Feature Photo: Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers
Presenting our 2018 Arizona Fall League All-AFL teams! These players represent the best mix of prospect value and AFL statistical performance at each position.
Editor’s Note: We’ve added all of our recent scouting reports, spotlights, and live video from the Arizona Fall League to our 2018 sortable libraries at the links below:
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First Team All-AFL
Ruiz reached Double-A as teenager, especially impressive for a catching prospect. He’s an advanced receiver with sound glovework, and his hit-first profile gives offensive upside at a premium position.
Nevin was runner-up for the California League batting title in 2018, following up that performance by pacing the Fall League with a .426 batting average for Salt River. He’s a 1B-only, so he’ll need to mash. Nevin’s barrel-feel is plus, allowing projection on the power as his frame fills out.
Hiura’s .323/.371/.563 line earned him official AFL MVP honors. The blend of hit, power, and approach makes him a special bat and one of the top offensive prospects in baseball. His defensive progression at 2B this fall was equally enthusing, as he looked much improved at the position.
Chisholm raised his stock more than any player in the Fall League. He electrified the league with Salt River despite being a taxi squad player, showing his premium mix of athleticism, defensive ability, and offensive upside at shortstop. He has some overall wildness to his game that he’ll need to tone down, but there’s plenty of time to do so.
The top prospect in baseball did nothing to hurt his stock. Guerrero is a generational offensive prospect with a rare mix of power, plate vision, and contact ability. He’s stocky and doesn’t look like an infielder, but his defense was a pleasant surprise this fall.
Cameron hit his way to Triple-A during the regular season and continued the torrid pace for Mesa, posting a .903 OPS this fall and stealing nine bases. He’s a top 125 prospect in the game with a nice blend of polish and upside.
Robert missed lots of the regular season and headed to the AFL to make up time. After struggling to find a groove at the plate late last season, his .324/.367/.432 line for Glendale was a nice surprise. Robert is among the most physically gifted players in the minor leagues, a tooled up athlete with power and speed. How much he makes contact and taps into his offensive upside will determine if he reaches a true five-tool ceiling.
No player’s dominating performance this fall was more unexpected than McKenna, a speed/contact outfielder who was coming off a breakout season. He raked for Glendale, slashing .344/.474/.590 while playing solid defense in the outfield. He’s a fast-emerging prospect in the O’s system.
Alonso was one of the minor leagues’ primer sluggers during the regular season, keeping up that pace this fall with Scottsdale. He posted an .849 OPS and tied for the league lead in dingers. Despite the bat-only profile, Alonso has what it takes offensively to be a middle-order power producer.
Whitley missed most of the 2018 regular season and headed to Fall League to make up innings. His dominant performance with Scottsdale cemented his status as baseball’s best pitching prospect entering this off-season. He has the potential to be a frontline starter and only has some tinkering left to do before he’s ready to help the Astros.
Duplantier helped his stock this fall with a strong performance for Salt River. There’s an established track record of durability issues and the arm-action isn’t pretty, but when he’s healthy, Duplantier showed a power fastball/slider mix that projects to a middle-rotation role.
Showed dominating stuff in spurts, often being untouchable the first 2-3 innings of a start before tailing off. Bukauskas has excellent raw stuff and could be fast-tracked to the big leagues if Houston wants him in a ‘pen role. The long-term question is whether his most impactful utilization is as a starter or reliever.
Hernandez transitioned to the ‘pen this fall for Mesa and enjoyed immediate success. His stuff ticked up across the board, with a fastball that reached the high-90s and a dastardly power slider to left-handed hitters.
Pearson turned heads by touching 103 mph with his fastball in the Fall Stars Game. He started games for Surprise but had wildly inconsistent results in that role. Toronto will continue to develop their power-armed prospect in the rotation, but there’s a ways to go with the control and secondaries in order to get there. Realistically, we’re writing in Pearson as a potential late-inning ‘pen arm.