It's been a fine Arizona Fall League season so far for the Blue Jay
farmhands playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, who lead the circuit
with a 14-8 record.
To put things in context, the league so far is hitting
.278/.363/.428. Walk totals are high, but everything else is
pretty typical. Here are the Desert Dog statistics, and a look at the Jay farmhands on the club.
Cannon is hitting .389/.505/.847. Even allowing for modest inflation in the desert environment, he is the dominant offensive player in a league filled with prospects. Still, getting hot for 3 weeks does not mean that much. For the season, he has hit .267 with 65 walks, 37 homers and 179 strikeouts in 547 at-bats. That is consistent with his 2005 performance. He still has work to do, but his AFL performance gives hope that he is making progress.
Thigpen is hitting .259/.386/.483 with 2 homers, 11 walks and only 5 strikeouts in 58 at-bats. He has caught some of the time, and controlled the running game well when he has done so. He is only 23, and there is every indication that he is going to be a solid major leaguer by 2008, if he can stay healthy.
Klosterman has has his season cut short by injury, but prior to the injury he was not overmatched. He is 24 and will start 2007 in double A.
McGowan has made 5 starts, and has been pretty good in most of them despite an ugly 1-3 record with a 5.59 ERA. 9 walks, 1 home run allowed and 18 strikeouts in 19.2 innings is in the AFL context above average pitching.
Yates has 5 appearances, 3 starting and 2 in relief. His 3 starts have all been excellent, and the 2 long relief outings have been good. With 5 walks and 21 strikeouts in 19 innings, Yates has been very, very effective. Counting only his AA work and his AFL work this year (he dominated in 14 innings in the FSL), his line for the season reads 146.1 innings, 3.44 ERA, 131 hits, 11 homers, 43 walks and 123 strikeouts. For a 23 year old pitcher, that is not bad at all. He will be moving up prospect lists.
Nothing new for Tracy. He has a blazing fastball and less than optimal control. His numbers are not pretty, a 6.23 ERA in 8.2 innings, but he really has not pitched any differently in Arizona than he did in AA during the season. One bad outing skews his result.
At 27 years old, DeJong is the classic organizational player, hoping for a break. He has pitched well enough in Arizona, with 3 wins and only 3 hits surrendered in 10 innings of work.
We will check back at the end of the season.