For the Toronto prospects selected to participate, the five-week long Arizona Fall League has come to an end. The six-team league’s season wrapped up on Saturday, when the two division winners met in a winner-takes-all championship game. The team that featured 7 Blue Jays minor leaguers, the Peoria Javelinas, visited the Scottsdale Scorpions in the nationally televised match up.
Each roster in the AFL features 7 players from 5 different organizations. The Javelinas team was made up of prospects from the Houston, Boston, Seattle, Cleveland and Toronto organizations.
The championship contest was a close game, but the scoring was wrapped up in the bottom of the 4th inning, when Nationals infielder Steve Lombardozzi drove home Rockies outfielder Charles Blackmon with a double off of Mariners' pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. The hit gave the Scorpions a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish. Wilhelmsen took the loss, while Nats lefty Sammy Solis earned the win.
Below is a full run down of how Blue Jays prospects performed in Arizona this Autumn and notes on where fans can expect some of these players to spend their time next year.
24-year-old righty hurler Matt Daly struggled in 10 Arizona Fall League outings. He went 0-1 with a save and an 8.74 ERA while striking out 5 and walking 8 in 11 1/3 innings. Daly had done well with High-A Dunedin this year, going 2-2 with 31 saves and a 2.50 ERA in the Florida State League. Daly was a 13th round draft selection in 2008. Daly should reach Double A at some point next season, but his spring may determine how soon that happens.
Alan Farina continued his outstanding 2010 by posting a 0.87 ERA with no decisions and a save in 10 AFL relief appearances. In 49 combined games between Dunedin and Double A New Hampshire, Farina held opponents to a .134 batting average and went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander could see action at the Major League level next year. Farina was a 3rd round draft choice in 2007.
Marc Rzepczynski, who has seen action at the Major League level with the Blue Jays over the past couple of seasons, was exceptional in 6 starts with the Javelinas. Rzepczynski rocked a 4-0 record and a 1.16 ERA, while holding opponents to a .214 batting average. In his last 2 outings, he struck out 15 and walked only 1 in 11 innings pitched. Expect the lefty Rzepczynski to compete for a ML roster spot in spring training next year.
2010 New Hampshire Fisher Cat Danny Farquhar was also with the Javelinas, but was traded to Oakland last week, in a deal with Oakland for Rajai Davis.
First baseman Mike McDade, who batted .267 with 21 HR and 64 RBI in 128 games with High-A Level Dunedin this year, continued a solid calendar year. In 22 Arizona Fall League games, McDade rocked a .375 batting average and a 1.007 OPS. The 21-year-old was a 6th round draft pick in 2007. McDade seems to be a lock to play with the Double A Fisher Cats in 2011.
Eric Thames, who was an offensive beast all season long for New Hampshire, posted a .264 avg. while slugging 3 HR and driving in 16 runs in 23 AFL games. Thames, an outfielder, turned 24 years old this month and should see action at Triple A Las Vegas next season.
Cuban import Adeiny Hechavarria played in just two games with the Javelinas. He went hitless in 4 at bats. Hechavarria, a shortstop, batted .273 with 3 homers, 34 RBI and a .665 OPS in 61 Double A games in 2010. Hechavarria, who is on Toronto's 40-man roster, will hope to move up next year as he continues to learn on the job.
Lefty hitting outfielder Adam Loewen shined in 14 AFL games, batting .333 with 5 homeruns and and 19 RBI against opposing pitchers. Loewen, a converted pitcher and native of Canada, spent the full 2010 regular season with Double A New Hampshire, should be ready for a step upward in 2011.
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