Just two more teams to be summed up for our Arizona Fall League wrap up; today’s installment will deal with the Scottsdale Scorpion and the prospects who come from the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and New York Yankees. Overall, it wasn’t an inspiring team, finishing 10-21 on the season and it also appears that the players were regularly rotated through the lineup and pitching staff, leaving only five players with over 70 at bats and no pitcher threw more than 20 innings.
On the offensive side, the club’s best hitter was San Francisco Giants catching prospect Andrew Susac. Commentators on MLB.com loved the way his bat stays in the hitting zone, giving him outstanding contact abilities. Susac put that on display but also showed the incredible plate discipline he’s known for, hitting .360/.507/.480 with two home runs (his only two extra-base hits), 16 walks and just 11 strikeouts. These were, by far, the best results that Susac has had in his two professional years and could be an indicator of him taking a big leap forward.
Another strong contributor was Atlanta third baseman Kyle Kubitza who hit .305/.431/.458 over his 59 at bats with two doubles, two triples and a home run. Kubitza walks a lot (13 times in the AFL and 80 times for Lynchburg in the High-A Carolina League) but also strikes out a lot (22 times for Scottsdale and a whopping 132 times in Lynchburg).
Another Atlanta infield prospect to put up good numbers was second baseman Tommy La Stella. La Stella has consistently shown excellent gap power and contact ability. In the AFL, he hit .290/.436/.468 with six doubles, a triple and a home run coming on the heels of a season in which he hit .343 in the Double-A Southern League. What is most impressive is his strikeout to walk ratio, walking four time more often than he struck out in Arizona (16 BBs, four Ks).
Pitcher Kyle Crick led the team in strikeouts with 24 in just 15 2/3 innings. Another San Francisco prospect, Crick pitched to a 2.87 ERA and 1.28 WHIP; he was done in by the 11 walks which continue to be a problem for him. In High-A San Jose, Crick walked 39 in 68 2/3 innings but struck out 95. Crick was named the 9th best prospect in the league by Mayo and Callis (the only Scorpion to make the list) and his stuff certainly shines bright enough for that designation.
Yankees prospect Vidal Nuno had an outstanding K/BB ratio for Scottsdale, striking out 18 batters and just walking three in 19 2/3 innings. His 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP were also very solid following an injury shortened season that saw him log only 45 innings between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the New York Yankees this year. Nuno had some good starts for the Yankees but didn’t reflect his minor league numbers, particularly in the strikeout column, striking out 30 in 25 Triple-A innings and only 9 in 20 major league innings.
Pittsburgh’s Matt Benedict had an excellent 2.81 ERA and 1.19 WHIP but struggled wasn’t particularly dominant, striking out only 11 in 16 innings. San Francisco’s Derek Law was very strong, giving up just one unearned run in 12 1/3 innings, striking out 16 but walking six. The Mets’ Chasen Bradford allowed only eight base runners in 11 2/3 innings, walking only one and striking out 10. Pirates prospect Zack Thornton threw 14 2/3 strong innings, posting a WHIP of just 0.75 while walking three and striking out 14.
Grading on the Curves Best Hitter: Andrew Susac; Best Pitcher: Kyle Crick.