The Arizona Fall League, an off-season league that features many of baseball's top prospects, has been underway for the past two weeks. The early returns have seen a number of young hitters dominating, not surprising given the hitter friendly environment. Let's take a look at some of the top performers in the league:
- The Chicago Cubs have a pair of young hitters, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora, that have dominated the first two weeks of the season. Bryant enters Sunday hitting .423/.448/.962, leading the league with four home runs and 12 RBI. Bryant earned AFL Co-Player of the Week honors with Milwaukee Brewers outfield prospect Mitch Haniger.
Almora is also hitting above .400, batting .417/.440/.792. Almora was picked No. 6 overall in the 2012 draft, while Bryant was selected No. 2 overall in the 2013 draft. The Mesa Solar Sox have started the season 7-1 thanks to the Cubs' young hitters.
- Atlanta Braves pitcher Juan Jaime turned heads with his velocity, sitting a 99-100 and touching 103 mph, reports Zach Mortimer of Baseball Prospectus. Jaime has battled injury issues, missing 2010 and 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He seems to have recovered from the injury, and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com sees a future for Jaime in the Atlanta bullpen:
...his arm strength is legitimate with a plus plus fastball that sits in the upper-90s. His secondary stuff lags behind -- he throws a slider and changeup inconsistently -- but that one pitch might be enough to put him in the back end of a bullpen.
- Another pitcher who has already undergone Tommy John surgery, Nationals southpaw Sammy Solis, has been one of the more impressive starting pitchers in the league, going 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his first two starts. He looked dominant in his second start of the year, striking out eight in four innings of work.
Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball wrote a nice article about the pitcher, which includes video of the starter.
For more of the Arizona Fall League, check out Minor League Ball's daily recaps.