While most of the nation’s collective focus has been on a fascinating MLB postseason, seven Orioles prospects have been battling away in the Arizona heat for the Salt River Rafters, who own a 5-5 record through the first half of the Arizona Fall League. In a closely fought season, four of the six teams are 5-5 with one each on 4-6 and 6-4 respectively.
Steve Wilkerson – the second baseman has appeared in seven games, hitting .333 (8-for-24) with an on base percentage of .448. The speedy infielder has legged out a pair of triples and also swiped a bag. He’s hit safely in six of the seven he’s played and has two multi-hit games. Against right handed pitching he’s hitting .467 (7-for-15).
Keegan Akin – the young left handed pitcher has made three relief appearances for the Rafters, working to an impressive 1.50 ERA through six innings of work. His best outing came last Wednesday where he tossed three scoreless innings against Mesa, allowing just one hit and striking out two. He also picked up the win. He’s allowed just one hit in his last four innings of work. Left handed hitters are 0-for-8 against him.
Luis Gonzalez – the 25-year-old left handed Dominican had a good season with the Frederick Keys and has continued that form this fall. In four relief appearances he’s worked through 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking just one. Left handers are hitting just .143 against him and right handers .167.
Ryan Mountcastle – the highly touted shortstop has played in eight games, hitting just .226 (7-for-31). Of the seven hits tallied though, three have been for extra bases with a pair of doubles and a home run. He’s knocked in five. After a slow start, he has sit safely in his last six games including a 2-for-5 outing against Glendale on Friday.
Tanner Scott – embarking on his third AFL campaign, the 23-year-old left handed starter is struggling to back up a strong season with the Bowie Baysox. In his two outings thus far, he’s allowed four runs (three earned) in just four innings of work. His most recent outing, on Friday, saw him allow four hits and walk two in two innings which resulted in three earned runs.
Anthony Santander – the outfielder who played 13 games with the Orioles down the stretch has struggled in Arizona, hitting just .115 (3-for-26) from his seven games thus far. Two of those hits came against Scottsdale on Friday 13 October where he went 2-for-5 and knocked in two. He’s struck out seven times and is hit-less in eight at bats against left handed pitching.
Jesus Liranzo – after an inconsistent season with the Bowie Baysox, the right handed Dominican has imploded in Arizona, allowing six earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings of relief across three outings. The worst outing of the three came on Saturday 14 October against Peoria where he allowed five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Here, he allowed five hits (two of which were long balls) and walked two. Right handers are doing all the damage, hitting .444.