The Arizona Fall League is the premiere fall/winter league for prospects to play in. While there are other leagues around the world, the AFL is the one that draws more of the top prospects in baseball than any other league. The Cincinnati Reds sent eight players out to the greater Phoenix area this year to play in the league for the Glendale Desert Dogs under one of their own – Dayton Dragons manager Luis Bolivar. Let’s take a look at how those eight prospects have performed so far.
The Position Players
The catcher has been hitting since the league got started this year, but his weekend really boosted what he was doing. Stephenson started on Friday and Sunday, going 5-10 with three doubles. That pushed his line up to .414/.485/.621 with six doubles in eight games played. He’s walked three times and he’s struck out just three times. Behind the plate he’s thrown out three runners, good for a 43% caught stealing rate.
The shortstop was one of the biggest risers in the farm system this year. The Cuban infielder who turned 21 at the start of the year was among the league leaders in the Florida State League in most offensive categories, and the Reds wanted to get him a little more time. Like Stephenson, Jose Garcia has played in eight games so far. Unlike Stephenson they haven’t gone as well. The infielder is hitting .226/.294/.355 with three steals, a double, and a home run.
The 2018 #5 overall draft pick, Jonathan India began the AFL season in a huge slump. Through the first six games played he was 1-29. But he got things going in the right direction on Friday and Saturday. Friday night he went 1-3 with three runs batted in. Then on Saturday night he went 3-4 with his first home run of the AFL season. Overall he’s hitting .139/.238/.250 with four walks, 12 strikeouts, a double, and a home run.
It’s been rather limited action for Stuart Fairchild in Arizona. He’s only played in four games thus far. The outfielder has hits in three of those games, including a double. He’s hitting .267/.267/.333 through 15 at-bats.
The right-handed reliever has had a strong showing to this point in the Arizona Fall League. The 23-year-old has pitched in six games and allowed just one run over his 7.0 innings. Moreta has given up just four hits, walked two, and he’s struck out eight hitters to go along with his 1.29 ERA.
After missing most of the regular season, the Reds sent Jordan Johnson out to Arizona to make up for some lost time. The right-handed starter was working his way back on rehab assignments when the season ended. He’s only pitched in two games, both starts, and he’s had some struggles in each. In his first start he allowed two runs in 3.0 innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Two weeks later he made his second start and allowed three runs in 4.0 innings with five walks and six strikeouts.
The right-handed reliever posted a 2.72 ERA for Daytona this season, showing off strong control and racking up plenty of strikeouts along the way. The Reds sent him out to Arizona to get an extended look against more advanced hitters. He had a hiccup on September 26th, allowing three runs – including a homer, in an inning of work. But he’s been good outside of that outing. His ERA sits at 4.50 in 8.0 innings with a walk and eight strikeouts.
The former shortstop has pitched well since moving to the mound in 2017. After spending much of the year in Double-A he was sent to Arizona to continue his season. Things haven’t gone well for the right-hander. He’s pitched in five games and allowed two runs in two of them and an earned run in another. His ERA currently sits at 7.94 with 10 hits allowed, three walks, and he has four strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.