So I assumed you’ve already tuned out the playoffs, what with the Tigers, Yankees and Cardinals all advancing. Instead, let’s take a look at October baseball Kansas City Royals style, the Arizona Fall League. The Royals sent eight players to Arizona, here’s a little bit about each of them and what we can hope to see.
J.C. Sulbaran- Absolutely the most interesting prospect in Arizona. He came over in the Jonathan Broxton trade and struggled mightily after joining Northwest Arkansas but that was almost entirely due to control issues. At just 22 years old, there is plenty of time for Sulbaran to blossom into a back of the rotation starter. Sulbaran has yet to take the mound yet in Arizona. A great sign for the Royals would be if Sulbaran dominates the lesser competition in Arizona and keeps his walks down.
Edwin Carl- 24 year-old pitcher with impressive peripherals, but that’s what you’d expect from a 24 year old that’s yet to get to AA. Carl has struck out over 11 batters per nine innings in his minor league career with an outstanding 5.4-1 K/BB ratio. Carl gave up two hits including a home run in his fall league debut.
John Keck- 24 year-old left handed relief pitcher that finally dominated high-A ball this season, earning a promotion to AA. Keck does not stike a lot of people out, and he struggles with his control. It’s a major long shot that we ever see him in Kansas City. Keck has already given up 3 unearned runs on 5 hits in just 1.1 innings this fall.
Justin Marks- 24 year-old left handed starting pitcher that pitched well in AA this season. Marks came to the Royals as part of the David DeJesus trade. A great performance is Anrizona could lead to an assignment in Omaha in 2012, putting him in line to fill a gap once the third or fourth Tommy John injury is sustained. Marks threw three hitless innings in his Fall League debut, walking two and striking out two.
Alex McClure- 23 year-old shortstop that has shown no ability to hit at any level. Played half a season in Northwest Arkansas in 2012 and posted an OPS of .525, which is just slightly below his career OPS. Mcclure is 1/6 wuth an error in two fall games thus far.
Whit Merrifield- 23 year-old outfielder/second baseman that has shown limited promise in his time in the organization. This is likely his last chance to make an impression on the organization. Merrifield has started the fall 2/8 with two runs scored, he’s also committed an error.
Brian Fletcher- 23 (soon to be 24) year-old outfielder that progressed to AA mid-season. Fletcher has 31 home runs in 857 career minor league at bats, but he would have to have an impressive fall and outstanding 2013 to have any chance to figure in the Royals long term plans. Fletcher is 3/10 with an RBI in three games of Arizona Fall League action.
Orlando Calixte- 20 year-old SS from the Dominican Republic that committed 46 errors in 123 games in 2012. Calixte did have his best year at the plate in 2012, smacking 14 home runs and posting a respectable .759 OPS. At 20, and already with 60 games at High-A ball under his belt, Calixte could really benefit if the time in Arizone helps him with the glove. Calixte is 3/9 in three games, and he’s yet to commit an error. An outstaning sign for the Royals would be if Calixte could end the fall with the same number of errors he has now, more realistically he needs to improve drastically on his ratio of an error every three games.