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Arizona Fall League + LIDOM Recap: 10/25/23
Chris & Beck break down everything you need to know from the Arizona Fall League and Dominican Winter League.
Another two game stint on Tuesday, but we have you covered with everything you need to know from Wednesday’s Arizona Fall League action plus the Dominican Winter League. We are very close to being live in Arizona and Beck and I are amped to bring you live coverage in a couple of short days.
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Dominican Winter League
Alexander Canario, OF, CHC, 23
After suffering a serious ankle injury in the Dominican Winter League just a year ago, Canario is back and better than ever. He is off to a hot start this year, and after getting on base four times on Wednesday night, pushed his slash to .389/.478/.556. Canario collected three hits, with two being doubles, while also getting on via walk.
This season saw Canario make the Majors despite seeing limited action. He brings big power to the table, shown by a substantial 107 mph 90th percentile exit velocity. There is a realistic chance that Canario will be a regular outfielder in the Windy City next season.
Ronny Simon, MI, TB, 23
In a short week’s time of the Dominican Winter League, few hitters have performed better than Ronny Simon, who has made my writeups nearly every day. Leading off for the Bulls, he collected three more hits and an RBI, pushing his LIDOM slash line to .480/.552/.560.
Simon had a quiet breakout in 2023, hitting 13 home runs and stealing 31 bases between Double-A and Triple-A while seeing his performance take a step forward in Triple-A Durham. Simon does not post big exit velocities, but he does respectable contact skills and plus speed.
Salt River (Braves, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Rockies, Tigers)
The Rafters took down Glendale 7-2 with a six run outburst in the 8th inning. Neither team had managed much offensively until the final three frames as both starters (coincidentally both have the Williams surname) were sharp. The game featured 15 total hits, just four of which were for extra bases, so we’re a little starved for highlights.
Jace Jung, 2B, DET, 23
Jung accounted for both of Salt River’s extra-base knocks, tallying both a double and his first fall league home run in a 2-5 effort. He had a better regular season than I had thought and is one of the names I have circled for live looks starting this weekend.
His fall league so far has been more about showing off the OBP skills than doing anything spectacular with the bat. He has 12 walks to 13 strikeouts, which puts him at sixth in the AFL in bases on balls and also leaves him with fewer at-bats, naturally. He has eight hits in 11 games including two doubles and a home run.
Benny Montgomery, OF, COL, 21
Benny is a challenging prospect to pin down. I mean that not in the wrestling sense, although I suppose that could be true as well, but in the sense that I’m still not sure who he is. His draft pedigree brought promises of extreme physical tools, and we’re still waiting for them to totally materialize.
He’s variable. His average exit velo is pretty average, but his 90th percentile shows above-average pop, though the real problem lies with his launch angle. He isn’t capitalizing on his raw power in games and is instead beating the ball into the ground. Despite all of that, he’s had a nice fall so far. He had a hit and three walks in last night’s game to see his OPS crest 1.000. He’s had some issues with strikeouts that carried over into the fall, where he’s currently striking out 27.7% of the time.
Justice Bigbie, OF, DET, 24
Bigbie, Bigbie, Bigbie, can’t you see, sometimes your hits just hypnotize me. It was a pretty run-of-the-mill day for Justice as he posted a base knock and a walk. He’s hitting well in Arizona but lacking some of the impact we came to expect throughout his regular season. His fall slugging (.365) aligns more with his 2022 regular season slugging (.380). I’m not overreacting to it, especially because the environments he played in this year were much more challenging than Arizona is, but it’s interesting even if it's a small sample.
Bryce Montes De Oca, RHP, NYM, 27
Bryce is here for a few reasons, the first few are silly – because he’s enormous at 6’7 and has a very fun name to read, write, and say – and the last is because he was effective in relief yesterday. He threw 24 pitches in a single inning of work, culminating in a scoreless appearance with three strikeouts.
Montes De Oca has had a very long baseball career despite having just 3.1 innings of big-league work on his resume. He was drafted three times, once in 2014 by the White Sox, again in 2017 by the Nationals, and finally in 2018 by the Mets. He had undergone Tommy John surgery as a junior in high school and has since seen his professional career derailed by injury, including further surgeries to his arm, shoulder, back, and knee. With all of that considered, he did not log a professional inning until 2025 in his age-25 season.
We’re here to celebrate some health and a good appearance. There isn’t much fantasy intrigue as an oft-injured reliever.
Glendale (Dodgers, Mets, Twins, Red Sox, White Sox)
The Desert Dogs were the epitome of uninteresting yesterday. They fell 7-2 to Salt River and managed seven hits (two for extra-bases) and six walks while striking out 12 times.
Corey Rosier, OF, BOS, 24
Rosier is back on the sheet for the first time in a little over a week. He’s retained his spot at the top of the line-up after featuring in the bottom third of the lineup for the first few weeks of the fall, and he’s been quite good in that role. He had two singles in yesterday’s game, nothing too substantial, but nonetheless has earned some notice.
Rosier finished the regular season at AAA and showed us the kind of player he is. He’s going to run a lot, evidenced by his 49 stolen bases in 57 attempts, and he’s going to post some respectable OBPs, but the likelihood he ever develops even average power is low.
Kendall Williams, RHP, LAD, 23
Williams was excellent for Glendale on Wednesday, tossing three innings of scoreless ball while ceding just two baserunners and striking out six. It took him just 37 pitches to record nine outs, living largely in the zone for the duration of his outing.
Since arriving in the desert, Williams has logged four starts totaling 14.2 innings, struck out 17, and walked five (including three HBP) en route to a 4.30 ERA. The Dodgers always seem to have an arm that jumps after the fall league, and Kendall Williams may follow in Emmet Sheehan’s footsteps.
Scottsdale (Angels, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals, Phillies)
Victor Scott II, OF, STL, 22
Scott continues to build on his strong week after slumping the week before. It has still been a strong Arizona Fall League for the speedster who collected two hits, including his first AFL home run and the important thing is that it was his first professional home run against a left-handed pitcher.
He now has 12 professional home runs, which may not seem like much, but when you bring the kind of speed to the table that Scott does, even having 40-grade game power matters. Scott stole 95 bases this year between High-A and Double-A while posting a .303/.369/.425 slash line with nine home runs and 39 extra-base hits. There is a strong chance he spends a decent portion of 2024 in the Cardinals outfield.
Matt Kroon, UT, PHI, 26
The Phillies’ older prospects are all having excellent Fall Leagues, but none have really gotten the notoriety they deserve. Kroon went two-for-four on Wednesday with four runs scored and two RBI, pushing his slash to .286/.390/.388 on the fall with a home run and two doubles.
I guess age caused Kroon’s season to fly a bit under the radar, but after spending the season in Double-A and Triple-A, Kroon slashed .326/.399/.526 with 11 home runs, 31 doubles, five triples, and 26 stolen bases.
Oliver Dunn, INF, PHI, 26
Oliver Dunn just keeps getting the job dunn over and over again. He mashed his second AFL home run on Wednesday while also getting on base four times and scoring three runs. If you asked anyone for a list of AFL hitters who would post an OPS over 1.000 through nearly four weeks, Dunn likely would not have made the list or been close. But Dunn is slashing .340/.459/.680 with two home runs and nine extra-base hits.
Despite his age, Dunn had a big breakout in 2023 in Double-A with the Phillies, hitting 21 home runs and stealing 16 bases while slashing .271/.396/.506. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 11th round of the 2019 draft and was a Rule 5 selection by Philadelphia.
Robert Hassell III, OF, WSH, 22
After a tough start in the desert, Hassell has been righting the ship over the last two weeks with another two-hit performance on Wednesday in which he drove in two runs and scored once. While the overall slash of .269/.339/.346 is not that impressive, there are positives to take away.
The trade to Washington led to a downturn in performance, but his Arizona Fall League performance has hopefully pushed some of that behind him, as he has been hitting much better over the last couple of weeks.
DJ Herz, LHP, WSH, 22
Herz battled a strong Peoria lineup and held his own for the most part, striking out four over four innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs. The damage came on a double by Kyle Manzardo and a home run from Tyler Locklear. He threw strikes at a 63 percent clip, which is a major positive.
He was part of a mid-season trade that sent Herz to Washington and Jeimer Candelario to Chicago. Herz looked like a different pitcher in Washington, seeing his ERA cut by nearly two runs from 4.73 to 2.80. The other notable thing was seeing his walk rate drop from 15 percent to 13.6 percent. While a 13 percent walk rate is still way to high, but Herz has always missed plenty of bats despite not having an overwhelming arsenal.
Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, STL, 22
It has been an up-and-down fall league for Hjerpe, who has seen his command come and go, likely due to rust of being injured most of the year. After being pulled after 0.2 innings last week, Hjerpe pitched a perfect inning in relief with a strikeout. It took just 13 pitches to get through the inning. I still believe in Hjerpe long-term as a back-end starter with a decently high floor.
Peoria (Guardians, Marlins, Mariners, Padres, Rays)
Jakob Marsee, OF, SDP, 22
You’ve all heard it; I have questioned what kind of long-term potential Marsee has due to poor exit velocities. But, there is no denying that he has been one of the best hitters in the Arizona Fall League this year. Three more hits on Wednesday pushed his batting average near .400 to pair with a 1.137 OPS. At this point, I am guessing he had been on three-fourths of the Arizona Fall League writeups we have done.
Marsee has strong contact skills, is fast and an efficient base stealer, and can get to home runs due to hitting at ideal launch angles.
Kyle Manzardo, 1B, CLE, 23
Manzardo is the man, and he continued his torrid Arizona Fall League performance, blasting a ground-rule double and driving in Peoria’s first run of the game. He still owns the league lead in home runs with five, while 12 of his 18 hits have been extra-base hits while slashing .290/.362/.661.
I am hedging my bets that Manzardo will be the Guardians’ first baseman for at least 120 games next year and be a solid producer at the plate.
Tyler Locklear, 1B, SEA, 23
Locklear has hit the ball hard all AFL and has three home runs and eight extra-base hits to show for it. He blasted another one on Wednesday with a fantastic bat flip. Locklear is slashing .291/.403/.545 on the fall and is making a strong case to spend much of the year in Seattle as the Mariners first baseman. The contact skills are there, as well as power, and Locklear has the makings to be a consistently viable fantasy first baseman. I still consider him a great buy in dynasty.
Surprise (Blue Jays, Brewers, Rangers, Reds, Royals) - No Game
Mesa (A’s, Astros, Cubs, Orioles, Yankees) - No Game