I promised that I would recap what I saw last week at the AFL, so here is Part 2 of my impressions of the AFL.
- The person who impressed me the most last week was SS Brandon Crawford of the Giants. Combine this with the rumblings that the Giants are more interested in signing a backup for him as opposed to someone to compete for the starting job and we could have the first fashionable sleeper of 2012. In two games last week, Crawford hit the ball with authority and played good enough defense that he could stick with a solid spring.
- Another SS that had a good week was Seattle’s Nick Franklin. Franklin stole the show offensively and defensively at the Rising Stars game, which he needed given the lost season he had in the minors in 2011. Seattle is obviously a team in need of offense and if Franklin can start off strong in the minors I could see him getting the call early in 2012.
- Another Mariner that impressed was Danny Hultzen. The guys I went to the Rising Stars game arrived wanting to see what Gerit Cole would do and left talking about how dominating Hultzen was. I’m not going to begin to try and estimate what Hultzen’s ceiling is, but the lefty could be another pitcher fast-tracked for the majors. He is worth keeping an eye on.
- Speaking of Cole, his start on Saturday was horrible. And while the AFL is usually rough on pitchers, it seems amplified this year given the poor defenses backing these pitchers up. The important thing for Cole is his velocity was there.
- I spent a lot this trip looking at players I can build my keeper league team with and besides Crawford and Franklin, another guy I’m keeping an eye on is Texas IF Mike Olt. The bat looks like it is pretty close to MLB ready and the power is definitely there.
- Lastly, those who have been looking at Royals OF Wil Myers should be happy with the performance he has turned in this fall, especially given his struggles during the season. Myers played a decent RF when I saw him and he seems to be regaining confidence in his bat. The trade of Melky Cabrera has to be a positive sign that the Royals want to cash in on their young talent soon and I wouldn’t be surprised if Myers gets called up about the same time Eric Hosmer did last year.
I may or may not write up one more piece on the AFL but I do feel that I’ve shared almost all of what I wanted to. If you have any further questions about any of the prospects at the AFL, let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to respond.