Archive for the ‘Arizona Fall League’ Category

aaron-sanchez

OK, so it’s return-to-normalcy time here, at least until the Winter Meetings get started on December 9th– though I’m sure there will be all kinds of other fun stuff to happen between now and then. There should be at least a transaction or two, and the non-tender deadline will pass, which will allow us– and the rest of the baseball world– to ask the sorts of questions that APODionysus of Baseball Arcade did this morning, such as, is “J.P. Arencibia, Starting Catcher” scarier than Cthulhu? Zombies? Freddy Kruger?

The answers may surprise you!

Anywho… in the meantime, here’s something else to get your mind off of the mayor’s at-home culinary habits, which I suspect we’ve all thought a little too much about so far today: it’s Aaron Sanchez!

Scout Bernie Pleskoff has some very kind words for the Jays’ top prospect in a video from MLB.com– money quote: improved command since the start of the Fall League– while Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus– in response to a question from theScore’s own Jonah Birenbaum– makes a very nice suggestion about when we might actually be able to see the kid we’ve dreamed on for so long actually set foot on the mound at the centre of the Rogers Centre’s sea of shitty, rugged, concrete-and-felt turf.

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stromanscreencap

Where were you during the most exciting, palpably thrilling moment of the Jays’ 2013 season?

No! Not Munenori Kawasaki’s home run [wank-off motion], or John Farrell tipping his cap at the frothing masses on that April Friday when we were all still so sure (mostly) that he’d fall on his fat fucking jaw as we romped in triumph through the 2013 season. I’m talking about Marcus Stroman ripping up the Arizona Fall League last night!

OK, so maybe that’s a stretch, but I don’t even know! There were great non-Jays moments in the postseason, and the winning streak lo those many months ago was pretty cool, I guess, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve been as giddy for baseball as I was last night, watching as Stroman worked a perfect two innings for the Salt River Rafters, striking out five.

Yeah, it was just the AFL. And yeah, his victims were “merely” Giants Double-A outfielder Jarrett Parker, Mets possible Rule 5 candidate Cory Vaughn, Pirates Double-A outfielder Alex Dickerson, one-time legit Giants prospect Angel Villalona, and Yankee A-ball prospect Peter O’Brian. But that’s kinda what 2013 has come to. Yet, while the competition may not have been terribly impressive, it was more about the way he did it, showing the mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider we’ve all heard about, while also getting rave reviews for a changeup he relied heavily on– which he explained was his plan in the video I posted in yesterday’s Daily Duce, as it’s the main pitch he’s been working on all year– and flashing a cutter as well. All of the pitches he commanded decently, though the impressive 19 strikes to six balls ratio is maybe a bit flattering, seeing as some of the swinging strikes were on pitches that more advanced hitters wouldn’t have chased.

Still, watching him was fun. It didn’t hurt, either, that Baseball America’s John Manuel was gushing over him on the MLB Network broadcast– and continued to do so into the half-inning following Stroman’s first three outs.

The chatter on Twitter– even before the game started, with Keith Law tweeting out that Stroman’s appearance was must-see stuff– certainly served to enhance the experience as well:

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