The KC Royals sent eight players to the prestigious Arizona Fall League and each showed moments of why they can be prospects. But all-in-all, it was not a great showing by the Royals for the Peoria Javelinas.
Let’s first take a look at the four pitchers.
Jason Adam had an up-and-down fall league season, much like his regular season. Overall, he was 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in seven starts. Over 29 innings, he allowed 13 runs on 25 hits (four home runs) and seven walks. He did strike out 24 and opponents hit just .225 against him.
Adam allowed more than one run in three of his starts. Two of those he allowed three runs and the other (October 26th) he allowed six. On the positive side, he was a little more economical with his pitches and regularly had good strike-to-ball ratios.
Noel Arguelles returned to the mound in the AFL after ending the regular season on the DL. Things did not go so well for a guy looking to prove the Royals made a good decision on signing him out of Cuba. Arguelles had an 8.76 ERA in nine games. Over 12.1 innings, he allowed 12 runs on 12 hits and 15 walks. He only struck out seven and opponents hit .293 against him.
Four of his nine appearance were scoreless. Two of those appearance came without a walk. Arguelles‘ best outing came in his first appearance. On October 11th, he allowed two hits and a walk over two scoreless innings.
Angel Baez was in the AFL to make up for lost time due to injury. He also had an up-and-down time with Peoria. Overall, he was 2-0 with a 7.82 ERA in nine games. In 12.2 innings, he allowed 11 runs on 14 hits (four home runs) and nine walks. He did strike out 19, but opponents hit .269 against him.
Baez started the season with a three inning relief stint (4H, 2R, BB, 5K) and ended the season with two outings of one scoreless inning each. In his first three outings, he allowed runs. However, he only allowed runs in two more outings after that.
Malcom Culver had a solid second stint in the AFL. He was 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in ten games. In 12.2 innings, he allowed six runs on nine hits (one homer) and three walks while striking out seven. Opponents hit just .205 against him.
Culver only allowed runs in three of his outings. He ended the season not allowing a hit or run in three of his last four relief appearances, further cementing himself as a legit relief prospect for the Royals.
Now to the hitters and strikeouts were a major issue (like it always is).
Orlando Calixte played both second base and shortstop for Peoria. He struggled with the bat, going just 10-for-55 (.182) in 16 games. He had two doubles, a triple, and a home run. Calixte scored six runs and drove in six. He walked just once, but struck out 15 times.
Calixte was solid in the field, making just two total errors.
Cheslor Cuthbert was the one player who did not have major problems with the strikeouts. He struck out eight times compared to four walks. However, he only went 8-for-44 (.182) and did not play the final week.
Cuthbert hit two doubles and a home run. He scored five runs and drove in five. He committed just one error at third base.
Lane Adams had major issues with the strikeouts and his defense in right field in the AFL. Alot of that I attribute to the amount of games he played all season (145). Adams struck out 20 times (compared to seven walks) in 14 games. He hit just .146 (7-for-48). He also showed very little power, hitting just one extra base hit (a double).
Jorge Bonifacio used the AFL to make up for lost time, as he had two stints on the DL during the regular season. He also missed a week in the AFL. He went 13-for-61 (.213) in 18 games for the Javelinas. Bonifacio did hit five doubles, but no home runs, and only drove in four runs. He also struck out 14 times, compared to six walks.
The AFL is a learning experience and pits the game’s top prospects against each other. Hopefully all eight learned something that will help them during the 2014 season.