Sep 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Temple Owls mascot Stella on the field prior to the game against the Houston Cougars at Lincoln Financial Field. Houston defeated temple 22-13. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Week1 AFL Update

Why do I have a picture of a owl at the front of this piece? Read on a bit…

The Arizona Fall League is is full swing now with a week of play already in the books.  Let’s take a quick look at the Braves’ farmhands that are participating and their performances thus far (small sample size rules prevail for now; stat sources):

Yes, I do have to separate one player from the rest:  second baseman Tommy La Stella is leading his team – the Scottsdale Scorpions – in all of these categories:

  • .400 batting average
  • 1.171 OPS
  • .571 OBP
  • 4 walks
  • 4 hits (tie)
  • 2 doubles (tie)
  • 6 total bases (tie)
  • 5 RBI
  • .600 slugging (tie)
  • No strikeouts

All of that in only 10 official ABs (14 plate appearances over 3 games).  Oh, and no errors in the field… guess that also ties for the team lead!  Heck, even wunderkid Alen Hanson has 3 already.

So the owl stands alone this week… well, our owl does anyway:  that picture above is the mascot of the Temple University Owls… and its name?  Stella.

Okay – true –  it was a reach.  So somebody go tell our photo guys to snap some AFL pics for us, and we’ll show some actual players.

As for the rest of our hitters…

  • 3B Kyle Kubitza:  .273 (3 for 11), double, RBI, walk; but 6 Ks
  • SS Elmer Reyes:  no hits in 6 AB (1 walk, 2 K).  Hard to get ABs with Hanson on the team.
  • OF Robby Hefflinger:  .167 (2 for 12) with a double and RBI.  7K, 1 walk (leads team in K rate)


The Pitchers

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A bit of work to do here:

  • Aaron Northcraft:  7.71 ERA in 2.1 innings.  3 hits, 2 runs (both earned).  2 walks, 4 K
  • John Cornely:  9.00 ERA.  2 earned in 2 innings; 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 2 K.
  • Juan Jaime(shown at right) 5.40 in 1.2 innings – 1 earned run (a homer), 4 walks, 1 K.
  • Shae Simmons:  13.50 – though that’s 1 earned run while getting 2 outs – both by strikeout.  2 walks and 2 hits mess up his line, though.

At this point, no pitcher on the entire team has even reached 4 innings pitched, so as I say:  it’s early yet.

The Scottsdale team won their opener in rather dramatic fashion, but haven’t put enough hitting and pitching together since:  they are 1-4, and in third/last place of the East division behind 4-0-1 Mesa and 2-3 Salt River.  But there’s a ways to go:  26 games through the middle of November… we’ll keep you posted.




Tags: Arizona Fall League Atlanta Braves Tommy La Stella

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