Way back in September, Dominic Verstegen listed the Top 8 ways you know it’s almost fall in Arizona. But now that fall is officially here, its presence in Arizona is best marked by the Arizona Fall League. We gave you a sneak preview of the Phils’ prospects on the Scottsdale Scorpions last month, but as reported first by Jim Salisbury our top prospect Sixto Sanchez has been shelved.
While there will be no Sixto Sanchez sightings on Arizona mounds, there is plenty of buzz about the Surprise Saguaros third baseman, wearing his father’s uniform #27. Vlad Guerrero Jr. had an off night yesterday, going only 1 for 4 with a walk, dropping his batting average to .556 and his OPS to 1.378. The Kid knows how to judge the strike zone though, giving a nod of approval to the ump here on one of those rare occurrences when he takes a strike.
The more common occurrence is that opposing teams will pitch around him, and he’ll gladly take his base on balls already well on the way to becoming this year’s AFL MVP.
As predictable as a Vlad Jr. hit or walk is, a Fall League game can be like a Cracker Jack box and last night’s surprise was Saguaros catcher Jeremy Martinez going 0 for 0 in the box score with four consecutive walks. It’s only the second week of the Fall League, and too early to judge anything, but the Phils have a first baseman who’s built like Aaron Judge in the form of Darick Hall.
It was nice to see three of the four Phillies’ position players in the lineup last night, with Hall as the DH. Although he didn’t reach base, two of the four hits mustered by the weak-hitting Scorpions came off the bats of right fielder Luke Williams and shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa.
Williams is an interesting player. Although listed as an infielder on the roster, having played all of last year at 3B in the minors, Luke was in RF last night. Tagged with an asterisk in the program as a Taxi Squad player (only eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays), he must have become a regular when Sixto Sanchez was yanked from the roster hence playing on a Monday evening.
The better Phillies outfield prospect is Austin Listi, who I imagine will be seeing considerably more playing time than Williams, but last night was simply having fun in the dugout despite the Scorpions’ 2-0 loss.