Final Hitting Stats from AFL PDF Print E-mail
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00
Let's take a look at the leaders in the offensive categories that most interest fantasy players. I will put up pitching stats later in the week.

Batting Average (minimum 2.0 PA per game)

C.J. Cron (LAA) .413
Jorge Alfaro (TEX) .386
Henry Urrutia (BAL) .377
Stephen Piscotty (STL) .371
Kris Bryant (CHC) .364
Travis Shaw (BOS) .361
Andrew Susac (SF) .360
Tyler Naquin (CLE) .339
Brent Keys (MIA) .319
Andy Burns (TOR) .312

Not eligible but noteworthy:

Stephen Souza Jr (WAS) .357
Micah Johnson (CWS) .320
Tyler Austin (NYY) .333

Home Runs

Kris Bryant (CHC) 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                C.J. Cron (LAA) 5
Jared Mitchell (CWS) 5
Travis Shaw (BOS) 5

Runs Batted In

Mitch Haniger (MIL) 24                                                                                                                                                                                                          C.J. Cron (LAA) 20                                                                                                                                                                                                              Travis Shaw (BOS) 19                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stephen Piscotty (STL) 18
Tyler Naquin (CLE) 18
Kyle Parker (COL) 18

Stolen Bases

Kenny Wilson (TOR) 12                                                                                                                                                                                                     Steven Souza Jr (WAS) 10                                                                                                                                                                                                  Delino DeShields (HOU) 8
Mookie Betts (BOS) 8
Cory Vaughn (NYM) 8

Extra Base Hits

Kris Bryant (CHC) 15                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kyle Parker (COL) 15                                                                                                                                                                                                              C.J. Cron (LAA) 12                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mitch Haniger (MIL) 12                                                                                                                                                                                                      Travis Shaw (BOS) 11

On Base Percentage

Andrew Susac (C) .507
Richie Shaffer (CI) .478
C.J. Cron (1B) .467
Kris Bryant (3B) .457
Travis Shaw (1B) .452

Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 10:06
Kris Bryant Named AFL MVP PDF Print E-mail
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Chicago Cubs power hitting third baseman Kris Bryant won the Joe Black Award as the most valuable player in the 2013 Arizona Fall League.


Bryant led the league in home runs with six round trippers while delivering a .364/.457/.727 slash line and starting at third base in the Fall Stars game for the East Division. Bryant also had a 20-game on-base streak, tied for the league lead, and had eight doubles and 17 RBI with 22 runs scored in the six- week season.

Bryant was the second pick by the Cubs in last June’s draft out of the University of San Diego. His first stop this summer in his professional career was at Boise where he hit .354 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 18 games. He was then promoted to Class A Daytona in the Florida State League, where he hit five home runs with 14 RBI in 16 games. Add in his AFL stats along with two games in the Arizona Rookie League and across three levels, Bryant hit .346 in 205 at-bats with 15 home runs amongst his 39 extra-base hits while driving in 39 runs.

Success like that and a great attitude and work ethic has Cub fans and fantasy players wondering when he will make his first appearance in Wrigley Field. Sorry, but I can’t give you an easy answer to that – largely because while Bryant is currently playing third base, most scouts don’t think he will play there at the major league level. While he has the arm for third, his 6’5” frame makes it difficult for him to be a good third baseman and many think he will have to move to right field or first base at higher levels.

Well, as long as Anthony Rizzo is playing first base, we can rule that out as Bryant’s position. The Cubs also have several young outfielders including Bryant’s Mesa teammates Jorge Soler and Albert Amora. They also have power hitting shortstop Javier Baez, who has been moved to third base to hasten his arrival with Starlin Castro holding down that spot.

Trades notwithstanding, Bryant’s arrival date will be up to Theo Epstein’s judgment on the development of all the young bears, tempered by his wanting to appease Cub fans or increase attendance. Logic would say that Bryant spends a year at Double-A and/or Triple-A developing his defense at third or possibly learning to play right field. In my opinion, he could hold his own in the NL with a mid-season callup and his defense shouldn’t stop that unless Baez is ready to play.

So temper your drafting him for 2014 leagues, but make sure to get him if you can in keeper/dynasty leagues.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:47
Surprise Saguaros Win AFL Crown PDF Print E-mail
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 00:00

In a quick (2:29) and quiet (2-0) championship game, the Surprise Saguaros beat the Mesa Solar Sox to win the 2013 Arizona Fall League Championship.

While I sense that most fans wanted to see some balls go over the walls at Scottsdale Stadium, a combined shutout was a great effort by the six Surprise hurlers who quieted the Solar Sox bats, especially Kris Bryant and C.J. Cron who both went 0-for-4.

Starter and game winner Eduardo Rodriguez (BAL) gave up just two hits while striking out four in the first three innings. It was the southpaw's best outing of the Fall League. Five Surprise relievers held the Solar Sox scoreless with just three hits over the next six innings.

On offense, the Saguaros scored the only run they needed in the second inning on a long double to center field by OF Henry Urrutia (BAL) and a run scoring line drive single to center field by catcher Jorge Alfaro. The other run came in the eighth inning on singles by shortstop Jonathan Schoop (BAL) and second baseman Mookie Betts (BOS) sandwiched around a sac bunt and a walk.

Alfaro also contributed on the defensive side, throwing out two would be Mesa base stealers as well as blocking several pitches in the dirt in the sixth inning when the Solar Sox loaded the bases but could not push across a run.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:34
Mixed Up Drafting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pasko Varnica   
Saturday, 09 November 2013 00:00

 A funny thing happened on the way to completing the auction at the BaseballHQ First Pitch forum this past weekend in Phoenix*. We stopped halfway; many roster slots were left unfilled. Todd Zola, who was the auctioneer, did his best to maintain a brisk pace, but we wanted to make it to the AFL All- Star game and simply ran out of time. It was decided that the rest of the rounds would be completed using an online snake draft. Combining an auction and a snake draft was a revelation for me.

Afterwards, I exchanged comments and opinions about drafts that are half auction and half snake with other attendees and conference speakers. According to their comments, the auction/snake draft combo appears to solve the deficiencies that are inherent in auction and snake drafts. You see, I like the auction and find snake drafts essentially unfair no matter what rule one uses to determine the selection order. In my opinion, very few people will pass on the opportunity to have the first or second pick and get Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout.  Or Robinson Cano or Andrew McCutchen, if that is your preference.

However, many fantasy baseball players see auctions as too time consuming and find figuring out the dollar values of the late rounders quite complex, to mention only a couple of typical comments. Fear of change should probably be added to the mix.

The hybrid method would allow everyone to have an equal chance to get their hands on the highly sought after top players while solving the dilemma of the late rounds. Once the top players are auctioned off, the rest of the draft could proceed as snake.

Let’s look at how to set up a combo auction/snake draft:

  • How many rounds should be dedicated to auction? I suggest anywhere between 10 and 14, ideally 11 or 12, assuming a standard 23-player active roster. That said, even a three-round auction could be viable.
  • The auction budget should maintain consistency with the dollar value of the available player projections. For example, an 11-round auction should lower the budget from $260 to around $240. A three-round auction should have a small budget of less than $100.
  • Players picked up in the snake draft should be given a dollar value, ideally but not necessarily $1. Bench players, once activated, should be assigned a dollar value anywhere from, say, $1 to $5.
  • An in-season top budget per team should be implemented as a league rule to prevent dump trades. Teams should not be allowed to exceed the budget threshold. The threshold should be higher than the auction budget, but not too much higher. Say, $280 or so when the auction budget is $240.

I urge the readers who are using this combo method today for their fantasy baseball drafts to share their experience and tell us about their league rules. I would not be surprised to hear that more than a few Mastersball readers adopted it years ago.

*If you have not seen it, check out the 1966 movie “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 11:19
AFL Games on MLB Network This Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 00:00

The MLB Network will broadcast five Arizona Fall League games live this week, letting you see many of the prospects already featured in this blog or in the Fall Stars Game last Saturday.

The games will be broadcast on the network by Paul Severino and Joe Magrane, who also did the Fall Stars Game. The five games will also be testing MLB’s instant replay system which will go into effect in the 2014 season.

The MLB Network will send feed from the truck to a monitor on the field where the umpire crews will be able to look at a replay and judge whether there needs to be a change from the ruling on the field. AFL managers will have challenges just like MLB managers will have next year. Balls and strikes are not subject to challenges and replays.

Here are the games that will be broadcast this week:

Tuesday, November 5 at 9:05 PM ET – Mesa Solar Sox @ Salt River Rafters

Wednesday, November 6 at 9:05 PM ET – Salt River Rafters @ Scottsdale Scorpions

Thursday, November 7 at 9:05 PM ET – Scottsdale Scorpions @ Salt River Rafters

Friday, November 8 at 9:05 PM ET – Glendale Desert Dogs @ Scottsdale Scorpions

Saturday, November 9 at 9:05 PM ET – Peoria Javelinas @ Salt River Rafters

(I strongly suggest that you check your local schedule for your channel that carries the MLB Network as not every game may be broadcast live in every market)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:06
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