Arizona Fall League comes to a close
The season has finally come to an end for Astros prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL Championship game will be played Saturday and, unlike last year, the team featuring players from the Houston organization won’t be involved. The Peoria Javelinas and the Salt River Rafters will square off Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale in the AFL title game. Salt River is trying to make it back-to-back championships. Last season’s Rafters team featured an Astros contingent that included Jason Castro and Dallas Keuchel, among others.
This year the Astros partnered with the Mesa Solar Sox and things didn’t turn out as well in the win column. Mesa dropped their last four games of the season to finish with a 10-20-2 record. Yes, there are ties in the AFL. That’s because it’s not all about the record in Arizona. It’s more about player development.
Sure, it was nice for a few of the Astros prospects to get a taste of winning last fall in Arizona. Most of those guys were on losing teams during the regular season. But this year was different. The Astros farm teams were better across the board and a couple saw post-season action. Lancaster even brought home the California League Championship.
Even though the Solar Sox had a losing record, several Astros prospects gained valuable experience along the way. Nick Tropeano, George Springer, and Jiovanni Mier all performed admirably against a higher level of competition. Reliever Chia-Jen Lo proved he’s fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery and ready to move up a level or two.
Here’s a look at the stats compiled by the eight Astros prospects who took part in the AFL in 2012.