The Arizona Fall League is a couple of weeks old now, so we’ll peek at a few of the highlights and lowlights. In a league with only six teams, there is a limited pool of players and we’ll have to take the small sample sizes with a grain of salt. There have been a few standout performances, and this league is a good way to get eyes on prospects returning from injuries or facing some tougher competition for the first time. One name from the AFL that has surfaced quite a bit this year is Reds’ outfielder Jesse Winker. Reports on Winker like his approach and power, with left field a likely destination when he reaches the bigs. Despite a concussion early in the season and a wrist injury that ended his season prematurely, the 21-year-old hit .327/.426/.580 with 13 homers in the hitter-friendly California League before a brief stint in Double-A. In 38 AFL at bats, Winker has two homers, two doubles, and a league-leading 13 runs batted in. He’s top 5 in average (.368), on-base percentage (.479), and slugging percentage (.632). I’m not totally on board the Winker train yet since he hasn’t seen much of Double-A, but I am at the station in line to buy a ticket. Here are some other noteworthy AFL prospect performances so far…

Matt Olson, 1B | OAK | 4 HR, 12 RBI, .424 OBP

The “three true outcomes” are a walk, strikeout, or home run. Olson is shaping up to be a 3TO type. His four homers are tied for the AFL lead after hitting 37 long balls during the season. Olson can take a walk too. His 117 walks led all of the minors in 2014. 30+ home runs will play in any fantasy league, but obviously Olson is going to be a major target in OBP leagues if these trends continue once he gets his first taste of Double-A next year.

Roman Quinn, OF | PHI | 9 SB, 1 CS

Phillies fans have to be excited that Quinn is running like this after a nasty Achilles injury in the spring. He leads the AFL in steals and swiped 32 bags in 88 games this season. All of this comes with manning a new position as well. The 21-year-old moved off of shortstop and is now in center field. Obviously speed is his best tool and he’ll be popping up in SAGNOF articles on this site once he reaches the bigs.

Tim Anderson, SS | CWS | 1 HR, 4 SB

From a fantasy perspective it would be really nice to see Anderson stick at shortstop for the White Sox. The 21-year-old was drafted 17th overall in 2013 and while he’s mostly a speed-type, there’s some potential for more power to develop. He’s using the AFL to make up for lost time after missing two months of the regular season with a fractured wrist. He had a very brief taste of Double-A this season, so 2015 will be more telling as he’ll likely spend the entire year at that level. He has yet to draw a walk in the AFL, for what it’s worth.

Corey Seager, SS | LAD | 6 2B, 16 K (both lead the league)

Seager is a top prospect both in real life and in the fantasy game. Pretty much every report on the 20-year-old will mention that he is likely going to move off of shortstop, and he was expected to get playing time at 3B in the AFL. But instead Seager has been playing short and DHing this fall. His league-leading 16 strikeouts shouldn’t be too much cause for alarm. He struggled in the AFL last year as well (25 K).

Mark Appel, RHP | HOU | 12 IP, 0 ER, 12 K, 3 BB

Appel had all kinds of issues in Lancaster early this year, but he has righted the ship since. His starts in the AFL have been really promising. The first overall pick in 2013, Appel has done just about everything you’d want to see from him this fall – striking guys out and showing good control. Kudos if you were able to get him at a discount earlier this summer.

Tyler Glasnow, RHP | PIT | 9.2 IP, 1 ER, 13 K, 6 BB

The Pirates’ top pitching prospect has carried his 2014 success into the AFL. After a rough first start, Glasnow has had three straight scoreless appearances. Friday’s start was especially tasty. The 21-year-old struck out six batters in three scoreless innings, allowing only one walk. He’ll enter 2015 as one of the best pitching prospects in the game.

Archie Bradley, RHP | ARI | 10 IP, 8 ER, 8 K, 7 BB

Woof. Bradley’s numbers aren’t pretty and he has battled injury and control problems in 2014. His AFL performance to date hasn’t done much to soothe fantasy owners’ shattered nerves. Friday’s start was a step in the right direction, however. He scattered five hits across four scoreless innings with only one walk. The Diamondbacks’ best pitching prospect will get a clean slate in 2015. If you’re a believer in Bradley now would be a good time to buy his stock.

  1. Dan The Silly Met Fan says:
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    How far away is Quinn? Is he worthy of a major league roster spot in a 16 team dynasty league or scope him up in the late rounds(3rd) in july during our minor league draft?

    Thanks
    Dan

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d think Quinn will be a 2016 guy, so I ‘d go for him in your prospect draft in July.

  2. Ante GALIC says:
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    Mike!

    Nice article! Especially like Winker. Do you know if JT (Pirate pitching prospect) is injured or pitching in the AFL. I’m liking all the Pirates’ pitching prospects that will come up soon.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Ante…Taillon had TJS back in April. He’s still on the shelf.

  3. Matt says:
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    What’s the Majors ETA for Appel if he keeps up his great AFL showing, September 15 callup?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Not sure if the AFL will have much bearing on his ETA, but if he has a solid start in 2015 I could see him being a late season callup, with a spot in the rotation for the 2016 season.

  4. gareth says:
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    Very sad news about Oscar Tavares.

    I think the last loss of this kind was nick adenhart for the angels a few years ago.

    A true tragedy to die so young with so much ahead of them.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, incredibly sad…

    • Lville Jim says:
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      @garethWas on the phone while watching the Series and saw his pic with with birth year and this year, I was like wtf, no way. Had to hit the internet to confirm, a damn shame. RIP.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Just terrible…very sad news.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @gareth: Terrible news. Anyone know the details of what happened?

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Swfcdan: he was driving around fast as shit in a sports car with a girlfriend while it was raining, hit a tree, didn’t die right away either, but in less than a few hours. super fast driving around curvy roads in semi-jungle area not good idea.

  5. gareth says:
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    I saw it on mlbtraderumors.com about 15 minutes before Ken Rosenthal reported it on tv.

    My buddy justin is a cardinals fan, so I immediately texted him.

    So sad.

  6. Swfcdan says:
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    Alternatively im a pissed owner after finally giving up on Appel midseason! And he got snapped up, ugh.

    Loving my boy Winker though, should be a great bat in that park once he reaches the bigs, especially in OBP leagues. Quick estimate, what range does he rank for you in overall prospects?

    Agree terrible news re Oscar T, RIP.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      bummer on Appel, but pitching prospects are plentiful…Winker’s in the back half of top 50 – maybe like 30s or so…

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Yeah Ive come to think more and more that pitching prospects aren’t all that valuable. Theres so many good mlb pitchers and some pitching prospects don’t succeed anyway, much better off going for a bat.

        The only pitching prospect I have on that team now is Robert Stephenson, what do you think of him and where would you rank him? If I can shop him and get a decent bat back instead I think I will.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I like Stephenson. He has a high ceiling and is still a top 50 prospect despite a bumpy 2014.

          Depends on your league and what shape your team is in. In one shallower league, I sent him packing as part of a deal to get some MLB talent. In a deeper dynasty where I’m rebuilding, I actually traded for him.

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @Mike: I wouldn’t want any more MLB talent in this league, we only are allowed 8 keepers each year and I’ve already got more than enough options for next year along with already contracted guys.

            If I can get a top 50 prospect bat for him, then I might go for it.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              that sounds like a solid plan. I’d shoot for a top 30 overall spec

  7. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    glasnow rules, but those 6 walks in under 10 innings certainly aren’t a good thing. i’m pretty sure that’s probably an anomaly (thought he had decent control in regular season)

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