AFL Finale: November 18, 2011

Bryce Harper singled and tripled in the Arizona Fall League finale, which the Scottsdale Scorpions lost, 6-2.

The 2-for-3 effort pushed the 19-year-old’s batting average to .333, thanks to a 16-game hit streak and a .424 finish (28-for-66) over his last 18 games. Of course, Harper also struck out and was picked off first and made no putouts in left field, but those are nits for the Nats bandwagon, as I’m sure we can expect the drum for Harper to be the next Heyward all winter long (pay no attention to the latter’s .227/.319/.389 sophomore slump and make no correlations, right?).

Derek Norris went 0-for-3 to lower his line to .276/.367/.382 but threw out a baserunner and stole a base himself (#4). Despite the 0-for-13 finish, Norris is still a near-lock to be added to the 40-man roster and start 2012 in Syracuse. He reached base 18 of 21 games.

Zach Walters stayed off the interstate by going 1-for-3 with an RBI double to finish with a .205 mark. Not bad for a kid that began the year as a 21-year-old in Low-A. The signs of Josh Johnson and Chris McConnell above him on the Nats ladder make Potomac his most likely starting point for 2012, not to mention his mere 30 games of High-A experience.

Scottsdale finished the 2011 season with a 14-22 mark, last in the East division of the Arizona Fall League and tied with Phoenix for the circuit’s worst record. Last year, Scottsdale won the AFL championship.

And as if yesterday’s chill rains weren’t a talisman, winter has “officially” begun.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

6 thoughts on “AFL Finale: November 18, 2011”

  1. Someone on Nats Insider posted that Walters stats were misleading; they spent time at the AFL, and said Walters was hitting the ball hard but right at people.

    KLaw never responded to my post about Purke, but did say in his chat that he saw nothing impressive from Purke this fall.

  2. Thanks for all the AFL reporting, much appreciated.

    I never guessed Harper would finish as strong as he did. It’s getting harder and harder to control expectations.

  3. Should we just presume that Norris ran out of gas at the end. This has to have been his longest season ever.

  4. Sue – thanks for all of the AFL coverage. not that Harper will be JESUS an invincible in the majors but when he does come up he is likely to have a slump his second year, most players do with A-Rod and Griffey being exceptions to that rule (they actually played better in their second seasons than their first).

  5. It all depends on how well Harper has learned to adapt when pitchers discover weaknesses in his hitting. I suspect he will not have a sophomore slump as his beginning slump in the AFL and those at the beginning of each level he’s reached seem to attest to. He recovered from those quickly becoming an offensive force to be walked rather than pitched to.

    Its in the field where the majority of his minor league training would appear to lie.

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