AFL Update: Oct. 9, 2013

Arizona-Fall-League-2013-1Matt Skole launched a two-run homer in Mesa’s five-run 8th as the Solar Sox and the Glendale Desert Dogs played to an 8-8 tie in 11 innings.

Skole went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored and three RBI total as the DH, where he’s expected to remain for the time being, though MASN’s Byron Kerr noted that he’ll play more 3B than 1B when he returns to the field.

It was the first live game action for the 24-year-old since injuring his left (non-throwing) elbow on April 5th in a collision at 1B that was initially described as a microfracture of the left wrist, but required Tommy John surgery and ended his 2013 regular season after just two games.

Brian Goodwin also saw game action and went 2-for-5 with a walk while batting second and playing centerfield, where he made two putouts. Former National Alex Meyer picked off Goodwin in the 3rd, but was otherwise hammered for three runs on five hits over three innings.

Neither Robert Benincasa nor Richie Mirowski were used in relief. Sammy Solis is scheduled to make the start today while Matt Purke is tabbed for tomorrow. Steven Souza Jr. will be eligible to play today and Saturday while Adrian Nieto awaits his chance behind the plate. Former Nationals backstop David Freitas went 0-for-4 at the plate and 1-for-4 in throwing out baserunners.

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.

19 thoughts on “AFL Update: Oct. 9, 2013”

    1. Skole started last year in Syracuse, he’s not going back to AA unless he really struggles in the AFL.

  1. Goodwin and Skole were our two biggest disappointments in the farm system this season, albeit for wildly different reasons. I’m really glad to see them get off to a good start. And get a little more baseball before the winter doldrums!

    On a side note, I’m really disappointed that Nieto wasn’t named the taxi squad player. The roster already has two other catchers (Frietas and Bandy), so even in an ideal situation Nieto will only be getting two games per week anyway. Souza’s positional versatility however could have seen him get a bunch of games and late inning substitutions, especially since there are only 5 other OFs on the team.

    1. It seems pretty harsh to call Goodwin the biggest disappointment in the system considering he still put up an OBP of .355 and slugged over .400 with double digits in triples and homers. He skipped A+ completely and played the entire season at age 22 in AA so it isn’t like he was old for the level.

      I would put Kylin Turnbull and Destin Hood as the two most disappointing. Turnbull got a little better at Hagerstown but he was old for the level and Hood has just completely fallen apart.

      1. 2014 sure looks to be big year for Destin Hood, one way or the other. He’s 23 and a .605 OPS in 2013 is just plain bad.

        1. In my opinion 2013 was the big year for Hood. He had his ‘break out’ season in 2011, and then slumped back to his career norms in 2012. 2013 was the opportunity to show who Hood really is, and it didn’t go well.

          I won’t write him off completely just yet (just look at Steve Souza), but Hood has officially lost all prospect status.

      2. Point taken on Hood. I overlooked him.

        But regarding Goodwin, I still believe his season was a disappointment. He was ranked the 52nd best prospect in baseball. A .355 OBP and .400 SLG are good, but not for elite prospects.

        Every single offensive metric was worse this year. AVG, OBP, SLG, HR, 2B, K%, BB%, baserunning (he had one more SB, but had a much worse success rate). Yes, this was at AA, but like any top prospect, I have have higher expectations for them.

        His season wasn’t a nightmare by any means, but our farm system had a nearly unanimously positive year. There’s only a couple flops. I don’t consider Kylin Turnbull to be a disappointment, because to disappoint you need to have built some expectations. Turnbull was terrible in 2012, and was terrible again in 2013.

  2. Instead of talking about disappointments (and yes, Hood is my #1 there), I prefer to look for pleasant surprises:

    -Taylor Jordan. From Potomac to DC in one season, all after TJ! He was barely on anyone’s radar coming into the season, and now will be fighting for a spot in the Nationals’ rotation come spring.

    -Billy Burns. Just turned 24, his batting average and OBP actually improved a bit at AA, with more walks than strikeouts. And 74 stolen bases while only caught 7 times! From all accounts he’s a plus fielder, too. I still don’t know how much of a “prospect” he is – he has NO POWER AT ALL (you’d think that with all that speed he’d have more than 12 doubles in 44 at bats; and he has one (1) HR, two years ago in Auburn). To make the big time he can’t afford to have his “good” numbers slip much at all. But still a pleasant surprise.

    Any other nominees?

    1. That’s 12 doubles in 444 at bats this year between A+ and AA. 12 in 44 at bats would be GREAT! 🙂

    2. There’s 2 players from the ’27 yanks, er, GCL Nats that caught my eye.
      Travis Ott was only 17 when we drafted him so he’s a very young pup & pitched well at such a tender age. His ‘Ichabod Crane’ body means he’s only going to be stronger as he progresses.
      There was a lot of white noise out there that the Nats had blundered by taking Drew Ward in the 3rd round. He was terrific and he hadn’t even had the minimum 600 AB’s that are needed to get the aluminium out of his swing.

        1. The league average slugging percentage was .338, meaning Ward hit 50 points above average. League average OPS was .661 (Ward’s was .789).

          Power isn’t usually the first thing to develop, and scouts say he still needs to fill out his full frame. The tools are there. My only concern is that he won’t stick at 3B.

        2. He played SS in HS, so the odds are pretty good that he’ll stick at 3B. He doesn’t turn 19 until next month, so I’d also bet that he can put on 20 lbs and get to be Ryan Zimmerman’s size (not that you have to weigh 230 to hit for power). I think folks are forgetting the Nats got him because there were doubts about the level of competition he faced in HS, even though he wowed in the showcase circuit.

          Let’s not fall back into the he had a hat mode that Nats fans were back in the dark days. Let Ward spend the next three years developing that raw talent — would it be so bad to to have a 22-y.o. CI with power come 2016?

          1. Oh, I’m not down on Drew Ward; he had a very promising beginning. Nor do I rule out him developing power as he fills out and gets used to hitting with wood (see the “just yet” part of my original comment. I’m just in no hurry to move him through the system. I agree with you, Luke – let the talent develop naturally, and see where he is in 2-3 years.

  3. My first nominee early season was
    Blake Schwartz. He was glue for Potomac
    Amidst the ebb and flow of promotions and
    Early season rain out make up DH
    I have a nominee not a player
    Franklin Bravo did a Zeus effort with all the arms
    Used @ Hagerstown

Comments are closed.