This is Week 6, the final installment in our weekly look-in that covers several Atlanta Braves prospects in the Arizona Fall League.
On Friday, the Scottsdale Scorpions wrapped up its 2019 AFL season, capping off the last bit of live baseball for eight Atlanta Braves minor leaguers.
To get caught up on the rest of our 2019 AFL reports:
We'll talk about how each Braves' player performed, both this past week and overall, but first let's look at how the fall season ended for the Scorpions.
Week 6 recap
After playing rather well in Week 5, Scottsdale returned to its poor form from Week 4, going winless this past week (0-4 record). The Scorpions didn't put much of a fight, either, getting outscored 23-6 in the process.
The team's only competitive contest was its 4-3 loss to Peoria on Monday, a game in which only one Braves' representative participated, struggling outfielder Gary Schwartz.
Tuesday was a day off for the Scorpions — as well as the other five Arizona teams — followed by a 6-1 loss to Peoria, again, on Wednesday. Scottsdale finished AFL play on a sour note, dropping its final two games by a combined score of 13-2:
- Thursday: lost 10-2 vs. Surprise
- Friday: lost 3-0 vs. Mesa
Overall, it was a bad week for the Scorpions and a rough way to end the season. It appeared that perhaps Scottsdale had been overmatched throughout the entire fall season, as the team will wrap it up for the winter as the worst team in the AFL.
A disappointing 'fall'
Despite struggling to win games and ending the season with the worst record in the AFL (not counting the five Mexican teams), the Scorpions did well to avoid last-place offensive numbers (for the most part).
As a team, Scottsdale posted a .230 batting average (4th) and .654 OPS (5th), all while ending the 29-game season with 16 home runs (t-4th). However, the Scorpions' also tallied 306 strikeouts — 23 more than any other team in 2019.
The lineup lacked very much power, as San Francisco Giants' top prospect Joey Bart led the team with 4 homers and a .767 SLG%.
New York Mets No. 3 prospect, shortstop Andres Gimenez, paced the offense with a .371 batting average, though he only played in 19 games.
Other leaders on the team consisted of: Philadelphia Phillies top prospects, third baseman Alec Bohm (.925 OPS / 19 games); Toronto Blue Jays eighth ranked prospect, shortstop Logan Warmoth (.837 OPS / 17 games); and Giants' 24-year-old third baseman, Jacob Heyward (.717 / 12 games).
The pitching side of things looked a bit better. Scottsdale hung in there with a 3.38 ERA (3rd-lowest), surrendering only 15 home runs as a group (fewest in the league).
The team's success on the run-prevention side translated well when it came to strikeouts, though not when compared to the rest of the league. The Scorpions finished last in total punchouts, with 260, but that's still 9.36 K/9.
Howard and Beck finished Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on the Scorpions strikeout leaderboard; with the former going 1-1 with 27 strikeouts and a 2.11 ERA in 6 starts (21.1 IP) and the latter finishing 1-2 with 23 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA in 6 starts (22.1 IP).
JoJo Romero, another Phillies minor leaguer (No. 8 prospect), led the bullpen, as he was Scottadale's shut-down reliever. The 23-year-old Romero allowed just one run in 10.2 innings (and it was a homer) worth of work this Fall, ending his AFL season with a solid 0.84 ERA.
Other strong pitchers for the Scorpions this fall were Mets No. 20 prospect Ryley Gilliam (0.96 ERA / 7 games); Giants High-A reliever, Frank Rubio (1.64 ERA / 9 games); and Blue Jays minor leaguer, Mike Ellenbest (1.59 ERA / 8 games).
Now for the Atlanta Braves players…