Five More AFL Prospects To Watch
The Arizona Fall League always features plenty of prospects, though this year the talent pool seemed deeper than most. We stopped ourselves at 20 when we ranked the AFL’s top prospects, yet we easily could have kept going. If we had, here are five more players I would have included:
Sammy Solis, LHP, Nationals (Mesa): After missing all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery, he continued his comeback by leading the AFL in wins (five) and strikeouts (29 in 29 innings). Solis reached 95 mph with life on his fastball, showed the potential for a plus changeup and a solid breaking ball, and threw strikes.
Andrew Susac, C, Giants (Scottsdale): Sidelined for all of August with a shoulder injury, he returned in Arizona and batted .360/.507/.480 and topped the league in on-base percentage. With plus raw power and a good eye at the plate, not to mention at least average defensive tools, Susac could be a big league regular if he stays healthy.
Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Scottsdale): He might not be an everyday shortstop, but he can do a little of everything and play anywhere in the infield. Hanson is strong enough to hit for average with some surprising pop, and he has the above-average speed to steal bases.
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Surprise): The three shutout innings he threw in the league championship game were a truer indication of his ability than his 5.52 ERA in the AFL regular season. Rodriguez commands three pitches: a low-90s fastball, a solid changeup and a decent slider.
Matt Purke, LHP, Nationals (Mesa): One scout estimated that Purke is 90 percent of the way back to becoming the guy who got a $6 million offer from the Rangers out of high school and went 16-0 to lead Texas Christian to the 2010 College World Series as a freshman. On the road back from shoulder problems, Purke hit 94 mph with his fastball, got outs with a sweeping slider and flashed a good changeup.