Top prospect performers from the 2022 Arizona Fall League

Since its inception in 1992, the Arizona Fall League has despatched greater than 60 % of its individuals and greater than 3,000 gamers to the large leagues. That group contains Hall of Famers Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter and Mike Piazza, one other Cooperstown lock in Albert Pujols and this 12 months’s American League MVP (Aaron Judge) and AL Rookie of the Year (Julio Rodríguez).

Baseball’s ending college as soon as once more was loaded with expertise this offseason, together with 16 members of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects checklist. The highest-rated prospect on the Top 100, Cardinals outfielder Jordan Walker, additionally claims the No. 1 spot on our annual rating of the Fall League’s greatest prospects. Only three Top 100 guys did not crack our AFL Top 30, all as a result of they did not play sufficient: outfielders Robert Hassell (Nationals) and Brennen Davis (Cubs), who exited early with accidents, and right-hander Tink Hence (Cardinals ), who labored simply 8 1/3 innings.

Numerous non-Top 100 Prospects made robust impressions, none greater than Joe Black MVP Award winner Heston Kjerstad. The Orioles outfielder had his professional debut delayed two years by myocarditis, however he has regained the energy that led Baltimore to pick out him No. 2 general in the 2020 Draft.

Because groups hardly ever ship high quality pitchers to Arizona except they lose vital regular-season innings with out sustaining a critical damage, place gamers all the time dominate our AFL prospects checklist. They claimed the first 10 spots and 25 of the 30 general. Several scouts who coated the league contributed to our rankings, that are based mostly on long-term potential whereas additionally contemplating Fall League efficiency.

1. Jordan Walker, OF, Salt River (Cardinals No. 1/MLB No. 6)
Walker seems almost able to take over in proper subject for St. Louis along with his large right-handed energy and a robust arm that clocked 99.5 mph on one throw. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has a naturally lengthy swing and steps in the bucket, however he nonetheless has good plate protection and generates loads of leverage.

2. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Salt River (D-backs No. 3/MLB No. 12)
Before an errant pitch broke his left scapula halfway via the AFL season, Lawlar stood out along with his five-tool potential at shortstop. His high quality strategy and robust make-up are two extra property, with the solely quibble being that he does not have the true plus arm that some groups want at shortstop.

3. Jackson Merrill, SS, Peoria (Padres No. 1/MLB No. 83)
Although he was the third-youngest participant in the league at age 19 and had simply 45 video games of full-season expertise, Merrill greater than held his personal. He made quite a lot of laborious contact and will have a better offensive ceiling than Lawlar, though he is much less more likely to stay at shortstop.

4. Zac Veen, OF, Salt River (Rockies No. 1/MLB No. 23)
Two scouts in contrast Veen to Cody Bellinger, each for his mixture of energy and velocity and likewise for his problem at instances catching as much as fastballs up in the strike zone. The AFL Offensive Player of the Year after batting .333/.444/.444 with a league-best 16 steals and almost twice as many walks (15) as strikeouts (eight), he ought to have the ability to make changes at the plate and his instincts might enable him to stay in middle subject.

5. Heston Kjerstad, OF, Scottsdale (Orioles No. 9)
Kjerstad batted .357/.385/.622 and topped the Fall League in hits (35), doubles (9), extra-base hits (15) and whole bases (61), after which one evaluator rated him as the circuit’s greatest prospect. He had the greatest left-handed energy in the league, and his 30 % strikeout price mirrored his willingness to work deep counts moderately than points along with his swing or pitch recognition.

6. Noelvi Marte, 3B, Glendale (Reds no. 2/MLB No. 17)
Marte had the roughest AFL of anybody on this high 10, batting .211/.321/.310 and making six errors in 20 begins at third base. He appeared a bit flummoxed by attempting to man the scorching nook for the first time in his profession, however he may produce 30-plus homers on an annual foundation and his bat will play at first base or left subject if wanted.

7. Masyn Winn, SS, Salt River (Cardinals No. 2/MLB No. 51)
Winn had the greatest infield arm in the Fall League, a legit 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale, and likewise was one in every of its quickest runners and high defenders. He’s extra of an on-base man than an influence risk, and questions on his final offensive affect prevented him from rating increased.

8. Henry Davis, C, Surprise (Pirates no. 1/MLB No. 19)
Perhaps the greatest enigma in the AFL, the No. 1 general choice in the 2021 Draft seemed shaky as a receiver and did not deter the operating sport regardless of a plus-plus arm. A majority of scouts suppose Davis is destined for the outfield moderately than catcher, though he ought to have sufficient bat to profile on a nook.

9. Nick Gonzales, INF, Surprise (Pirates no. 5/MLB No. 93)
Gonzales barreled balls extra commonly than most Fall Leaguers, though evaluators believed he’d be simpler if he did not hunt house runs at instances and simply let his energy come naturally. While he divided his time between second base, third base and shortstop, his common arm is stretched on the left aspect of the infield, so he might wind up in left subject.

10. Andy Pages, OF, Glendale (Dodgers No. 5/MLB No. 66)
While his focus can lapse at the plate, Pages is a harmful hitter who faucets into his well-above-average uncooked energy when he is locked in. He additionally has well-above-average arm energy and will get the job completed in proper subject.

11. Quinn Priester, RHP, Surprise (Pirates no. 3/MLB No. 44)
Although he logged a 6.26 ERA, Priester was a straightforward alternative as the AFL’s high pitching prospect and its lone slam-dunk large league starter. He must refine his command, however he missed bats along with his 92-96 mph fastball, 82-86 mph slider and 76-80 mph curveball.

12. Luisangel Acuña, SS, Surprise (Rangers no. 7)
Ronald Acuña’s little brother had one in every of the greatest gaps between his ceiling and ground amongst Fall Leaguers. He has electrical bat velocity and the likelihood for a minimum of stable instruments throughout the board whereas sticking at shortstop, though he’ll want to unravel high quality breaking balls to get there.

13. Jasson Domínguez, OF, Mesa (Yankees No. 2/MLB No. 39)
The Martian batted simply .159/.250/.217 and his instruments seemed good moderately than otherworldly. Yet he is nonetheless a 19-year-old switch-hitter who tasks to have a minimum of stable velocity and energy, and evaluators suppose his ground is a giant league common.

14. Nick Yorke, 2B, Scottsdale (Red Sox No. 4)
After slumping via the 2022 common season, Yorke regained his management of the strike zone and drilled line drives to all fields whereas displaying 20-homer potential. There are some questions on whether or not he’ll stay athletic sufficient to play second base moderately than left subject.

15. Matt McLain, SS, Glendale (Reds no. 5/MLB No. 73)
Although he hit .190/.340/.316, McLain displayed plus velocity and a minimum of 20-homer energy. Projected as extra of a second baseman than a shortstop, he has chased homers since turning professional and can be higher with a extra measured strategy.

16. Mason Miller, RHP, Mesa (Athletics No. 20)
Miller had the greatest pure stuff amongst AFL starters, sitting in the higher 90s and touching 102 mph along with his fastball whereas additionally overpowering hitters with a mid-80s slider. He does include some well being questions and reliever danger, but when he winds up in the bullpen, it is perhaps as a more in-depth.

17. Kumar Rocker, RHP, Surprise (Rangers no. 8)
Working his means again from proper shoulder surgical procedure in September 2021 and but to make his official professional debut, the No. 3 general alternative in the 2022 Draft was considerably underwhelming. He nonetheless could make hitters look unhealthy with a mid-80s slider that ranks as the greatest in the Fall League, however he struggled to throw strikes or dodge bats along with his mid-90s fastball.

18. Jefferson Quero, C, Glendale (Brewers No. 7)
A greater guess to turn out to be an on a regular basis catcher than Davis, Quero is a high quality receiver who used his plus-plus arm to erase 46 % of basestealers whereas different AFL backstops mixed to nab simply 17 %. A bit overmatched by superior pitchers as a 19-year-old, he tasks as a mean to stable hitter with hole energy.

19. Edouard Julien, 2B, Glendale (Twins No. 14)
An simple alternative as the AFL’s Breakout Player of the Year, Julien tied for the batting title (.400) and topped the league in on-base share (.563), OPS (1.249), runs (24) and walks (23) . He had the most affected person strategy in the league, and scouts appreciated his offensive sport greater than that of the extra well-known Twins and Glendale teammate Austin Martin, though additionally they thought he may get passive at instances and is greatest suited to first base or left subject.

20. Johan Rojas, OF, Surprise (Phillies No. 5)
The Fall League’s quickest participant used his at-least plus-plus velocity to get on base, steal bases (13-for-13 in 12 video games) and canopy loads of floor in middle subject. Rojas has some uncooked energy as effectively, however he might want to discover a extra selective strategy and launch extra balls in the air to faucet into it.

21. Austin Martin, SS/OF, Glendale (Twins No. 12)
Martin bounced again from a dismal Double-A season, batting .373/.454/.482 and displaying the hitting capacity that made him the No. 5 general decide in the 2020 Draft. He nonetheless comes with questions on his energy, nonetheless, and scouts do not suppose he throws effectively sufficient to have a shot at enjoying shortstop.

22. Mason Auer, OF, Mesa (Rays No. 11)
Auer’s .229/.308/.471 line belied the incontrovertible fact that he owned a few of the greatest all-around instruments in the league, together with well-above-average uncooked energy, velocity and arm energy. He wants extra polish at the plate and in the outfield, however he may turn into a minimum of a stable middle fielder.

23. Matt Mervis, 1B, Mesa (Cubs No. 21)
After slamming 36 homers throughout the common season and pacing the Minors in extra-base hits (78), whole bases (310) and RBI (119), “Mash” Mervis continued to dwell as much as his nickname by tying for the AFL lead with six homers. The Fall Stars Game MVP is a 24-year-old, first base-only, all-bat man, however his energy is a carrying software and will win him a beginning job in Chicago subsequent 12 months.

24. Emmet Sheehan, RHP, Glendale (Dodgers No. 22)
Sheehan tied for the Fall League lead with three wins, because of a few of the greatest fastball induced vertical break and one in every of the niftiest changeups in the circuit. His 92-96 mph heater may be unhittable when it is on — and it has touched 99 briefly stints — however he tasks extra as a multi-inning reliever than a starter except he can enhance his slider, management and command.

25. Colt Keith, 3B, Salt River (Tigers no. 6)
Keith confirmed the capacity to hit for energy and common whereas additionally working walks, a powerful mixture at age 20. Evaluators had been dismayed that he has bulked up above his listed 211 kilos, costing him quickness and athleticism, and he struggled at third base with six errors in 10 begins.

26. Zack Gelof, 2B, Mesa (Athletics No. 3/MLB No. 94)
Despite an up-and-down Fall League, Gelof confirmed the elements to turn out to be a whole hitter with stable energy, though he’ll have to refine his strategy to get there. Drafted as a 3rd baseman, he performed higher than anticipated at second base.

27. Joey Wentz, LHP, Salt River (Tigers no. 24)
Coming off a robust September in Detroit, Wentz breezed via three scoreless four-inning begins and topped the AFL in ERA, opponent common (.053) and WHIP (0.50). He comes with a better ground than most of the league’s starters as a result of he mixes 4 average-ish pitches effectively, though he has to show he can keep wholesome.

28. Lawrence Butler, OF, Mesa (Athletics No. 14)
He’s nonetheless a piece in progress at the plate, however Butler could possibly be a 20-20 nook outfielder if he could make extra constant contact. He gained the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award, honoring the AFL participant who greatest exemplifies unselfishness, laborious work and management.

29. Ronny Simon, SS/2B, Mesa (unranked on Rays Top 30)
The Fall League RBI chief (24), Simon is an athletic switch-hitter with stable velocity and shocking energy for a 5-foot-9, 150-pounder. He’s able to enjoying throughout the diamond and may present utility worth if he does not hit persistently sufficient to be common.

30. Owen Caissie, OF, Mesa (Cubs No. 10)
Although he struggled to make contact in opposition to the most superior pitching he had confronted, the 20-year-old Caissie has apparent upside. He has the bat velocity and leverage to supply 25 or extra homers per season and the plus arm desired in proper subject.

Leave a Comment