The Arizona Fall League season wraps up today as the Salt River Rafters take on the Surprise Saguaros in the championship game in Scottsdale. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and on MLB.com at 3 PM Eastern.
No Phillies prospects will be represented in the title contest, as their club, the Scottsdale Scorpions finished 14-22, placing last in the East division.
Salt River features minor leaguers from the Astros, D-Backs, Dodgers, Rockies and Tigers, while Surprise includes players from the Braves, Marlins, Rays, Rangers and Royals.
Despite Philadelphia farmhands missing out on the final game of the AFL season, let’s take a look at their fall league performances, with some players shining and others just getting by.
Lefty hurler Jake Diekman, who was added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster on Friday, performed exceptionally for the Scorpions. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pound reliever allowed just 1 earned run in 11 appearances (11 1/3 innings) while striking out 14 batters and walking 6. AFL opponents posted a lowly .079 batting average against Diekman, who also recorded 2 saves. The Nebraska native was originally a 30th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2007.
25-year-old first baseman Darin Ruf picked up his production during the latter portion of the AFL season, posting a .333 average over his last 10 games, but had a .239 mark overall for Scottsdale. The 6-foot-3-inch 220-pound righty batter also slugged 3 homeruns and drove in 14. Ruf, a 20th round draft choice in 2009, spent the 2011 season with Class A Advanced Clearwater and sported a .308/.388/.506 line in 133 games.
First baseman/third baseman/outfielder Cody Overbeck had a strong AFL showing, posting a .321 average with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 7 RBI. The 25-year-old has hit 24 homeruns in each of the last two regular seasons in the Phillies system. With his positional versatility, he should get a good look in spring training with the big club.
Outfielder Tyson Gillies had a rough go of it during AFL play. The 23-year-old batted .178 with 2 doubles, a HR and 7 RBI in 27 games in the autumn developmental league. The speedster who has missed a great majority of the past two regular seasons with hamstring and foot injuries also stole 4 bases without being caught. The Canadian born Gillies was acquired by Philadelphia as part of the December 2009 Cliff Lee trade with Seattle.
Right-handed pitcher Tyler Cloyd made 8 starts without much success. The 18th round pick from 2008 went 1-4 with a 4.35 ERA while serving up a .296 batting average against. The 24-year-old was solid throughout the 2011 regular season, posting a combined 9-4 record with a 2.77 ERA in 31 appearances for Clearwater and Double-A Reading.
BJ Rosenberg’s 5.14 ERA in 6 AFL contests was not very appealing. The same applies to Colby Shreve‘s 5.59 ERA in 9 games. Rosenberg was once a fast rising reliever within the Philadelphia developmental ranks, however he no longer appears to be on the rise as he posted a 5-7 record with 2 saves and a 4.28 ERA in 39 games (14 starts) during the 2011 regular season. Shreve, a Nevada native, was a 6th round draft choice from 2008. He posted a 2.87 ERA in 40 combined games for Class A Lakewood and High A level Clearwater this year. The 23-year-old still stands a solid chance at reaching Double-A Reading in 2012.
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.