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Arizona Fall League Recap: 10/12/23
Arizona Fall League breakdown from Chris and Beck for Thursday, October 12.
Hey everyone! Hope your offseason is starting off well. Beck and Chris will be with you everyday this Fall Leauge, breaking down everything you need to know from the previous day! Today’s writeup is free and features 19 player writeups. Moving forward, the writeups will be for subscribers so to get an edge in your dynasty league, sub below and get access to all of this:
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This week we have flipped teams. Chris has Salt River, Scottsdale, and Surprise covered for you. Beck has Peoria, Mesa, and Glendale.
Dylan Dodd, LHP, ATL, 25
Dodd may have been better suited pitching in Philadelphia last night as the Braves were eliminated for a second straight season by the Phillies. Just kidding, Strider pitched well, but Dodd did as well out in the desert. He struck out nine batters over five innings, walking two, but allowing three earned runs.
Dodd generated an impressive 12 whiffs on 49 swings, good for a 43 percent whiff rate, to pair with an impressive 40 percent CSW. Most of swings and misses came on secondary pitches as Dodd threw his changeup and cutter both 26 percent of the time each.
Tanner Kohlhepp, RHP, DET, 24
Kohlhepp needed just 13 pitches to strike out the side in the ninth inning for Salt River showing an impressive display of his arsenal. He threw his slider eight of the 13 pitches and got whiffs at a 50 percent clip with it. His sinker shows a ton of armside run and sits around 94 mph. Kohlhepp looks like an arm who could pitch out of a Major League bullpen one day.
Benny Montgomery, OF, COL, 21
Montgomery continued his strong performance in Arizona, by getting on base four times on Thursday night. Two via walks and two singles. The singles were not hit very hard though, registering exit velocities of 67.8 and 66.2 mph.
Regardless, getting on base four times in a night and raising your batting average to .357 warrants a spot on our writeups. If the power does come around, Montgomery will be a very intriguing dynasty buy-low.
Victor Scott II, OF, STL, 22
Did you know Victor Scott hit .708 on bunts this year? If not, now you do thanks to Geoff Pontes making some really good points about Scott on Baseball America’s latest podcast.
Scott ran wild this year, stealing 95 bases between High-A and Double-A this year. The 2022 fifth-rounder also slashed .303/.369/.425 with nine home runs, ten triples, and 20 doubles. This performance has followed him straight to the desert as two more hits on Thursday pushed Scott’s batting average to .357. He stole two bases to bring his total to a league-leading eight.
Scott plays strong defense and could find himself as the Cardinals centerfielder before long and might just be the Estuery Ruiz type players you did not know you needed in dynasty.
Carter Howell, OF, SF, 24
Howell shows good OBP skills, walking over ten percent of the time in High-A this year. In 354 plate appearances, Howell hit six home runs and stole six bases. On Thursday, Howell reached base three times which including a home run, his second of the AFL. Im not sure there is a ton of fantasy intrigue here, but Howell’s performance on Thursday was the difference in the game, earning him a spot on the list.
Jeremy Rivas, SS, STL, 20
Rivas is a name I was not familiar with before the AFL, but he has been in my writeups multiple times this week. After another two hit day, which included his first AFL home run, Rivas is now hitting .393 with a .950 OPS, not half bad for a 20 year old.
Rivas’s profile is undoubtedly geared toward singles, as shown by his 2023 slugging percentage of .277, with 62 of his 83 hits being singles. The majority of his hits in the AFL have been singles as well. But considering he is only 20, there could be more in the tank. So far, his performance has been quite impressive in Arizona.
Liam Hicks, C, TEX, 24
After collecting six hits on Tuesday night in the AFL, Hicks was back for more on Tuesday, getting on base four times, collecting three hits. All six hits on Tuesday were singles, and on Thursday it was more of the same with two singles and a double. We are looking at a profile that had a .408 OBP but a .368 slugging percentage during the Minor League season. Probably not a lot of fantasy intrigue, but Hicks’s hot week has been fun to watch.
Will Robertson, OF, TOR, 25
Robertson was the difference maker for Surprise on Thursday night despite three strikeouts. Robertson hit a three-run home run that helped lead the Saguaros to a one run victory.
During the Minor League season, Robertson hit 19 home runs and stole nine bases while slashing .245/.323/.488. He likely profiles more as a fourth OF option if he makes the bigs.
Zach Maxwell, RHP, CIN, 22
Maxwell allowed a walk, a hit, and a run in his inning of work but still managed to strike out two and hold the lead for Surprise. He is a unique arm that throws only fastballs in the form of four-seamers and cutters. Maxwell threw the first 100 mph fastball of the AFL, until Emiliano Teodo came in later in the game, but averaged 98.1. He certainly has the stuff to pitch in the Reds bullpen one day.
Emiliano Teodo, RHP, TEX, 22
Teodo was one of my favorite pitchers to watch this year, and I got the privilege to see him several times live. He has pitched in relief stints in the AFL but has been a starter his entire MILB career, but some have questioned whether his future is in the bullpen or not.
Teodo comes out with an explosive fastball that I clocked as high as 101 mph this year, and on Thursday, we saw it top at 100.3. The sinker has a ton of bore to it, making it incredibly hard to hit paired with the velocity. Teodo also mixes a changeup that has been up to 94 but can dial it back with a mid-80s slider. The stuff is insane, and you would love to see him get a chance to be a starter, but if not, Teodo could easily be a closer with a Major League team.
Glendale plated six runners on 10 hits but were ultimately outscored by a Scottsdale lineup that’s proven to be pretty potent. They fell to a league-worst 2-8 record after losing 9-6 last night.
Jacob Burke, OF, CHW, 22
Burke was one of the lone bright spots for a scuffling Glendale team, stringing together three singles over five at-bats, driving in two, and scoring two runs himself. He’s had a pretty middle-of-the-road AFL so far with eight hits in 31 at-bats.
Strikeouts weren’t really something that plagued him during his 2023 regular season as he carried just a 22.1% K-rate, but he’s near the top of the strikeout leaderboard through 8 games. Only Cameron Cauley, Aaron Sabato, Reggie Crawford, and Miguel Palma have more.
His 2022 and 2023 seasons were nearly identical to one another, both wrapping with an .832 OPS, but the latter was a far larger sample and at a higher level. He tallied 6 home runs and 19/26 stolen bases over 385 plate appearances.
Colson Montgomery, SS, CHW, 21
Montgomery’s name is absent from the AFL home run leaderboards no longer! He had a two hit night including a two run oppo shot in the first inning and a fifth inning three-bagger. He added two RBI and scored a run.
It was a tepid start for Montgomery, but he appears to be heating up over the last few contests. Nothing to worry about here, he’s firmly a top-20 fantasy prospect.
Kala’i Rosario, OF, MIN, 21
The first of two Hawaiian players on today’s rundown, Rosario makes the sheet for notching just his second hit in 8 games for Glendale. He’s mired in a 2-28 slump to open the year and put together a troubling .071/.212/.214 line so far. He’s also struck out in 34.3% of his plate appearances.
Strikeouts are a part of Rosario’s game (29.6% K-rate in 2023), but this lack of impact is abnormal. He hit 21 home runs and had 51 total extra-base hits in his 2023 campaign that spanned 530 plate appearances.
Rowdey Jordan, OF, NYM, 24
Jordan pieced together two hits last night, one of which being a double. I hadn’t ever heard of him prior to this AFL, and I’m not sure there’s much here for fantasy, but learning about new players is one of my favorite parts of the fall. He’s put together six hits in 22 at-bats and four of those hits have been doubles.
The Solar Sox scraped together a measly three hits and six total baserunners. Four of them came around to score in a 7-4 loss to Peoria. They weren’t sharp really in any facet of the game; stymied offensively, committed four errors on defense, and allowed seven stolen bases.
James Triantos, 2B, CHC, 20
A couple of interesting things happened for Triantos in last night’s game. The first was that he made his first appearance in center field in the fall after primarily playing second base through the first week. He’d done so five times in High-A during the regular season. The second was that he unloaded for his first AFL home run!
Don’t look now, but Triantos is currently sitting second in fall league OPS through 7 games, trailing just Jakob Marsee. He’s collected 10 hits in 24 at-bats, half of which were of the extra-base variety and three of those were triples. Triantos has the pedigree for a strong AFL to really vault him back into the conversation atop the Cubs system. He finished last night’s contest with two hits in four at bats including the aforementioned home run and a triple.
Zach Dezenzo, 3B, HOU, 23
Dezenzo unloaded on a seventh inning blast that clanged off the batter’s eye some 446 feet away from home plate. It left the bat at 108 mph. He’s managed just six hits in his first 31 fall league at-bats, but five of those six have been for extra bases.
I’m a Dezenzo fan and wrote yesterday about how the Astros’ front office staff value him, and I’m encouraged to see his fall start coming together after a slow start. Power isn’t really the part of his profile we need to see come together, that would be more consistently demonstrating contact ability, but we’re not going to say no to a longball either.
Peoria took home a win in this one on the back of an excellent start from Ryan Webb. They ran wild on Miguel Palma, nabbing seven bases including four in the bottom of the third inning alone, which started to feel a little mean at a certain point. Palma finished 0-3 with two strikeouts, seven stolen bases allowed, and two throwing errors.
Shane Sasaki, OF, TBR, 23
Sasaki probably deserved a nod on yesterday’s sheet with a 3-6 performance, but he went ahead and added two more hits last night including a double to grab my attention. He added a pair of stolen bases for good measure, bringing his fall league total to seven and pacing just one bag behind Victor Scott’s league lead.
The Hawaii native was originally a third round selection in the 2019 draft and would have been among the cohort that missed an entire year of baseball competition due to the pandemic, but instead opted to join org-mate Curtis Mead in the Australian Baseball League during that span. He played exceptionally well for Charleston (Single-A) in 2022 before putting together a very solid 2023 season in A+ that culminated in 7 home runs and 16 stolen bases across 309 plate appearances.
He will likely never provide power offensively, but could be a productive table-setter around the fringes of a major league lineup.
Paul McIntosh, C, MIA, 25
McIntosh is the rare player who has not yet had his name grace the Dynasty Dugout in any capacity. He was 1-1 last night with two walks and two stolen bases, which caught my attention because he is not a small guy. He had three stolen bases in 77 regular season games split across A, AA, and AAA. He was actually caught stealing on a third attempt, which makes this kleptomania feel a little like a clubhouse bet and I absolutely love it.
There isn’t really much intrigue for fantasy purposes here given his age and profile, but I’m rooting for him regardless.
Ryan Webb, LHP, CLE, 24
Webb had arguably the best performance of anybody in the desert last night, tossing 4.1 innings of one-run ball while striking out nine. The only damage he allowed was a third inning home run to James Triantos.
He primarily pitched out of the bullpen for Georgia during his college tenure but was converted to a starter during his senior year and pitched his way to a 3.32 ERA with 82 strikeouts in just 59.2 innings of work. He fits the mold of what Cleveland typically looks for in college arms and he’s been solid between A and A+ over the last two years. He profiles as a fourth or fifth option in the rotation should everything click.