AFL Update (Second Week: 2008 Season)
Tommy Hanson has been the star pitcher along with Max Scherzer so far this AFL season. In 8.2 IP he’s allowed only 1 hit, with 14 K vs only 3 BB.
Splitting time between single and double A this season, Hanson was a strikeout machine, setting down 163 vs 52 walks in 138 IP. In his 135 IP he allowed only 85 hits, for an opponents average of only .175. Atlanta’s #9 ranked prospect heading into 2008, Hanson added some giddy up to his fastball, which is now in the 90 – 94 range. He features a plus 12-6 curve and has improved his change-up. If he can continue his strong AFL season he could find himself landing on a few top 50 prospect lists.
Recently the name Daniel Murphy has been batted about in trade rumors involving the Mets. Personally, I don’t see it. Why trade a possible stud second baseman and the possible long-term solution that the Mets have been searching for?
Murphy spent most of the season in AA, playing 95 games at that level. During that time he ammased a .870 OPS, 13 HR, 14 steals and a 39 BB/46K line. The Mets called him up in August. Murphy played in 49 MLB games and hit .313, ending with a .871 MLB OPS. In the AFL he has scored 10 runs in 8 games for a 1.052 OPS. He’s slated to start at second for the Mets in 2009.
Cuban Defector Juan Miranda missed some time due to injury in 2008 and was subsequently lost in the mix. In 99 IL games he hit only 12 HR with 22 doubles. The IL is a tough league to hit homeruns in but the Yankees want to see more power. His overall OPS of .833 is very good for the league. His line is .287/.384/.449. Currently he is the AFL’s total base leader, with 27. In eight games he has hit six doubles, two triples and one HR.
With the Yankees having no real solution at first base Miranda should be in contention for a starting job in 2009. But the question is will the Yanks give a youngster a shot or grab a marquee name via free agency or a trade?
Dustin Martin had a breakout season in AA in 2008. A part of the Santana deal with the Mets, heading into the season he wasn’t even on the Twins top 30 prospect list. In 133 games he hit .290, with 52 extra base hits, collecting a .802 OPS. Three problems do exist offensively. He hit almost as many triples (8) as he did HR (10). Secondly he was caught stealing 11 times vs 22 successful attempts. And finally he struck out 125 times, which is unaccetable with such a low HR output. He improved upon his defense but with Gomez roaming center in Minny he may only play a corner outfield spot, which his power may not support. In the AFL he has struck out 15 times vs only 3 walks.
J.P. Arencibia has monster power. That is a given. In 126 milb games split between high A and AA he launched 27 HR for an .850 OPS. But he strikes out… a lot. In this time he struckout 101 times vs only 18 walks. This created a .322 OBP vs a .298 average. On the plus side it’s still less than a K per game. So what we may have here is a high average, low OBP player with power at the MLB level. The strikeouts could be a problem at the MLB level. 2009 should result in a promotion to AAA and this should be the real test. The move to the PCL for the Toronto Blue Jays AAA affiliate hurts getting a read on Arencibia, as the parks are built for the longball. Currently against stronger AFL pitching J.P. has a .670 OPS in 10 games, with 1 HR and 10 K vs 3 BB.
Born on 02/27/1990 Carlos Triunfel is the youngest player in the AFL this season. Currently he is hitting .282 with an OBP of .326 & a .462 SLG in nine games. Later this week we’ll have a bio and prospect review on Carlos.
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