Decided to stick with the closer venue today, the last day of the Fall League regular season, and head over to Talking Stick figuring we might see our new-found knuckleballer Mickey Jannis get into a game.
Mickey was gracious with the handful of fans seeking autographs, but was not going to pitch today. No matter, it was a beautiful afternoon to watch a game at our favorite field, and take in the last round of fandom until next fall, together with the famous platinum silver SuperFan Susan.
When we hit Clearwater Beach in March, a player I expect to see a bit more of in neighboring Dunedin is Rowdy Tellez. Rowdy plays 1B in the Blue Jays organization, and is a big prospect in more ways than one. Although he is only 20 years old he is listed at 6’4” and 245. I’ve been very impressed with him the few times I’ve seen him play, and was surprised to see that he was only a round 30 draft pick by the Jays two years ago. He put up a .293/.839 line for the Rafters, which should be good enough to get him an invitation to camp. Seeing a talented 1B wearing #44 takes me back to Willie McCovey.
The Fall League is essential for teams to see get a closer look at promising prospoects who have struggled in advancing from A to AA. This is paramount for players acquired as prospects in deals with other teams. This was the case for the D-Backs, for whom the beautiful Salt River Fields is home in March, as they kept close watch on Gabriel Guerrero – a key component of their deal in trading Mark Trumbo to the Seattle Mariners. Gabby struggled at AA, but did very nicely for the Rafters – and by the way, is a dead ringer for his uncle Vladimir, who some of you may recall fashioned a nice career for himself in the majors.
Here’s another familiar baseball family name: