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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Minor League Scorebook

I've been posting AFL game summaries over the last week or two, but it's worth mentioning that the AFL is not really in quite the same class as the regular-season minors. John Sickels reminds us that the AFL just isn't that useful a predictor of future performance. The problem, of course, is that teams send their top hitting talent, but rarely their top pitching talent. Partly as a result of this, and partly because of altitude and the general dryness of the environment, offensive numbers are very high.
Let's take a random season. . . the 1997 AFL.

Batting Average Qualifiers, 1997 Arizona Fall League Brad Fullmer, .414 Sean Casey, .396 Ryan Jackson, .378 Damian Jackson, .374 Paul LoDuca, .363 Chris Sexton, .351 Charles Gipson, .346 Chad Hermansen, .341 J.P. Roberge, .336 Pat Watkins, .336 Kevin Barker, .331 Dan McKinley, .331 Adam Riggs. .317 Robert Smith, .316 Mark Kotsay, .313

Let's take a random season. . . the 1997 AFL.

Batting Average Qualifiers, 1997 Arizona Fall League

Brad Fullmer, .414
Sean Casey, .396
Ryan Jackson, .378
Damian Jackson, .374
Paul LoDuca, .363
Chris Sexton, .351
Charles Gipson, .346
Chad Hermansen, .341
J.P. Roberge, .336
Pat Watkins, .336
Kevin Barker, .331
Dan McKinley, .331
Adam Riggs. .317
Robert Smith, .316
Mark Kotsay, .313

Just looking at that list (I'm going to let you go take a peek at the pitching numbers), I'd say there were a lot of "false positives" in terms of the number of players who did well and later turned into a pumpkin. On the other hand, there also are some good players, too.

And with that, and a sudden outage by Time Warner Cable during the World Friggin' Series -- on to the show.

2005-10-26: Surprise 4, Grand Canyon 5 #
Kendrick: 0-4
Butler: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI
Morales: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Wood: 0-3
Lambert: 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3.00 ERA
Sanches: (BS, 1)(L, 0-2) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 3.48 ERA
Wood's slumping a bit, hitting .238/.273/.381 in his last six games.
2005-10-26: Peo Saguaros 3, Phoenix 7 #
Schuerholz: 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Drew: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Loney: 2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Saltalamacchia: 0-2, 2 BB
Bush: (W, 3-1), 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 3 HR, 5.50 ERA
Loney now sports a .478/.478/1.043 line. Nary a walk in the AFL, but that's some nice power in very limited exposure.

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