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Arizona Fall League 2022


ashbury

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Twins Video

The Glendale Desert Dogs had several representatives from the Twins' farm system.  Denny Bentley, Francis Peguero, Jon Olsen and Ryan Shreve were the pitchers, and the position players were Alex Isola, Austin Martin and Edouard Julien.  Here's a few photos from my trip in late October.  For two of the three games I was joined by the illustrious USAFChief.

Driving there meant going through some dusty desert miles.  Here is one of the denizens of the town of Beatty NV where I quartered for the night at the picturesque Atomic Inn.

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I arrived in time for the evening game on the 27th.  Unfortunately the game itself wasn't much, from a Twins fan's point of view.  Austin Martin played CF and led off, but his 0-4 ledger was redeemed only by a walk.  I don't recall him really being tested on defense, but he handled the routine plays (which mainly involved picking up the ball after base hits).  Denny Bentley and Francis Peguero both appeared and neither one really shone - Bentley went 2 hitless innings while walking 4 and striking out 4, while Peguero gave up 3 unearned runs in his inning of work, striking out 2 but also surrendering 3 hits that "didn't count" for earned runs in light of the third baseman's error.  I didn't take any photos of that 9-6 loss to the hated Salt River Rafters.  Probably just as well.

Friday's game was more entertaining, and I devoted myself to snapping some shots.  Jon Olsen had a very fine afternoon on the mound, going 4 innings against the hated Surprise Saguaros and giving up only 1 hit while striking out 4 and walking nobody.  Olsen's had some bad luck with injuries after his college career and thus is a bit of a late bloomer as a 25-year old at high-A Cedar Rapids, but hopefully may have opened some eyes with his AFL showing.  Here he is in a couple of shots.

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Edouard Julien batted leadoff and played second base.  He got a hit and scored, and also later drove in a run. 

I don't recall any particular plays of note in the field for him.  Here's a pretty representative example of his swing.

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While Austin Martin was not in the lineup, he did coach at first base some of the time. 

Here he is with his ubiquitous head scarf underneath the helmet.

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Alex Isola was catcher in this game.  He had an annoying habit of lobbing the ball back to the pitcher.

I would love to know the details on that, such as whether it was just a temporary expedient for some reason. 

He did throw out a runner at second base during the game.  Here's a shot of his leg kick when at bat.

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On to Saturday's game, which was an 11 am affair to allow AFL fans to move from ballpark to ballpark and see a triple-header. 

The hated Mesa Solar Sox won this one 10-3.  In this game Martin and Julien hit leadoff and second, and were the double play combo.

So I was very interested in watching them interact. Here they are getting ready for their turns at bat.

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Here they are in the field getting ready for a play.

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Unfortunately the only interesting play was a routine double-play ball.

Martin bollixed up the throw so that Julien was pulled off the bag and did well to get even the single out at second base.   

No photo of that.  Back to the hitting.  Here's Julien taking a cut.

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Were any batters hit by a pitch in this game, you ask?  Why yes.  Here is one.  No damage done, though.

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Peguero got another inning of work in this game.  I neglected to get any photos of him this time either. 

Unfortunately, he gave up another run on a walk and a hit.  So not a good showing by him. 

Ryan Shreve did not appear while I was there. 

Well, that was my weekend.  A nice excuse for 3 days of great weather instead of the colder snowier conditions in northern Nevada.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

I've seen bigger crowds at a Lake Harriet pedestrian accident.

Thanks for the report and the pics.

That 11 am starting time for the third game of the home stand definitely ensured crowd noise would not be a factor.  And people do like the seats behind home plate since you don't often get those at a major league game.  So that photo just before the bottom of the first does present an unusual look that I didn't particularly notice until I posted it.  

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3 hours ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

Really nice report and great pictures. Sounds like a fun time in the sun. Any day watching baseball is better than a day at work, which is where I am now. Thank you.

The ability go right up close and take photos is just one of the appeals of the AFL.  Spring Training in Ft Myers is similar in that respect.  You can go right down to the front row if you're willing to be up the baseline a little, and if your camera is compact enough you can poke the lens through the protective netting, and with just a little zoom you have a photo of the on deck batter's left nostril if that's your thing. ?

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I do go to Ft. Myers for S.T. and I enjoy listening to the players interactions. I never will forget a bet between Cuddyer and Torii Hunter one year that Cuddyer (righty) could/could not hit a baseball off a batters tee over the right field fence in 10 swings. This was after Cuddyer and Hunter had been watching Mauer (lefty) hitting off the tee toward right field and hitting zero baseballs over the fence. On the 10th and last swing Cuddyer hit it over the right field fence and Hunter went crazy. When I asked Hunter what they bet, he said they didn't bet anything, but a cart fee could possibly have been mentioned. 

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