*Picture of Andrew Knizner courtesy of the incomparable @cardinalsgifs. FOLLOW THIS MAN ON TWITTER*
Well, we are one week into the Arizona Fall League and it’s been an interesting week for the Surprise Saguaros, the team in the AFL that the Cardinals prospects are playing for. Every week I’m going to try to update you on how everyone is doing in the AFL, along with how a few others are doing in some of the other offseason leagues.
If you’d like to see the complete breakdown of Cardinals stats during the Fall/Winter, you can follow THIS LINK HERE.
It’s October, the Cardinals aren’t in the playoffs, yet there are still plenty of reasons to keep on an eye on future Cardinals Players.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
RHP Sandy Alcantara: 1 Start, 13.50 ERA, 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 3.00 WHIP
Just a terrible debut for Alcantara. Rumor has it that he is working hard(and almost exclusively) with his offspeed offerings this Fall, so his stats are skewed that way. It was only one start over two innings, but the lack of strikeout and the 3 ER and 2 BB isn’t a good sign. There is still a ton of polish and refining need for the young Alcantara.
RHP Jordan Hicks: 2 Appearances, 4.50 ERA, 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.50 WHIP
It’s been a solid showing for Hicks who has thrown exclusively out of the bullpen, which is not worth reading into even a little bit. As I mentioned during the last “Prospects To Be Named Later” with Colin Garner, this is a growth opportunity for Hicks and his statistical output in the AFL shouldn’t carry heavy weight.
RHP Josh Lucas: 2 Appearances, 4.50 ERA, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.50 WHIP
Solid debut week for Lucas. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on his strikeout numbers. With his slider being as good as it is/can be, I’m hoping to see a ton of K’s this Fall. One K per inning should be attainable.
RHP Arturo Reyes: 2 Appearances, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.00 WHIP
So far Arturo has been the cream of the pitching crop for the Cardinals in the AFL. He’s throwing a ton of strikes and he’s getting great results. He’s rule 5 eligible, and I’ll be anxious to see how it all plays out if he continues to pitch this well during the Fall.
C/1B Andrew Knizner: 3 Games, 11 AB, 3 H (all singles),2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 273/333/273/606
I was very curious to see how Knizner’s playing time was going to shake out this Fall and I was excited when he made his AFL debut at 1B. I was even more excited to see him start the next game at catcher. Now I want to see him start a game at 3B, although now I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’ve said it a bunch, but Knizner is one of my favorite prospects in the Cardinals system and I want to see him blow the AFL up. He doesn’t have the hits yet in the league, but he’s fouled off a ton of pitches so far at the plate. I imagine his timing is coming back and by the end of next week he’ll be raking.
CF Oscar Mercado: 4 Games, 16 AB, 5 H (all singles), 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 313/313/313/626
Mercado has played CF exclusively so far for Surprise. He had a fun debut in which he committed an error but also had 2 outfield assists. He’s been the 3-hole hitter so far in everyone of the games that he’s played in. Another player with a Rule 5 decision looming, Mercado seems ready for the task early on in the AFL.
SS/3B Edmundo Sosa: 3 Games, 10 AB, 3 H (all singles), 2 RBI, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HBP, 300/364/300/664
As we’ve said multiple times, Sosa missed a very large, nearly 2 month long portion of the regular season and it cost him a promotion to Springfield in the process. Now he’s in Arizona trying to make up for lost time.
So far he’s split time between SS and 3B and he’s been solid at the back end of the Surprise lineup, even though his stat line was trash before getting a couple of hits on Saturday night after entering the game in the 6th inning as a defensive replacement at short. Sosa’s stock has taken a hit over the last two seasons and his health and position versatility is going to be the important thing to watch for him.
1B/LF John Nogowski: 1 Game, 2 AB, 1 H, 1 Double, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 0 SO, 500/667/1.000/1.667
Nogowski is a taxi squad member for Surprise, meaning that he is only eligible to play in two games a week at the discretion of his manager. 99% of Nogowski’s playing career has been at 1st, but he made his AFL debut in the outfield this week, starting in LF. Just another point of intrigue for the Cardinals organization this Fall.
RHP Pedro Echemendia: 2 Appearances, 0.00 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.80 WHIP
Echemendia is an interesting pen arm. The Cuban righty has been solid in the Cardinals minor league system since signing with the Cardinals in February of 2015. He doesn’t over power and he doesn’t K enough hitters, but he has a solid secondary offering and a good pitchers frame. At one point it looked like he might be able to make the majors. Now it looks like he has a ton of work to do to get to that point.
This is a good start.
OF Randy Arozarena: 4 Games, 19 AB, 7 H, 2 Doubles, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO, 368/368/789/1.158
Also, he’s been playing CF. That’s all. He’s a monster.
Thanks to the great @cardinalsgifs for the great picture of Andrew Knizner above. If you don’t follow @cardinalsgifs on twitter then you are missing out on the best Cardinals account on that social media platform, bar-none!
Thanks For Reading!