Arizona Fall League Kicks Off
The AFL kicks off today, just in time to make up for a couple of days without baseball. If you haven’t heard, the M’s have sent an impressive group of prospects to represent them in Peoria – Dustin Ackley, Phillippe Aumont, Josh Fields, Nick Hill, Anthony Varvaro, Joe Dunigan, and Juan Diaz for now, with Carlos Triunfel replacing Diaz in a few weeks. You can follow the progress of the M’s top prospects down in Arizona starting today, and Geoff Baker is spending the week in Peoria covering the beginning of the AFL season.
The first game starts in about twenty minutes, but for M’s fans, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Joe Dunigan is the only Mariner representative in the starting line-up, and he’s DH’ing to boot. Ackley will probably get into the game a bit later, and you have to think he’ll be starting more often than not.
One word of caution, though – AFL statistics don’t really mean anything. Very few teams send high quality pitching prospects, so when you combine that with the atmosphere they’re playing in, offense is usually through the roof. A hitter can put up huge numbers in the AFL without actually improving at all. Don’t read too much into any of the performances. It’s just something fun to follow.