Eno Sarris

Prospects

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Arizona Fall League Prospects

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


 

Gary Brown slapped a single the other way in the All-Star game, and if his Giants don't sign Angel Pagan, the speedster could end up with a major league job next season. He improved his contact rate in Double-A and has just enough power to put up a good batting average to go with his steals. He's hit .313/.370/.375 in the AFL, but his 12 strikeouts (22.6% strikeout rate) were a problem. There are still plenty of questions about Brown, but if he comes up to the bigs, he should at least be a candidate for steals-streaming.

 

Heath Hembree closed out the game for the East with two outs, one on a strikeout. He's long been touted as the closer of the future in San Francisco, and he struck out 11 in seven AFL innings (against two walks), but the Giants aren't going to turn to a rookie at that position at the beginning of the season. So just keep track of Hembree as Brian Wilson tries to return to his wacky and wild ways. He'll still have to beat out Sergio Romo if Wilson can't get it together, too.

 

Chris Owings started at short for the East team. He got a hit and scored a run. He has showed some power in his .262/.262/.446 AFL work so far. The starting players at his position in the majors are John McDonald and Cliff Pennington. Owings even put in 300 plate appearances in Double-A last season. Those are answers to the question, what has Owings done that makes him interesting. There are still a million questions that remain: He doesn't walk at all, he strikes out too much, hasn't shown consistent power, and some question his glove. So, yeah. You could really repeat this paragraph with all the shortstops that appeared in the game. Jonathan Schoop took over for Owings and has some promise, but probably at second base. Hak-Ju Lee plated Billy Hamilton with a single, and the Rays shortstop would play better defense than Ben Zobrist at that position, but his modest power has disappeared. Lee needs to make more contact to make it work at the major league level. His 24.2% strikeout rate in the AFL does not suggest he's beating down the door in Tampa.

 

He didn't play in the all-star game, but Robbie Erlin had a good AFL. He struck out 15 and walked five in an out short of 15 innings using his curveball and excellent control. He's repeated Double-A and his major league team could use some starting pitching talent. In years past, he'd be an automatic name to remember, perhaps even draft if spring training goes well for him, but with the fences coming in and the Padres boasting six decent, signed starting pitchers (if you count the mercurial Andrew Cashner as a starter), Erlin has a tougher road to hoe these days.

 

Kevin Rhoderick had trouble hitting the broad side of the barn in Double-A for the Cubbies last year -- his 7.34 walks per nine made it seem impossible that he'd help the major league bullpen. He must have figured something out in Arizona. He had 14 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings, sure, but it was the two walks that he's allowed that were more exciting. The Cubs bullpen is atrocious and they're looking to trade Carlos Marmol. Rhoderick could easily come in and close sometime in 2013.

 

Indians starter T.J. House deserves a mention. The lefty has had inconsistent strikeout numbers and may only have one plus pitch, but he hides the ball well and the AFL couldn't figure him out. 18 strikeouts in 17 innings, against six walks, when combined with an iffy major league staff, makes House a possible doctor for your ailing deep-league roster.



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Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
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