at the Salt River Rafters. Today, we take a look at the Peoria Javelinas roster to complete our look at the prospects to watch out in the Arizona Fall League this October.
Who they are: First off, a Javelina is a weird little animal, also known as the skunk pig, that looks like a blend between a pot belly pig and Pumbaa from The Lion King. The baseball team, however, comprises the prospects of the Baltimore Orioles, the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays. The are managed by Jared Sandberg, skipper of the Rays’ Triple-A Durham Bulls.
If you read Minor League Ball, you are well aware that I hold Brent Honeywell in extremely high regard, higher than most. There is just something about Tampa Bay pitching prospects that get you excitable. The 21 year old right hander dominated the FSL (2.41 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 0.96 WHIP, 10.29 strikeout rate and 1.77 walk rate) before a promotion to Montgomery. He handled the promotion to Double-A just fine posting a 2.28 ERA (behind a slightly elevated but just fine 3.17 FIP) striking out 53 and walking 14 over 59.1 innings. He is easily the best pitching prospect on the Javelinas roster.
Tyler O’Neiil heads to the desert after a dream-like season with Jackson, taking home both Southern League MVP honors as well as being the MVP of the Championship Series that saw Jackson rise triumphant. His slash line and power numbers were impressive - .293/.374/.508 behind 26 doubles and 24 home runs - but the fact that he posted a career low strikeout rate and career high walk rate is even more to get excited about for the Mariners.
PROSPECTS TO WATCH
Sticking in the Mariners’ organization Drew Jackson has been a prospect on the rise the past year. Jackson was drafted last year in the fifth round and had a huge half-season debut (.358/.432/.447) with Everett in the Northwest League. His numbers took a hit this year as the last starting shortstop that the Bakersfield Blaze will have, which is odd considering that the California League is where hot hitters often go to prosper. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the desert.
Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot finally got their cup of coffee in the bigs this past week (Renfroe launched a bomb and Margot hit a game-tying single for his first hit).That makes Michael Gettys their reigning top outfield prospect. Gettys, the Padres second round pick in the 2014 draft, had a nice season split between Low and High-A slashing .305/.363/.442 with 23 doubles and 12 home runs. A 146-to-35 strikeout-to-walk rate leaves some concern to how the 20 year old will handle the next level, but his 33 stolen bases presents a nice combo player for the Padres future.
The Orioles 22-year old lefty Tanner Scott has hit triple digits, so that immediately adds him to any watch list. The sixth rounder from the 2014 draft seems to be all fastball right now, so will hopefully use the AFL to work on some secondary stuff. His brief promotion to Double-A shows he still needs a lot of work on his command, walking over seven batters per nine innings across both levels this season.
There aren’t many of the top Reds prospects heading west this autumn, so if you had to pick a couple to watch, Barrett Astin and Brandon Dixon would be the best I suppose. Astin, who was acquired in the Jonathan Broxton deal a few years back, had his best season as a pro pitching in Double-A. The 24 year old righty went 9-3 with a 2.26 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 96 strikeouts over 103.1 innings. Dixon has some pop for a second baseman, averaging 23 doubles and 12 home runs over the past three seasons, but needs to work on his the other aspects of his game.
Any one else of interest to you? Start the discussion below!