2006 Arizona Fall League Prospects Preview

2006 Arizona Fall League Prospects

Below is a quick look at a few interesting developments unfolding in this years Arizona Fall League Season. The season, which lasts around a month, is considered to be one of, if not the best, showcases for top level prospects. Certainly, some quality players have taken part in past AFL campaigns, including Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols, and more recently Delmon Young (2003 & 2004 AFL MVP). Fantasy players and die-hard fans should pay close attention to this years AFL results. If this past season has taught us anything, it’s that young players can have an immediate impact at the major league level.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Atlanta Braves

Jarrod had a fall from grace this season (.230 ba), entering the year as one of baseball’s top catching prospects. The braves originally felt that McCann was simply keeping the seat warm in Atlanta, but with McCann solidifying himself as a #1 big league catcher, Jarrod’s career in Atlanta is now in question. A strong AFL appearance is needed by Jarrod to return him to the ranks of top catching prospects. This season could also be used as a showcase for a possible Atlanta trade.
Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox

Ellsbury had a strong year getting on base, posting a combined .382 OBP in AA & AAA. But his slugging percentage left much to be desired (.425). A terror on the basepaths, ellsbury stole 41 bases this past season. It will be interesting to see how well Ellsbury can slug and run against top flight pitchers & catchers.

Michael Aubry – Cleveland Indians

Aubrey, a top prospect coming into this season played only 14 games due to injury. This will be his chance to shine and show that he is one of the top power hitting prospects in all of baseball.

Trevor Crowe – Cleveland Indians

The number one question in the AFL season is how Crowe will perform at second base. An outstanding athlete, Crowe has played most of his professional career in the outfield. However, due to the Indians organizational depth at this position, Crowe is moving to second base. He played the position towards the end of the season in AA & AAA, but with many scouts on hand this will be an interesting development to keep an eye on.

Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies

A season and a half removed from the 2005 draft, Tulowitzki found himself in the rockies infield during the month of September. A strong favorite for a starting position in 2007, all signs point towards Tulowitzki having a strong AFL season.

Hunter Pence – Houston Astros

I’d like to see how Hunter Pence does this season. A centerfielder in the Houston Astros organization, Pence had a line of .283/.357/.533 with 28 home runs. A strong AFL campaign could lead to Pence competing for a job in the Astros outfield next spring.

Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers

A first round selection in 2005 out of Miami University, Braun had a terrific year. In the Southern league, Braun hit .303/.367/.589, with 15 home runs and 19 doubles in 231 at bats. All signs point to Braun continuing his success in the AFL

Fernando Martinez – NY Mets

Everyone’s favorite new prospect, Martinez does not turn 18 until tomorrow (October 10th). In the sally league this year Martinez hit .333/.389/.505. He’s a left handed batter. It will be interesting to see how Martinez performs against primarily AA – AAA talent at his young age.

Michael Pelfrey – NY Mets

Pelfrey was rushed to the majors this season due to injuries and it showed. He had a combined 2.43 ERA in the minors this season.

Erik Duncan – New York Yankees

Last season’s AFL MVP, Duncan fell flat on his face this past season. His combined AA & AAA line was .234/.330/.405. Yankees fan are hoping for a strong AFL campaign to put Duncan back on track for 2007.

Gavin Floyd – Philadelphia Phillies

A long time top prospect, Floyd has flamed out in his major league appearances. A strong performance in the AFL is a must for Floyd.

Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates

One of baseball’s highest ranked catching prospects, the switch-hitting catcher increased his national recognition by having a strong futures game performance this season.

Wes Bankston – Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Wes was yet another player with mixed results in 2006. He handled himself well in AAA, hitting .297, but his combined minor league slugging percentage dropped nearly 100 points from 2005. The Rays future at first base, it will be interesting to see how much power Bankston brings to the plate in the AFL.

Curtis Thigpen – Toronto Blue Jays

Thigpen is the considered the future for the Blue Jays catching corps. His 2006 campaign had mixed results,with a line of .259/.370/.421. Obviously his average could use some work, but his walk to strikeout ratio (52/61) is very encouraging.

For daily coverage, head over to MILB.com

Arizona Fall League

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4 replies on “2006 Arizona Fall League Prospects Preview”
  1. says: Kman

    Just re-read this. Everything appears to be interesting to me…

    Comments? Are there any prospects that your keeping an eye on?

  2. says: Callum

    Another Jay heading to the AFL is Dustin McGowan. It should be interesting to see if he can finally put it together after being touted as such a stud. He is out of options, so if he doesn’t make the big league roster he will have to pass through waivers… unless the Jays are successful in their medical appeal (Tommy John Surgery).

  3. says: Kman

    I was thinking of adding McGowan for the Jays fans, but I don’t see him as a top prospect. Hopefully he can get it together and settle into a 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. With that said, I thought the Twins and Padres would be in the World Series. Anyways, one main issue with the Jays right now is that they have real deal stud prospects like Lind & Snider but no real standouts on the pitching side of the prospect game. Quick update, Floyd had a good outing the other day and Rays top pitching prospect Jeff Niemann pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 4.

  4. says: Early

    The Jays best pitching prospects are a 4th or 5th starter is a big black mark on JP. Marcum and Janssen are better prospects than McGowan. Maybe McGowan will get lost in the desert and end up in Mexico. JP and the Jays new way of “working on mechanics” is going to be sending a pitcher to the doctor to get Tommy John’d up. Forget about coaching them just rearrage body parts unitl their mechanics are perfect. Accardo get in line!!!

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