Boston Red Sox: Arizona Fall League prospect wrap-up
By Drew Peabody
Before the season started, goals were suggested for each Red Sox player in the Arizona Fall League. In the wrap-up we will take a look at whether these goals were achieved
While the Boston Red Sox’ top prospect Yoan Moncada only managed six games in the AFL due to a thumb injury, each of the other prospects in the organization completed their season on Saturday for the Surprise Saguaros.
While the Saguaros fell in the championship game, the most important results out of the Arizona Fall League are those of the individual players. Let’s take a look at how each player finished their AFL season.
Michael Kopech lived up to all billing as a fire-balling starter. The 20-year old Kopech had the best ERA of any starter in the AFL at 2.01 over 22.1 innings, striking out 26 batters while walking just eight. The 2014 first-rounder allowed 18 hits, good for a .231 batting average against. The goal of innings pitched was certainly achieved and at a very high level of success.
Jamie Callahan finished the season with another two scoreless innings. The Red Sox decided not to protect Callahan in the Rule 5 draft (a projected goal) which could mean that they lose him to another organization. In the AFL, Callahan had a stingy 0.75 ERA allowing a run on 11 hits over 12 innings, sixth best in the league this season. The righty also notched two saves in Arizona. Callahan finished 11 games in his 12 appearances, leading the league in games finished.
The other two pitchers did not meet their stated goals.
Jalen Beeks struggled mightily coming out of the bullpen. In his first 8.1 innings he allowed just three runs, but over his last four innings he surrendered six earned runs including two home runs. In a short AFL season, averages can take wild swings as Beeks’ certainly did. Beeks’ final numbers were 16 hits allowed and nine earned runs over 12.1 innings. Adjusting well to a reliever role did not go well in the short AFL season.
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Trey Ball‘s struggles were even more pronounced. The former first round choice had a strong last week allowing just a run on three hits over his last five innings of work. The most encouraging development was only one walk allowed in that time, after allowing 12 in his first 8.1 innings of work. His five walk outing skewed things somewhat, but even without that, he still walked eight in 13.1 innings, not acceptable for a top prospect. He logged his innings to achieve one goal but the command goal was not attained.
Mauricio Dubon met his goal of starting a few games in center field. The 160 pound Dubon may have hit a wall physically. He was just three for his last 30 in the AFL. His final batting line was a poor one, .211/.273/.408, but the seven extra base hits out of 15 total hits has to be seen as an encouraging sign. During the season, Dubon hit six homers in 62 games at AA after zero in 62 games at High-A. He has to be considered one of the top prospects in the organization.
Next: What's Next for Rusney Castillo?
Danny Mars managed to show resilience, turning around what started to be a disastrous AFL season. Mars was 10 for 17 over his last five starts of the season. He was not able to build on a three steal first week, getting caught twice without success for the rest of the season. While .259/.290/.293 will not make anyone jump for joy, Mars scorching finish to the year will get him in a good frame of mind to start 2017.
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