Sunday, November 17, 2013

Down on the Farm: AFL Wrap-Introduction

The Arizona Fall League concluded play today, so it's time to review how the Giants representatives performed.  First, a few general comments about the AFL:

The AFL is a showcase league where the top prospects from each organization get to play against top competition and show off their skills.  It is generally limited to players with AA and AAA experience with each team getting one exception to send a lower level player.  There seem to be numerous loopholes and exceptions, though, as the Giants had 3 representatives who had not played higher than High A ball, Kyle Crick, Derek Law and Adalberto Mejia.  Well, Mejia pitched one game in AAA, so maybe that counted?

The AFL is generally a hitter friendly league.  It is played exclusively in the Arizona desert with ballparks and weather conditions that tend to make the ball fly.  In addition, many teams are reluctant to expose their best pitching prospects to opportunity for injury, especially if they have thrown a lot of innings in the regular season.

The AFL provides an extremely small sample size.  The season is only about 6 weeks long and most of the players do not appear in all of the games.  Scouting reports from the league are probably more important than performance.   It's always nice to see your team's prospects perform well on a stage that will get them noticed, but a poor performance is no cause for alarm and a good performance is no guarantee of future success.  The landscape is littered with AFL phenoms who never did anything of significance again.  Giants fans need not look any further than Buster Posey to see a player who didn't do so well down there and went on the win an NL MVP within a couple of years.

Over the next few days we will rundown the Giants prospects who participated.

Kyle Crick RHP
Cody Hall RHP
Derek Law RHP
Adalberto Mejia LHP
Andrew Susac C
Angel Villalona 1B
Jarrett Parker OF

Stay tuned!


  1. I look forward to hearing about all of them, but in particular about Susac...hopefully to hear some other opinions about him, to balance those from Baggarly's chat the other day.

    1. I didn't see Baggs' chat. I'll have to look it up.

    2. Baggs has made a couple of comments about Susac recently. He says some of the scouts he's talked to haven't been very high on him... lots of differing opinions. However, Baggs did make a comment in another recent chat that Susac that Susac might have had a monster year if not for his injuries... so it's been a little tough to get a read on the overall opinion of this guy.

      I think Susac's biggest issues are more related to health than performance. He seems to be one of those players that has injury concerns nearly every year. I'm very high on his talent, though. Probably higher than most, I would bet. But good hitting catchers are tough to come by, and Susac looks to have the ability to hack it a bit... I haven't seen the subpar defense that some scouts have mentioned from him either...

    3. I wasn't able to find the chat transcript. I'll have some comments about Susac when I get to his AFL wrap. I saw him play a couple of times when he was in the Cal League. My impression at the time was that he might not be quite stout enough to play catcher in the majors. He looks athletic and he certainly seems to have an idea what he's doing at the plate.

    4. Here's a video I hadn't seen yet, with former scout Bernie Pleskoff raving about Susac. It's just one opinion, but enough to get excited about... I share many of Pleskoff's sentiments about the kid, but he does fail to bring up the injury concerns much. Check it out if you have time, I think it's a worthwhile video.