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Arizona Fall League Recap: 10/14/23
Arizona Fall League breakdown of all the top performances from Saturday, October 14.
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.
Jase Bowen, OF, PIT, 23
Bowen continues his torrid run in the AFL, showing to be one of the best hitters in Arizona. On Saturday, he collected two more hits, including a triple, to bring his batting average to .372 through the first two weeks with a 1.043 OPS.
This season, Bowen hit 23 home runs and stole 26 bases between High-A and Double-A while having 95 RBI and 86 runs scored. He is a sneaky-good athlete with some pop and a player that you should be interested in for dynasty leagues.
David McCabe, 3B, ATL, 23
McCabe made my list of fantasy players in to invest in before the Arizona Fall League began. He got off to a slow start but has picked it up recently and after three-hit night on Saturday, brought his average up to .308 with a .860 OPS. Before the AFL, I wrote:
McCabe was a player I saw several times this year, and at first glance, he is just one of those who looks like he has the it factor when he gets off the bus. Standing at 6’3”/230 lb, McCabe may seem like he is fully a power over hit type, but you might be surprised that he ran an 80 percent contact rate that jumped to 84 percent in the second half.
He does hit the ball hard despite the 17 home runs, maybe feeling a bit disappointing in the 123 games he played this year. McCabe was hamstrung by the fact that 81 of the games were spent in High-A Rome, where his home park was one of the worst-hitting environments in the Minors. If he carries the contact skills to Arizona with him, you can expect the power to be there.
I still believe McCabe is a great player to invest in for dynasty.
Jack Brannigan, SS, PIT, 22
Brannigan finally got the monkey off his back with his first Arizona Fall League home run. It was his only hit of the night, but after a tough first week, Brannigan has slowly been picking up the pace and now has a .793 OPS in the first two weeks of the Fall League.
Brannigan was one of the more impressive hitters I saw live this year, hitting 19 home runs and stealing 24 bases between 374 plate appearances in Single-A and High-A.
Jackson Jobe, RHP, DET, 21
Jobe had another strong start on Saturday, pitching four innings with four walks and two strikeouts. The lone blemish on the statline of one earned run was a solo shot he allowed to Kevin Parada. Jobe was efficient as usual, throwing 41 strikes on 62 pitches.
Jobe’s fastball was lively all night, sitting between 96 and 97 and getting as high as 99 mph. He showed his entire arsenal of a cutter, slider, and changeup, generating 14 whiffs between them.
Wilmer Flores, RHP, DET, 22
Flores relieved Jobe and tossed the final three innings of a seven-inning game(all games were seven innings yesterday due to a triple-header at Goodyear Park). He struck out just two batters, but did not allow a run despite allowing four hits and one walk.
Flores’s curveball averaged over 55 inches of vertical movement and over 10 inches of sweeping action, making it an insanely hard pitch to get the bat on. His changeup also looked incredible.
It was a tale of two halves for Flores in 2023, as he posted a 3.64 ERA in the first half and then tapered off some in the second half while also missing over a month's worth of action. Flores could bounce back with a strong fall league and be a great dynasty league buy.
Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, TOR, 21
After tossing five innings in each of his first two AFL starts for the first time since June 2022, Tiedemann pitched three on Saturday, largely because it was a seven-inning game and other pitchers needed work. He generated eight whiffs and threw 49 pitches, landing them for strikes 65 percent of the time.
Tiedemann seemed to be building up as the game went on, his final ten fastballs were all 96-97 after sitting 93-95 early in the start. The velocity was up compared to his start on Monday. He also showed off his changeup and slider. The positive takeaways are that Tiedemann seems to be on the right track with his health through his first three AFL starts. There has never been any denying the talent.
Eric Brown Jr., SS, MIL, 22
Brown Jr makes the list today for his two stolen bases on Saturday after reaching base twice via a double and a walk. If someone needed a strong AFL to improve their stock, it was Brown, and so far he has looked good. His average is now up to .316 with an .863 ops.
Liam Hicks, C, TEX, 24
After collecting six hits on Tuesday night in the AFL and getting on base four times on Thursday, Hicks put together another strong game on Saturday. He went two-for-two with a double but also drew two walks. All six hits on Tuesday were singles, and on Thursday, it was more of the same, with two singles and a double. Hicks added a double on Saturday and is now hitting .571 with a 1.361 OPS in the Fall League. 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.
Davis Daniel, RHP, LAA, 26
Daniel is the first pitcher to reach ten strikeouts in the Arizona Fall League while also being the first to reach six innings in a start. He looked great across those six innings, allowing just two hits and walking two to pair with the ten strikeouts. Daniel allowed just one earned run.
It is not easy to get through Peoria’s lineup that includes Chase Delauter, Jakob Marsee, Tyler Locklear, Graham Pauley, Carson Williams, Nathan Martorella, Ryan Bliss, Dominic Keegan, and Shane Sasaki, but Daniel did exactly that. He handed Peoria just their third loss in 12 games this year.
Oliver Dunn, INF, PHI, 26
Dunn continues to be Scottsdale's shining star in their lineup after having a major 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.
Dunn followed a three-hit performance on Friday with a three-stolen-base performance on Saturday, giving him eight on the season.. He has two doubles, a triple, and a home run so far. Dunn is older but a player I would watch closely.
All AFL games were just seven innings yesterday, so there was a little less game action to write about. The three teams I cover (Glendale, Mesa, and Peoria) scraped together a total of five runs on 20 hits while losing each of their respective contests, so superlative performances were scarce regardless.
Kevin Parada, C, NYM, 22
Parada finished the night 2-4 with a run, an RBI, and a strikeout. One of the hits was a fourth-inning solo shot off of Jackson Jobe to give Glendale their second and final run of the evening. It was a mammoth shot, exiting over the center field fence that measures 410 feet from home plate, though there wasn’t an official exit velocity reading on it.
His first full year as a professional was disappointing, especially coming off of a year wherein he swatted 26 home runs, nearly walked more than he struck out, and had a combined 167 runs + RBIs in just 60 games for Georgia Tech. He has an unconventional pre-swing operation, but it’s unclear how much that is impacting his ability to hit professional pitching.
Yeiner Fernandez, 2B/C, LAD, 21
Fernandez was 1-4 with a double on Saturday but failed to score despite reaching second with just one out on the scoreboard. Glendale lost this one 2-7, not because they lacked the traffic to outscore Salt River — they managed nine hits and three walks in seven innings — but because they were an astonishing 0-12 with runners in scoring position.
Yeiner has one of the strangest baseball reference pages out there. He logged games at C, 1B, 2B, 3B, and DH in the regular season and has since appeared at shortstop in the fall. He has a .276/.400/.517 line with six walks to two strikeouts through eight games (35 plate appearances).
The Solar Sox managed to plate just two runners on seven hits. In their defense, Ricky Tiedemann was on the bump for Surprise in a shortened contest, and he was quite good again.
Kevin Alcantara, OF, CHC, 21
Alcantara had two hits in four at-bats including a single and a double. He added an RBI and two strikeouts, bringing his fall total to 11 Ks in 38 plate appearances. He’s one of the players I want to see succeed in Phoenix the most, as I’ve been a fan of his since before he joined the Cubs system.
He’s a physical anomaly at 6’6, and naturally, with guys of that size I’m closely monitoring their propensity to strike out. His frame gives him more than enough strike zone to contend with. If all clicks for Alcantara, he’ll be an offensive force, but it hasn’t gelled for him yet. Without giving it too much thought, he’ll land around the top 100 in my off-season rank update.
James Triantos, SS, CHC, 20
Triantos just continues to hit, this time finishing 1-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a strikeout. He’s trailing Jakob Marsee by the slimmest of margins for the league lead in OPS. Despite the XBH barrage he’s been on this week, I still worry about what the true impact will be at the big league level. He has, however, had the hit tool on full display and is rocking a .407 batting average after two weeks of competition.
Benjamin Cowles, SS, NYY, 23
I wrote yesterday that scouts weren’t sure which version of Cowles they were getting in the 2021 draft, and I’m starting to identify more closely with those folks. Cowles has performed better than I thought he would, including a two hit performance last night to raise his slash to .348/.429/.435 through seven games (28 plate appearances).
This kind of sample size isn’t something that’ll change my valuation. It is fun to see him performing, though, and I’ll always root for Big ten bats when given the opportunity.
Take a bow, Davis Daniel. Peoria hitters had no idea what to do with him for six of the seven innings in yesterday’s game. The Javelinas have the most explosive offense in the AFL by a pretty significant margin and yet they managed just one run in the contest.
Jakob Marsee, OF, SDP, 22
I haven’t done the math, nor do I intend to do any on this lovely Sunday morning, but I think Marsee would have coughed up the top spot on the OPS leaderboards without his two hit evening last night. He was the only hitter to tag Davis Daniel for extra bases with a first inning double.
Marsee has featured in something like 70% of these writeups, so I’d recommend putting his name in the search bar to get thoughts from both Chris and I on how he projects moving forward.
Nathan Martorella, 1B, SDP, 22
I recently had a very smart industry analyst tell me he would value Manzardo and Martorella nearly identically for fantasy purposes. I’m not quite there, but it was an eye-opener. They don’t profile too dissimilarly even beyond the fact that they’re both lefty first basemen.
Martorella went 1-3 with a double. He has a .240/.345/.380 line after seven games (29 plate appearances). Peoria is so loaded that they’re having a hard time getting all three of Manzardo, Locklear, and Martorella on the field in the same game, so we may see fewer reps between them as they rotate first base and designated hitter duties.
Ross Carver, RHP, CLE, 24
Talk about having the right last name for the job, eh? Carver was the final pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2021 draft out of Dallas Baptist University, where he was solely deployed as a reliever.
He pitched 75.1 innings of 6.53 ERA ball predominantly in AA during the regular season. As the relief-only profile in college may suggest, Carver struggled with command and ultimately allowed 37 walks during that span.
That said, he was really good on Saturday. He struck out five batters over three innings and walked just one while blanking Scottsdale.