AFL Update: Oct. 28, 2012

The Salt River Rafters scored in six of nine innings on Saturday to double up the Mesa Solar Sox 12-6 for their third straight win.

Highlights from the four Nats that saw game action…

…Paul Demny got right back on the horse and tossed a scoreless inning in the 7th, though he gave up a hit and a walk.

…Jason Martinson singled, walked, and scored a run while playing third base (no defensive chances).

…Matt Skole was on the other side of the diamond on defense (five putouts) and drew two walks and scored twice, going 1-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 8th.

…Brian Goodwin pushed his average to .349 with a pair of triples. He scored twice and drew two walks while playing centerfield, where he snagged three flyouts.

Salt River resumes play with a visit to Phoenix tomorrow afternoon. Ryan Perry is expected to get the start.

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.

8 thoughts on “AFL Update: Oct. 28, 2012”

  1. From my vantage point (looking only at the box scores), it looks like Skole and Goodwin are two of THE top players in the AFL. I know it’s a small sample size, a pro-hitter environment and everything and I haven’t had a chance to see even a second of any of the games, which is why I’m cautious to get too excited. It’s even more confusing when KLaw says this about the two of them last week:

    I prefer to focus on prospects I like and would grade highly, but I’ve been asked about a number of prospects who’ve disappointed me so far out here. Two Washington Nationals prospects, Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole, have fallen short. Skole is an organizational player for me, a positionless slugger with a noisy, uphill swing, while Goodwin hasn’t run as well or shown the same electric bat speed I saw from him in college. (Some players do look slower out here every year between fatigue from the long season and discomfort in the early-October heat.)

    Is this just Law speaking too soon? Yeah, Goodwin has gotten really hot recently, but even at the time of those remarks he’d hit a couple HRs and 2Bs. And you can’t be that slow to hit two triples in a single game. It looks like a pretty electric bat from here.

    Did you notice the flaws in Skole’s swing while he was in Potomac? Again, it looks like Skole is handling 1B fine. And there’s a big difference between not being able to cut it at 3B and 1B. To call the guy positionless after a week at a new position seems like he’s too quick to dismiss Skole. Basically everything about Law’s comments contradict everything else. But it’s all the first-hand commentary I have to go on….

    Has Law made any more recent comments on any of the Nats prospects? I don’t have ESPN Insider.

  2. I read Keith Law regularly and have to say when he gets a preconceived notion in his head, it doesn’t leave come hell or high water.
    A good example is he spent the ENTIRE 2012 season saying that the Baltimore Orioles were a bad team; even saying that in mid-September after a 145 games played. Couldn’t admit he was wrong ever.
    I’ll defer to Luke on Skole; he certainly is looking good playing with the big boys of the minors.
    Goodwin’s a potential superstar, not saying he’s a sure thing, who could have us all saying ‘I knew it all along’.

    And remember, ‘Tom Milone will never be any good once he moves up a level’.

    1. He did something similar with Morse, but it isn’t necessarily biased (not that anyone reallys said that). He has certain things he likes and tends to make strong pronouncements. He is best when he gives insight into what an organization is thinking or doing from a strategy stand point, and for providing context for performance. Doesn’t make him infallible though, and he seems to really dislike soft tossers or bad tool packages in general, so not really surprised Milone was never big for him. Of course with Milone’s home splits, he may be right, though I definetly think he has the ability to stick in a good rotation. Personally his change is a little underrated.

      I don’t think he believes Skole will hit enough to stick at 1st. It help if we advanced him a bit quicker, if he put up his low A numbers at AA, I think he would be a tad more optimistic.

      He really doesnt put much stock in AFL performance though, particularly for hitters. Probably a good thing (Trout was awful in the AFL last year, for example). Luckily most reports of Goodwin approach glowing, and after his first 50-100 at bats in AA, his numbers over the last month or so were pretty good, certaintly encouraging. I’m extremely excited for him, hope he makes his debut next year.

      Not sure why I feel the need to defend Law, I guess there are enough fanbases that think he hates them there is no reason to add to the list. As Greg says, he tends to be cautiously pessimistic, though I don’t think its for self promotion, simply I think he tends to emphasize context, he tends to remind his readers just how difficult it is for a lot of these kids to succeed. The fact we seem to have had so many with questionable profiles contribute is perhaps a testment to our scouting and/or player development. It’s a good thing, IMO.

      1. “The fact we seem to have had so many with questionable profiles contribute is perhaps a testment to our scouting and/or player development.”

        And now that the Nats are going to picking from the 21-30 range for the next few seasons, that kind of success is going to have to be the norm. Remember when the Rays finally got it together, folks were quick to dismiss their success as merely being a product of being so bad so long, especially when they regressed from 92 wins to 84 wins from ’08 to ’09. Even after five straight winning seasons and two division titles, I think there are still some folks that doubt that the knee-jerk reaction wasn’t wrong.

  3. We can certainly cherry-pick instances where lots of folks like Law and Kevin Goldstein (who also said Milone “wouldn’t miss bats” — sadly he took a scouting job w/ the Astros before I had the chance to ask him if 137 called third strikes was an A.L. record) were wrong. I’ll still defer to the pros until I actually earn paycheck as a scout.

    To answer Will’s question: I didn’t see anything egregious, but I’m not terribly good with evaluating hitters. That’s part of the reason I tend to focus more on the pitchers (well, that and having been a catcher as a player).

  4. Klaw has always been cautiously pessimistic. He’ll won’t look as bad if he touts a prospect that ends up flaming out.

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