Category Archives: Outing Report
The Arizona Fall League has concluded it’s always entertaining season for yet another year, with Surprise surprising everyone and winning by pitching after having spent the previous twenty-five games hammering opponents into submission with their bats. On a day when the Solar Sox’ starter Dallas Beeler was plenty sharp (possibly earning himself a look by the pleasantly busy Cubs, who appear to be rolling in their prospect riches), giving up just one run on two hits and a walk through five innings, it’s a good thing for the Saguaros that they happened to bring their pitching game on Saturday. After scoring in excess of six runs per game on average throughout the AFL circuit heading into the championship, Surprise was expected to give the Solar Sox and their league-best 3.24 ERA an excellent strength vs. strength matchup; the potent Sags offense versus the dominant Sox starters. As is often the case with a championship on the line (even one that doesn’t come with a trophy) the long statistical game of baseball changes dramatically when reduced to a single game. AFL MVP and top dreamy-eyed prospect Kris Bryant went 0-4 with two Ks, the first game in the circuit that he failed to reach base. Orioles prospects came out of the woodwork after posting fairly lackluster numbers through the short season. One-and-done Games, man…
Closing their season with a nigh-heroic seven game win streak, the Salt River Rafters marched dominantly into second place to close the AFL season after never quite challenging the also surging Mesa Solar Sox, winning six of their own in a row to keep their half-game lead. It was a tenuous week for fans of either team but a truly awful outcome for the players and fans of the Rafters, who did nothing but win and ‘couldn’t catch a break.’ It seems as if the Rafters were destined to lose, or if one looks at it positively, the Solar Sox were destined to win. This obviously isn’t true; the Sox’ team of top prospects played slightly better baseball earlier in the season and therefore are obviously deserving of their placement in the championship game against the hard-hitting Surprise Saguaros, but the point that I am laboriously making is that it was only slightly.
There is no sure-fire recipe for success in the big leagues; success in the big leagues is not a cake, nor does it resemble a cake in more than a couple cursory ways. Instead, success in the major leagues seems to be attainable by a number of different methods. If one is a starting pitcher, one could conceivably succeed in myriad ways. One could, for instance, use superior command to generate weak contact in spite of a lack of overpowering stuff; creating an abundance of ground balls that are hopefully far less damaging to the score of your team. If one were a pitcher in the Minnesota Twins organization, you could be forgiven for having believed that this was actually the only avenue by which one would be allowed to succeed. Alex Meyer, the top pitching prospect in said Minnesota Twins organization, continued his quest to dispel you of these inaccurate notions as, on Friday, he racked up 7 Ks across 6.1 innings and gave up just a walk and a single hit (a double down the right field line off the bat of Yankees farmhand Addison Maruszak).
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