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Arizona Fall League Recap: 10/30/23
Chris & Beck break down everything you need to know from the Arizona Fall League.
Beck has some incredible live insight to the Arizona Fall Leauge and players he has seen over the last several days. Tomorrow, the Dynasty Dugout duo will be live in Arizona for a multi-game slate. I for one cannot wait.
We both break down everything you need to know from Saturday’s action with 24 player writeups. These reports are free, but subscribe if you enjoy dynasty content and want to become a better player and win your leagues. We offer a ton of awesome things at the Dynasty Dugout.
Surprise (Blue Jays, Brewers, Rangers, Reds, Royals)
Emiliano Teodo, RHP, TEX, 22
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. Easily the most fun pitcher I saw live all season. 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.
Despite only pitching 10 innings so far in the Arizona Fall League, Teodo has 18 strikeouts, 10th most among all pitchers. He nailed down his fourth save on Monday, and has yet to allow a run while only allowing three hits and two walks.
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.
Will Robertson, OF, TOR, 25
Robertson seems to come through in the clutch every time Surprise needs a run, and that happened again on Monday as he accounted for three of Surprise’s five runs, driving in two and scoring once. He was once bas twice via a single and walk and brought his average to .281 and a .959, making him one of Surprise’s best hitters.
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.
Liam Hicks, C, TEX, 24
Hicks has been one of the biggest surprises of the Arizona Fall League to this point, showing such a strong feel to hit. He was once base three times on Monday, including a single and two walks. Hicks lifted his average to .459 and has 28 hits, one behind Marsee and Triantos for the most in the AFL. 23 of his 28 hits have been singles, but nonetheless, it has still been an incredible showing for Hicks.
During the regular season, Hicks posted a .408 OBP but a .368 slugging percentage leaving questions about the kind of impact he may actually have. Regardless, the AFL dominance has been a blast to watch.
Scottsdale (Angels, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals, Phillies)
Victor Scott II, OF, STL, 22
Scottsdale collected just three hits on Monday, and Scott was not actually one of them. He reached base via walk and stole his 13th base of the season, putting him one behind Jakob Marsee for most in the Arizona Fall League.
He ran wild in 2023, stealing 95 bases between High-A and Double-A while posting a .303/.369/.425 slash line with nine home runs and 39 extra-base hits. Scott plays strong defense and could find himself as the Cardinals’ centerfielder before long.
Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF, PHI, 22
Rincones is one of the players I am most excited to watch this week in Arizona. Being a strong athlete with power and speed, Rincones had an underrated 2023 season in which he posted a .248/.351/.427 slash with 15 home runs and 32 stolen bases, adding 31 doubles and three triples for a total of 49 extra-base hits.
On Monday, he collected one of Scottsdale’s hits and stole his 11th base of the season while currently rocking a .290 batting average and a .880 OPS. Eight of his 20 hits have gone for extra bases, including two home runs.
Oliver Dunn, INF, PHI, 26
I have used the dad joke before, but it is fitting to use again, Oliver Dunn just keeps getting the job dunn over and over again. While he did not collect a hit on Monday, he walked twice and scored two of Scottsdale’s three runs. Dunn is currently rocking a .339/.464/.679 slash in the Arizona Fall League.
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.
Beck’s Live Looks
Glendale (Dodgers, Mets, Twins, Red Sox, White Sox)
Aaron Sabato, 1B, MIN, 24
Sabato was the star of the stat sheet yesterday, showing off his double-plus power with a pair of two-strike bombs off of Darius Vines. Seeing the ball leave the bat was a good reminder of the thump that made Sabato a first-round pick out of UNC in 2020. There was no doubt either were leaving the yard – the first shot cleared the batter’s eye in dead center. He finished 2-3 with the two solo dingers, a walk, and a strikeout.
The results were nice, but how he got there left me concerned. He swung at five consecutive pitches to start his first plate appearance and the first four in his second. He didn’t seem to be picking up on breaking or off-speed stuff from Vines, and those offerings aren’t elite. Both home runs came with two strikes as he guessed correctly on the pitch that was coming and didn’t miss. I’m concerned that a better arm with more convincing punch-out pitches will give him too many issues with which to contend.
Colson Montgomery, SS, CHW, 21
Montgomery left Camelback Ranch a hero after belting a walk-off single over the head of the center fielder to bring home a victory for Glendale. His plate discipline was impressive, and it was clear he had Vines figured out early, spitting on breaking stuff out of the zone and identifying early that Vines had a tendency to pitch him backward.
It was evident he was the best player on the field. His approach and maturity were on display in every plate appearance. He finished 2-4 with a walk and two RBI.
D’Andre Smith, 2B, NYM, 22
I can’t say I was familiar with Smith prior to last night’s game, but it was my pleasure to be acquainted. He was originally a 5th-round pick in 2022 out of USC and has compiled a .234/.317/.369 line through 310 plate appearances as a professional.
It’s been a slow fall campaign for him through 47 plate appearances, but that changed yesterday. He reached four times, racking up two doubles, a double, a walk, and a run scored. He was taking pitches to all fields comfortably, albeit without much impact. His doubles were shot down each foul line, and the single was pushed through the hole to the opposite field. It’s difficult to project him for much extra-base impact, given his size and track record, but he was stellar on Monday.
Jake Eder, LHP, CHW
The positive is that there weren’t many hits off of Eder in this contest. The negative is that it was because he was only in the zone periodically and really struggled to throw strikes. He walked five batters in 3.1 innings, failed to control the running game, and ceded four runs.
He seemed to have difficulty in the stretch, both in terms of managing runners on base and in repeating his delivery. I wasn’t able to pick up on whether the inconsistencies with his delivery were tied to specific pitches, so I’m not willing to say he was tipping, but his leg kick was noticeably variable. Between the tough stretch of performances in the fall and his stuff regressing post-Tommy John surgery, it’ll be hard to keep him ranked as a top-300 prospect.
Kevin Parada, C, NYM, 22
Parada finished 0-4 at the plate and 0-3 on nabbing baserunners. It was a tough showing for him as he punched out swinging on a breaking ball out of the zone and again looking later. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and rely on his pedigree to keep him ranked highly on lists but the live looks I’ve seen this week have been challenging.
He does seem like a great teammate, which I want to commend. He was actively communicating throughout the game, both on the field and in the dugout, and seemed to have a good grasp on the game with a willingness to relay what he knows to his squad. I watched him relay information about the opposing pitcher’s offerings on at least one occasion.
Salt River (Braves, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Rockies, Tigers)
Keshawn Ogans, INF, ATL, 22
Ogans took home MVP honors for Salt River on a rather quiet night for their offense. He tallied a hit, a walk, two RBI, and two stolen bases in four plate appearances. His fourth-inning single plated two runners and gave Salt River a 4-2 lead.
I didn’t come away from the game with strong feelings about him, but I did like the aggression on the basepaths. Neither Eder nor Parada looked equipped to handle the run game.
Darius Vines, RHP, ATL, 25
Vines made his major league debut in August of this year and subsequently made five appearances at the big league level, totaling 20.1 innings and a 3.98 ERA. I think that’s a high-end outcome for him but not an entirely unrealistic picture of who he could be. He’s not overpowering – his biggest blemishes came when he failed to put Aaron Sabato away with two strikes – but he has some pitch ability that can make him a productive piece on a staff with the right usage.
He pitched backward for most of his outing on Monday, opting to start at-bats with his breaking and off-speed stuff and only go to his fastball when behind or to induce swings up out of the zone. He’ll have to be careful about locations, given that he doesn’t have a true swing-and-miss offering, which is what bit him on Monday. Overall I was impressed and thought he looked much stronger than Jake Eder despite having similar results (sans the walks).
Benny Montgomery, OF, COL, 21
Benny struck out three times in four at-bats. My overwhelming sense watching him was that he was late on everything he saw and didn’t have much of a game plan when he stepped into the box. He looks like an amazing athlete who is still figuring out how to corral his limbs and get them working in harmony.
Mesa (A’s, Astros, Cubs, Orioles, Yankees) - NO GAME
Peoria (Guardians, Marlins, Mariners, Padres, Rays) - NO GAME