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AFL Report – Week 4: Jay Pitches In Fall Stars Game

(This report includes the games played through 11/5)

The AFL season turns the corner in Week 4, culminating in the Fall Stars Game where the top prospects (not necessarily performers) are showcased out in the desert. Tyler Jay was selected from the Twins and appeared in the game, recording the final two outs for the AFL West squad in their 4-2 loss.

Besides that, the Surprise Saguaros went 2-3 during the week, with three of the Twins relievers posting scoreless lines for their squad. Sean Miller also continued his recent success, and LaMonte Wade continued putting up LaMonte Wade-like stat lines.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo Tyler Jay)
Read on to find out how each of the Minnesota Twins prospects fared in the AFL during week 4 of the season!

(links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

Tyler Jay: One appearance, 1.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 ER’s, 2 HR, 2BB; 6.75 ERA (overall).

Gave up two HR’s on 10/31.

With Jay being the only Twins prospect selected to play in the AFL Stars game on Saturday, he made only one appearance on the week for the Saguaros, and it wasn’t a very good one.

In Tuesday’s 9-2 loss against the Peoria Javelinas, Jay was summoned for the top of the sixth inning with the score 4-2 Peoria. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a double play ball that gave him a chance to salvage a scoreless inning. He instead gave up back-to-back home runs to Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley, the number two and three hitters in the Javelinas lineup. With the score now 7-2, Jay got a ground out to end his inning.

Playing for the AFL West team in the Fall Stars game, Jay was brought in during the bottom of the eighth inning with one out, two men on base, and the tying run already across the plate in the frame. A single to the first batter put the East squad out front 3-2, and a sacrifice fly to the next made the final score of 4-2. Jay got a strikeout to end the inning, and none of the runs were charged to him. On a positive note, the Gameday tracking had him sitting 94-95 MPH with his fastball in the outing and 13 of his 19 pitches went for strikes.

LaMonte Wade: Four games, 4-15, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s; .255/.369/.400 (overall).

Wade saw action in all but one game on the week for Surprise, getting Halloween night off. As he is known to do, he reached base at least once in each game and raised his OBP in the AFL to .369.

In Monday’s 6-3 win on the road against Peoria, Wade batted second in the lineup and finished 1-4 with an RBI triple, run scored, and a walk. His triple followed another one from the hitter in front of him and put the Saguaros up 4-2.

Against the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday, Wade batted fifth in their 8-5 loss. After drawing a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, he advanced to third on a single and scored on sac fly to put Surprise up 2-0. He finished 0-3 with the run scored and two strikeouts. He also added an outfield assist, as he combined with Sean Miller to throw out a runner at home in the top of the eighth.

Wade batted third on Thursday, his first time taking up that mantle for his AFL team, and he delivered in the 8-6 loss to Mesa. He doubled in the first inning but was left stranded and added a single in the fifth to account for his two hits on the day. He also drew a walk in the second inning, finishing 2-4.

Back to batting fifth on Friday, he was 1-4 in their 4-1 win over the Salt River Rafters. He singled in the fourth inning but did not tally any other marks in his stat line.

Chris Paul: Three games, 1-12, 2 R’s, 2B, BB, 4 K’s; .250/.308/.375 (overall).

Paul played in three games during the week and was a bit quiet, with his only hit coming in the loss to Mesa on Thursday. That was a good game for him, however.

In the Monday tilt against Peoria, he was 0-4 with two strikeouts in the Saguaros 6-3 win. On Halloween he also 0-4 in the 9-2 loss to the Javelinas, striking out once. Of note in this one, Paul saw his first action in left field during the AFL season.

On Thursday, Paul closed out his week with a good line, finishing 1-4 with a double, walk, and two runs scored batting sixth in the order. His double came in the second inning and put runners on second and third before Surprise took a 4-3 with the single and three-run home run that followed. He led off the top of the sixth with a walk and later would his second run of the game on an RBI single that closed the score to 6-5 Mesa.

Andrew Vasquez: Two appearances, 3.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 3 K’s; 0.87 ERA (overall).

Vasquez again made an appearance in two games on the week, pitching multiple innings in their Halloween night loss, and another inning on Friday in a win.

He came on following Jay for the top of the seventh inning against Peoria, and although he gave up three hits in his two inning none led to any damage on the scoreboard and he also struck out three. 25 of his 39 pitches in the outing went for strikes.

In Friday’s win against Salt River, Vasquez picked up his second hold in the AFL as he came on in the seventh with his team up 3-1. He walked two batters in the frame, but worked around them to record another scoreless inning, and lower his ERA on the AFL season to below 1.00 on the week.

Ryan Eades: Two appearances, 4.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall).

Righthander Ryan Eades also saw action in two games on the week, going two innings in each appearance and picking up his second AFL win.

That came in Monday’s game on the road against Peoria, when he was pitching while his offense took the lead in the top half of the sixth. He had a one-two-three fifth inning, picking up the last two outs with strikeouts. In the sixth, he made it a little interesting after giving up a leadoff double, hitting a batter, and walking one to load the bases with one out, but got an infield fly ball and grounder to escape the jam and keep himself in line for that win.

Against Salt River on Friday, Eades made his first start of the AFL season and pitched two scoreless frames. The first hitter of the game singled to center field, but later got erased on a steal attempt which proved fortuitous, as the next hitter tripled but ended up stranded on third. In the second inning, he gave up a two-out walk but retired the other three, including a strikeout. He threw 35 pitches in the start, with 23 going for strikes.

Tom Hackimer: Two appearances, 2.2IP, H, 0 BB, 2 K’s; 3.12 ERA (overall).

The sidewinding Hackimer saw action in the loss to Peoria on Tuesday, and in Friday’s win against Salt River.

He entered the game on Halloween in the fourth inning, after a double had scored two and left runners on second and third with just one out. He stopped the bleeding with a grounder back to him on the mound that caught the runner on third out at home. Then, after plunking a batter, he got a fly out to end the inning. Back out for the fifth Hackimer faced just three hitters, striking out one and doubling off a runner on first on a bunt attempt after giving up a single.

Hackimer also picked up his second hold of the season in Friday’s win, when he came in to start the sixth inning. He got a ground out and a K for the first two outs before he hit another batter, but that runner ended up out at second base on a play the recap did not qualify as a caught stealing attempt (did he try to pull the “Little Big League” move after getting hit by the pitch?! I guess we’ll never know…).

Sean Miller: Three games, 3-12, 3 RBI, 3 K’s, SB (2); .316/.350/.342 (overall).

Miller saw action in the Saguaros wins on Monday and Friday, and in Wednesday’s loss. He batted ninth, eighth, and second respectively in those games, playing second base in two and shortstop in the third. After piling up the hits last week, Miller continued his recent success by collecting one in each game. In fact, his lines were the same in each: 1-4 with an RBI.

On Monday, his RBI single in the fifth inning tied the score at two. In Wednesday’s loss, he singled in the fourth inning, but collected his RBI in the ninth on a ground out that made the score 8-4. Miller final hit of the week came in the fifth inning on Friday, when his single to center brought in a runner that tied the game at one before they tacked on two more to take a 3-1 lead.

Other AFL/Minor League Links:

- Twins Daily’s own Seth Stohs has kicked off his offseason Top 50 prospects list with entries covering number 50 through 41, and 40 through 31. It’s hard enough for me to put together my top 10, so his work to go through 50 names you should know is truly extraordinary. You can’t beat the little information nuggets he puts out for these guys, either. It’s also very telling about the Twins system that he has several players who you should see on the MLB team soon populating these lists so early in his countdown.

- Also be sure to check out the Twins Daily forums, where several 40-man roster moves happened to kick off this week. Pitcher Nik Turley was claimed by the Pirates, lefthander Randy Rosario was claimed by the Cubs, and power-hitting outfielder Daniel Palka was claimed by the White Sox among a few other purges to clear room on the roster.

- Bill Mitchell of Baseball America, tackles the question the Twins have been wondering since drafting him with the sixth overall pick in 2015: Will Tyler Jay be a starter or reliever?

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

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13 Comments

Author's note: This is Week 4 of the AFL season ;)

There are no comments, but wanted to let you know I appreciate your update here, good to read up on what is happening in Arizona.

    • Steve Lein and RaymondLuxuryYacht like this
Thanks for the updates!
    • Steve Lein likes this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 08 2017 01:11 PM

Steve, are you filing your reports from Arizona?

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Steve, are you filing your reports from Arizona?

 

I wish! I would love to get down there for sure. Hoping I'll get to catch all the MiLB-ers at Spring Training again this coming year. 

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Deduno Abides
Nov 08 2017 10:06 PM
Scouting the stats line after just minimal innings, Jay looks like he’s doing the worst of the Twins pitchers. Fewest innings, most hits, most HRs, fewest Ks. Hopefully (the other guys are great) and Jay is getting a lot out of the non-game situations. It would be great to see him dominate like you’d expect a high draft college pitcher, but he probably needs time to build up from a long time off.

 

Scouting the stats line after just minimal innings, Jay looks like he’s doing the worst of the Twins pitchers. Fewest innings, most hits, most HRs, fewest Ks. Hopefully (the other guys are great) and Jay is getting a lot out of the non-game situations. It would be great to see him dominate like you’d expect a high draft college pitcher, but he probably needs time to build up from a long time off.

 

He's working innings... that's much more important than any of the stats he puts up. He missed so much time, it's just great that he's pitching. And, like you said, it's such few innings. 

    • howieramone2 likes this

Love the updates Steve, as always you produce, we are in your debt!

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Scouting the stats line after just minimal innings, Jay looks like he’s doing the worst of the Twins pitchers. Fewest innings, most hits, most HRs, fewest Ks. Hopefully (the other guys are great) and Jay is getting a lot out of the non-game situations. It would be great to see him dominate like you’d expect a high draft college pitcher, but he probably needs time to build up from a long time off.

 

I honestly don't believe the numbers matter too much for most guys. Yes, it's great to see them in this league against top competition (Nick Gordon led Surprise with a .346 average last year), but nobody is being sent there to "put up numbers." It's other things: Work on some polish, get in some innings, see how they stack up against better competition...

 

The thing I see with Jay, is the stuff is there. He's hitting 95MPH with his fastball, he's getting swings and misses. It's only6.2 innings so far for him and 7 appearances. 5 have been good, 2 not so good.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about this, because as you say, he missed a lot of time.

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht and howieramone2 like this
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clutterheart
Nov 09 2017 10:46 AM

 

 

The thing I see with Jay, is the stuff is there. He's hitting 95MPH with his fastball, he's getting swings and misses. It's only6.2 innings so far for him and 7 appearances. 5 have been good, 2 not so good.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about this, because as you say, he missed a lot of time.

 

I agree you can't read too much into the specific numbers he is putting up in the AFL.However, he hasn't ever been "lights out" for any prolonged portion of his pro career.He has a lot of built in excuses like "learning to start" or "recovering from injury" and those are valid and real.I just was hopeful he would come to the AFL and harness the potential we have been hearing about and show the team he could be a bullpen option out of spring.But it looks like we are going to have to keep waiting.  

 

 

I know I see these lists different than most of you, but for me this group slides to the back of the list.I want to see some prove of ability and not just wishes.These are all interesting stories and I hope that they prove to be as good as hoped for, but right now nothing about these five has me anticipating their arrival in MN and I am more interested in progress than promise. 

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Original Whizzinator
Nov 10 2017 08:33 PM
It's funny some of these guys who aren't projected with phenominal stuff or a pedigree like Moya or Hildenburger just have lights out numbers in the minors and are still just brought up like its an after thought and then maybe some like Hildy for example thrive. I guess you just never know. There sure is a lot of stress around high picks like Jay. The thing is even with his pedigree it is still just a crap shoot. If this guy works his ass off he has a chance. With him they maybe need to settle on a plan and ride it out.
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ashburyjohn
Nov 12 2017 08:35 AM

I got spoiled seeing Buxton and Rosario at the AFL in 2014. Neither pitchers nor batters have done anything similar to raise my hopes this year. Different players, different purposes... but still. Chris Paul, maybe - he had some nice at bats this weekend, so I'll be looking forward to Steve's take.


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