Think Blue

Obsessing over the Dodgers' minor league system so you don't have to.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Arizona Fall League Review

The Arizona Fall League's season officially came to an end yesterday and I wanted to review the Dodgers' prospects' performances. While the sample sizes are small, these performances could be the last impressions scouts and Dodger officials have about these players before Spring Training. So let's get to the prospects.

The Good

Blake DeWitt, 3B

DeWitt's regular season performance was topsy turvy, but he finished the year with a solid performance in the AFL. Blake batted .281/.354/.404 with 3 doubles and 2 triples. He walked 6 times compared to just 7 strikeouts. However, he did not hit a HR in 16 games and committed 3 errors, but it's his hit tool that's keeping his prospect status on life support.

Cory Wade, RHP

Being a 24 year old reliever with only 33 innings in Double A under his belt, Wade was understandably under most people's radar entering AFL play. But Cory was one of the more dominant pitchers in the league, striking out 10 and walking only 1 in 10.1 innings. The two runs he allowed came on Homeruns, though he gave up just 8 in 99 regular season innings. He could get a shot at some time in the bigs this year.

The Bad

Xavier Paul, OF

After a promising regular season performance, X-Man stumbled into the AFL and never got going. His .248/.307/.286 line won't impress anyone, nor will his 2 steals in 6 attempts or 28 strikeouts in 105 at bats. He did manage to post a solid walk rate but he'll need to return to Jacksonville with a purpose next season.

Greg Miller, LHP

How far his star has fallen. Miller's inability to find the strike zone has landed him in prospect purgatory. 23 Hits and 16 Walks in 12.2 innings? Really? The stuff is still there and he turned 23 earlier this month, but it'll likely take a miracle for Greg to reach the bigs.

The Others

Chin Lung Hu, SS

A nagging hamstring injury cut Hu's AFL stint short. He hit .273/.314/.394 with a double and a HR in 33 at bats before being removed from the roster. Trainer Stan Conte said the strain was minor and Hu will surely be healthy come Spring Training.

Zach Hammes, RHP

Hammes shined as a reliever in the Hawaii Winter League last year, but the results were far different in Arizona. Zach struck out 7 and walked 9 in 14 innings, leading to a 6.43 ERA. I'm not sure how the Dodgers plan on using him next year, but hopefully he can regain his dominance in relief in 2008.

Justin Orenduff, RHP

Control problems seemed to be the theme for Dodger prospects in the AFL. Orenduff walked 10 in his 16.1 innings of work, though he did come out of the bullpen. He also struck out 14 and did not allow a HR. Orenduff will enter next season as a starter at Vegas and could be a spot starter for the Dodgers if injuries hit.

I'll review the Hawaii League tomorrow and will highlight Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young's performances on Team USA once that tournament concludes.


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