The 2011 Arizona Fall League will wrap up this evening, as the Salt River Rafters are set to take on the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL Championship Game. This year’s Arizona Fall League featured some of the best young talent Major League Baseball had to offer. Let’s see which players shined the brightest during the 2011 AFL season.
The Arizona Fall League is regarded as a hitter’s league, so it should be no surprise to see some of the ridiculous numbers compiled by its participants.
The guy that stands out offensively to anyone who’s followed the AFL this season is Mike Olt, third baseman of the Texas Rangers. Olt was the only player in the 2011 Arizona Fall League to reach a double digit home run tally (13). Olt also drove in 10 more runs (43) than anyone else in the AFL. Each of these impressive totals was very close to Arizona Fall League records.
Colorado’s Nolan Arenado was another one of the Arizona Fall League’s best hitters. Finishing with the most doubles (12) and second most RBI’s (33), Arenado had a solid AFL season for the Rafters. The 20-year-old maintained the Arizona Fall League’s third best batting average (.388) and finished with an OPS of 1.059 over his 29 games played.
Other top offensive performers in the 2011 Arizona Fall League include; Jedd Gyorko of the Padres (1.204 OPS), Kansas City’s Wil Myers (1.156 OPS) and Washington’s Bryce Harper (14 extra base hits, 26 RBI’s).
While pitchers aren’t favored when they’re throwing in Arizona, several hurlers did quite well for themselves this season.
The big name that sits atop several AFL pitching categories is Mariners top pick Danny Hultzen. Over his six starts and 19 1/3 innings pitched, Hultzen maintained an impressive 1.40 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. During his first taste of professional ball, Hultzen struck out 18 while only surrendering five free passes.
Another Mariners pitcher was able to post solid numbers in the 2011 Arizona Fall League. Though he made most of his appearances in relief, Forrest Snow was nonetheless impressive for the Peoria Javelinas this fall. Snow pitched in 10 games spanning 16 1/3 innings, giving up only 10 hits, three walks and two earned runs in that time. The 22-year-old struck out 16 batters and maintained an ERA and WHIP of 1.10 and 0.80.
Other top arms in the 2011 Arizona Fall League include; Terry Doyle of the White Sox (1.98 ERA over 27 1/3 innings), Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole (3.12 ERA, 0.93 WHIP over 15 innings) and Steve Johnson of the Orioles (2.96 ERA over 24 1/3 innings).
For more on the minor leagues, be sure to check out Seedlings to Stars.