With the Arizona Fall League winding down, it pains me to say that my coverage of both the league and its prospects is nearing an end. But don’t worry; I’ll have plenty of great stuff this offseason to keep you entertained.
Over the last week, many of the game’s top prospects have finally started swinging the bat to their respective potential. At the same time, there are several prospects who’ve enjoyed a breakout fall campaign and, in turn, have made a strong case for such consideration.
So, here’s a look at the Arizona Fall League’s hottest hitters.
Slade Heathcott, OF, New York Yankees: .371/.487/.597, 9 XBH, 14 RBI, 5 SB, 14/12 K/BB (17 G)
Having a breakout fall campaign; hit first AFL homer on Tuesday and has now collected an extra-base hit in seven straight games; absolutely mashing over last 10 games: .459/.565/.838, 9 R, 17 H, 9 XBH, 11 RBI, 4 SB and 7/7 K/BB.
Nate Roberts, OF, Minnesota Twins: .474/.592/.667, 14 R, 7 XBH, 6 SB, 6/11 K/BB (16 G)
Left-handed hitting outfielder owns league-leading .474 batting average after posting an .860 OPS with 27 stolen bases and 37/44 K/BB in 76 games for Low-A Beloit; last 10 games: .447/.543/.658, 9 R, 17 H (6 multi-hit games), 2 HR and 5/5 K/BB; 6-for-11 against southpaws in AFL.
Jake Marisnick, OF, Toronto Blue Jays*: .314/.380/.457, 6 XBH, 5 SB, 20/3 K/BB (19 G)
Swing looked terrible in my look, as was his approach; luckily he has athleticism and baseball IQ to make necessary adjustments; has hit safely in nine of last 10 games, though strikeout-to-walk rate is anything but ideal; last 10 games: .432/.500/.622, 16 H, 3 EXH, 7 RBI, 9/1 K/BB; *traded to Miami Marlins on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
George Springer, OF, Houston Astros: .290/.429/.613, 10 XBH (4 HR), 14 RBI, 5 SB, 18/13 K/BB (19 G)
Still a big fan of his tools and upside despite swing-and-miss tendency and inability to make significant adjustments at the plate; possesses some of the more impressive raw power in minor leagues; last four games: 8-for-16, 6 R, 6 XBH (3 HR), 6 RBI and 4/2 K/BB.
Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego Padres: .322/.381/.517, 9 XBH (4 HR), 15 RBI, 6 SB, 20/6 K/BB (21 G)
While high strikeout total leaves something to be desired, his approach is actually pretty impressive; seemingly poised for huge 2013 season; last 10 games: .356/.412/.556, 12 R, 5 XBH, 9 RBI and 10/4 K/BB.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals: .321/.418/.487, 11 XBH (10 2B), 11 RBI, 4 SB, 14/13 K/BB (21 G)
Bat has come alive after injury-plagued season and slow start in AFL; has collected multiple hits in four of last five contests; last 10 games: .432/.500/.649, 9 R, 16 H, 7 XBH, 6 RBI and 6/6 K/BB.
Nick Franklin, 2B/SS, Seattle Mariners: .315/.407/.493, 8 XBH (2 HR), 22 RBI, 15/12 K/BB (19 G)
Not a fan of his right-handed swing, but left-handed swing features some serious pop; more likely to be a second baseman in major leagues; last 10 games: .308/.417/.436, 4 XBH, 14 RBI, 9/8 K/BB.
Billy Hamilton, CF, Cincinnati Reds: .273/.349/.382, 11 R, 3 XBH, 10 SB, 9/7 K/BB (15 G)
Finally wreaking havoc on basepaths and creating runs for the first time this fall; don’t read into less-than-impressive AFL stats—it’s been a long year for him; last four games: 6-for-13, 5 R, 4 RBI, 5 SB and 1/2 K/BB.
Vinnie Catricala, 3B, Seattle Mariners: .273/.306/.409, 5 XBH, 13 RBI, 17/4 K/BB (18 G)
Huge 2011 season made him a candidate to reach the majors during 2012 season, but posted a .640 OPS in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League instead; he finally found a semblance of rhythm at the plate; last six games: 11-for-26, 5 XBH (2 HR), 8 RBI, 8/3 K/BB.
Zach Collier, OF, Philadelphia Phillies: .350/.452/.517, 7 XBH, 3 SB, 12/10 K/BB (18 G)
Started to heat up when in my look on Nov. 5; much more explosive player than numbers suggest; last 10 games: .389/.532/.583, 5 XBH, 7 RBI, 3 SB, 11/6 K/BB.
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