Arizona Fall League players identified
Update: Or, if you want real in-depth analysis, see Jay’s post above.
When he finally signed his contract, all indications were that Danny Hultzen would make his debut in the organization with the Peoria Javelinas in the AFL. Today, we find out who gets to join him. The complete list:
With Moore, it sounds like they want to take it easy and rather than trying to push him back to the majors in September, will use this venue instead to get him some work on the road to recovery. Franklin is an understandable choice as a top hitting prospect, and could use the extra time also, since he just recently returned to AA to pick up where he left off with first a concussion and then mononucleosis. And since Chiang is new to the system, I think the front office may want a longer look to figure out what they have in him.
In the hitter-friendly environment of the AFL, who gets assigned to pitch is kind of a grab bag. It occasionally includes star prospects – Hultzen, #1 overall pick Gerrit Cole is a possibility, and even Strasburg pitched there two years ago. But because teams are leery of damaged psyches, or they’ve already shut down prime arms to protect against overuse (Paxton, Walker), it can often skew toward a random assortment of arms. In this case, though, there’s at least a legitimate reason to be interested in the remaining guys.
Moran is the last former Tar Heel from the 2009 draft and could be a lefty specialist out of the pen. Hensley is a starter who has missed some time with injuries, meaning this is a chance for some additional work and to see if he can reach his potential. Forrest Snow (no relation that I know of) is a local kid from UW who was taken in the 36th round, which would seem to make him just filler, yet since then he’s moved from the bullpen to the rotation, picked up velocity, and jumped from low-A Clinton to AAA Tacoma this year. Some of his numbers are ugly because of the California League and PCL environments, and the AFL may not be any better in that regard, but it seems the front office wants to see more of what he can do.