The Arizona Fall League is over, but prospect season is in full swing. Razzball is posting fantasy-driven top ten prospect lists every Wednesday this offseason so be sure to check them out. While the AFL isn’t a long season, it features some of the better prospects in baseball and it’s worth looking back at a few of the top performers in the league this year. Moving forward, we’ll focus on the winter leagues. Big leaguers and prospects from many MLB organizations are still playing baseball! There are several leagues like this, but I tend to gravitate toward the Dominican Winter League the most. Players like Maikel Franco, Joc Pederson, and Rymer Liriano are just a few of the names you’ll find on the DWL rosters. Last year’s DWL MVP, Gregory Polanco, created quite the buzz in 2014. The league runs until the end of December and I’ll check in on some of the performances there periodically in this Minor Accomplishments series. To follow along, you can live stream games here, here, and here. Just brush up on some Spanish first! Back to the AFL…here were this year’s top performers with some commentary:

Home Runs

Player HR
Greg Bird, NYY 6
Hunter Renfroe, SD 6
Steven Moya, DET 5
Peter O’Brien, ARI 5
Scott Schebler, LAD 5

When the Mark Teixeira era comes to a close, it looks like Bird will be ready to assume his role as a starting first baseman. He has 20-homer power and the 22-year-old could actually start seeing reps in the bigs later this season. Bird took home the MVP award in this year’s AFL. Renfroe is an outfielder with big power and he displayed it in the Fall Stars Game with a pinch-hit bomb. He earned player of the week honors with a three-homer, 11 RBI performance. We’ll save Moya for the strikeouts blurb.

Batting Average

Player AVG
 Jesse Winker, CIN .338
Eddie Rosario, MIN .330
Justin Bohn, MIA .328
Deven Marrero, BOS .328

Winker has been mentioned here before, but he’s getting more and more love for his hit tool. A wrist injury he suffered in a car accident ended his season early, but he has bounced back nicely. He should start 2015 in Double-A and with some success there he could solidify himself as a top outfield prospect. Marrero gets lost in the shuffle of a stacked system. He’s a good shortstop and should see the bigs in 2016 even if it’s not for the Red Sox. He’s more about defense, though, so it’s tough to get too excited about him for fantasy.

Strikeouts

Player SO
 Nick Williams, TEX 32
Bubba Starling, KC 30
Hunter Dozier, KC 29
Steven Moya, DET 29

Two Royals prospects made this leaderboard and they are heading in opposite directions. Dozier was recently ranked fifth on Baseball America’s top ten for Kansas City and should see more time in Double-A in 2015. He also led the league in walks (18) and could be the Royals’ third baseman of the future. Starling, meanwhile, has fallen almost entirely out of the discussion in the past three years. Moya is a classic big raw-power/big K% kind of hitter. He’s close to major league ready but is a polarizing prospect in fantasy. The homers are attractive while the strikeouts make him risky.

Stolen Bases

Player SB CS
 Roman Quinn, PHI 14 2
 Eddie Rosario, MIN 10 4
Dalton Pompey, TOR 9 2

Quinn had a great AFL performance – drawing the fourth-most walks in the league (16) and stealing lots of bases. After a transition to center field, he looks like a legitimate fantasy prospect in a thin Phillies farm system. Dalton Pompey’s plus speed was showcased in the AFL as well and at just 21 years old he could be in the mix for the center field job in Toronto sooner than expected now that Anthony Gose is out of the picture. Rosario slashed .330/.345/.410 with four doubles and two triples in a solid fall showing. In yesterday’s championship game he collected four hits including his first homer of the fall.

Pitchers (Strikeouts)

Player SO IP
 Jaime Schultz, 28 27.1
 Mark Appel, HOU 24 31.0
 Anthony DeSclafani, MIA 24 27.0
Sean Nolin, TOR 24 22.1
Zach Davies, BAL 23 25.2

Appel pitched about as well as anyone could have hoped for this fall. He struggled at Lancaster in the first half of the season, but has since turned things around. He’s one of the better pitching prospects in the game right now and his AFL performances solidified that. DeSclafani is working on a curveball this fall and has a shot at cracking the rotation in Miami this year. He’s pitching in the AFL Championship game as I write this. Davies doesn’t project as an ace, but with a plus change-up and good control, he’s a candidate to contribute to the Orioles’ big league rotation at some point in 2015. He’s overshadowed by the buzz of Dylan Bundy, but he’s a talented arm in his own right.

  1. Nimrod says:
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    Nice write up.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks!

  2. Farm_Director says:
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    What impact does Eddie Rosario have on the 2015 Twins?Looks like the bat might be ready.

    What’s your take on O’Brien or Schebler for 2015 and beyond?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Rosario missed some time with a suspension (part of the reason for his AFL appearance). He gets lost a bit in the stacked Twins system. Best tool is his bat and I could see them giving him time in left in 2015 even if it’s not right outta the gate in the spring. D’Backs have Montero and Gosewich, with O’Brien continuing to work on his defense behind the plate. Maybe late 2015 for him if I had to guess. Schebler is a good player and had a great year in the Southern League, but he’s in a system that has a tangled web already in the outfield. I like O’Brien the most for fantasy since he’s got the plus power.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Anyone you think changed perception of themselves with their AFL play?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      As a Phils fan, I knew about Quinn and Ogando, but I think both put themselves more on the mainstream radar this fall. Ogando was nasty. Montas pretty much looks like a closer in the making for the White Sox even though he’s still technically a “starter” in their system.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Mike: Either likely to make an impact this year?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          eh, not really. Quinn’s probably more of a 2016 guy. Ogando’s fall was more about “I’m not as bad as my numbers looked”. Not sure he ever becomes a big piece in fantasy though.

          Montas could make an impact in the second half if they put him in the pen, but that’s if everything breaks right (gotta love prospects).

          Lindor’s another guy. He showed he’s more than just speed and defense this fall with 3 homers and 5 doubles. He’s going to be a factor in 2015.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Yup ~350-400 AB makes sense. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said he’s got to outplay Ramirez. Nice Batman reference. There’s one wild scenario I’ve seen tossed around where they move Kipnis back to the outfield to make room for both Ramirez and Lindor.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’d like to see that wild scenario, though it does seem like a slim possibility… What’s your Winker AB projection for 2015?

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  He’s a September call-up at best IMO. Barely got his feet wet in Double-A before his wrist injury. Jocketty went to see him in AFL and made the comment that he’s “quite a ways away”. Might be the starting left-fielder in 2016 though.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, that makes sense… Looking at June 2016 then… Give me one rookie for 2015 that will make an impact that’s not on anyone’s radar…

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Man, that’s tough. I feel like everybody has huge radars now.

                      Alen Hanson from the Pirates comes to mind.
                      Jose Berrios from the Twins on the pitching side. Maybe Nola from the Phils.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Interesting, none of those names were on my radar…. Taylor feels like a post-post guy that was hyped a few years ago and now forgotten…

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Yup, there’s prospect fatigue with Taylor. BA ranked him #1 in Eastern League and in the accompanying chat it was mentioned that scouts loved him. Even saw an Adam jones comp mentioned. Hanson has had some behavior issues and with Walker controlled through 2016 it looks like there is nowhere for him to play, but I think he’ll shine when he gets his chance. He’s an offense-first MI. Nola was just drafted so folks might not realize how close to ready he actually is.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Taylor’s going to be 29 this December, so if he’s going to be anything, he better get up and boogie quickly… Alen Hanson looks real interesting… He looks ready right now… Put him at short, no?

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      My bad…I’m talking Taylor from the Nats (23). He almost went 20-40 in Double-A.

                      Hanson got moved off of short this August cause he couldn’t hack it on defense. Not to say he can’t move back if he’s traded or something, but it seems like the Pirates are done with him there.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ah… Okay, that Taylor makes more sense! The other one was hyped at one point… That point feels no longer… Gotcha with Hanson, that’s too bad… I like him at short for fantasy, can’t the Pirates confer on this?

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      haha I’m with you. Would be really nice if short worked out. Maybe we can get Lackey to start a petition over at WHYGAVS

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha, I like that idea!

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Michael Taylor

  4. Fabio says:
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    how would you rank chi chi rodriguez, lucas sims and reynaldo lopez for a very deep dynasty league? thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Sims, Gonzalez, Lopez

  5. T says:
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    Thanks for the off season columns.

    With the trade of Stellllla do you think Peraza can make an Odor-like jump? His SB potential would be a nice addition to the MI pool.

    BTW – what are the Cubs doing?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime T.

      Yeah, unless the Braves sign a stopgap type of FA, Peraza should get a shot this year and the SBs will play in fantasy right away. see above comment for Cubs… “As for the Cubs, this smells like a move that a team makes in preparation for another move – possibly a Castro trade. I don’t see them sending Baez back down, but maybe La Stella acts as insurance if he does struggle too much out of the gate. The Cubs are working with a lot of moving parts but there’s a plan at work here it seems.”

  6. Marc says:
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    What about the AFL performances by Tyler Glasnow (control issues?) and Aaron Judge (next Stanton?)? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Glasnow had improved his control as the year went on, but seemed like he regressed a little in AFL. Still has #1/#2 potential.

      Judge was just outside that mini-leaderboard with 4 homers and had a great fall too. 40-homer power and he can take a walk. A little swing and miss but that’s not abnormal for a guy his size. Should see Double-A in 2015.

  7. goodfold2 says:
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    how is this for a trade for votto in that 30 man league:
    taylor (WAS)
    guzman (TEX)
    purke (WAS)
    stephens (CIN)
    and a 2nd rounder. we are already very deep so even a 2nd rounder might not be worth a ton.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think it’s fair, especially if the team getting Votto is in win now. Otherwise I like the Taylor/Stephenson side given how valuable young, cost-controlled players seem to be in those types of leagues. So if you’re going for it this year, sure. If not, I think I’d hold.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: this is an opp who owns DET, but he’s a good guy that got me into a league (16 team espn (my only espn league in 2013 baseball) h2h) that i won, and now have enough money sitting in leaguesafe to pay for a few bigger leagues next year, so i’m trying to help him out. i wasn’t sure if purke/stephens projected as much, i did see in BA’s prospect guide that the hitters in that could end up good (esp the TEX guy)

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ah nice. I like the good karma helping him out.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: you’ve seen this, probably.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frRlzA6BTUs
            karma belief or no it is nice to help out people (at least some people), and obv the razzball crew all agrees with that.

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @goodfold2: actually i was helping that guy earlier than him getting me into that espn league. this is just the first move he’s thinking about this year, after him trading cecil (6.5 mil per till end of 2016) to get

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @goodfold2: trading cecil to get 2 3rd rounders and adam conley (MIA). i told him he needs to tag garza/cain sugar/melky and try to trade petit since he’s not tagging him (for a draft pick or better). I told him Cecil could’ve been worth more than what he got, but i could be wrong.

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  yeah, hard to say…depends on the trade market of the league

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              for sure. one of the things I enjoy most about this community

  8. goodfold2 says:
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    I got rosario too, so nice to see him have value somewhere.

  9. goodfold2 says:
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    completely different league, 20 teamer yahoo with 5 NA slots. i have both n.williams/dalton P. how’s williams been doing other than those K’s? I’m TEX and have gallo also.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Strikeouts in AFL aside I think Williams is a really nice prospect to have in fantasy. 20-homer potential with decent speed. I’ve seen his hit tool graded differently from one set of eyes to the next, but that’s kind of normal and most see him as at least average in that area.

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