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Arizona Fall League Recap: William Woods Dazzles with 7 Ks

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William Woods put up a strong start in his lone appearance and Luke Waddell had a big week.

Glendale Desert Dogs v. Peoria Javelinas Photo by Norm Hall/MLB Photos via Getty Images

It was another mixed bag this week for the Atlanta Braves prospects in the Arizona Fall League. For as good as William Woods was Victor Vodnik was the opposite. Luke Waddell has begun to heat up at the plate though Drew Lugbauer wasn’t able to stay hot later in the week.

Jesse Franklin

2 G, 1-6, 2B, BB, 3 K

AFL Totals: 13 G, 4-45, 1 HR, 1 2B, 8 BB, 21 K, .089/.268/.178

Jesse Franklin’s rough fall continues, but one of his two games was a solid showing that contributed to a close Peoria win. Franklin struck out twice in this game, but made the most of his other plate appearances. A fifth inning walk was part of the biggest rally for the Javelinas and Franklin came home to score on a three run home run that put them up 3-2. In his final at bat of the game he led off the 8th inning with a double and eventually came in to score on a wild pitch. That run was the winning run in the game as Peoria finished 6-5. Franklin went hitless in his final game of the week, though he did have a ball hit at 108.7 mph in his first at bat that was unfortunately directly to the right fielder.

Luke Waddell

3 G, 4-10, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB

AFL Totals: 14 G, 12-47, 4 2B, 7 BB, 6 K, 2 SB, .255/.345/.340

Luke Waddell has earned more consistent playing time for the Javelinas and he took advantage of it this past week with the strongest showing among the hitters. He was himself an instrumental piece in that 6-5 Peoria win as he had a hit and drew a bases loaded walk that gave them a 4-3 lead. His hit came later on to advance Franklin to third base where he would then score on a wild pitch. Waddell provided help in Peoria’s 4-0 win on Thursday with two hits and an RBI. Waddell went hitless in his first two at bats of the game but in the sixth inning got an RBI on an infield single to pad on insurance for Peoria. In the 8th he added a two out single but was stranded at first base. Waddell continued hitting in the final game of the week as he ripped a double and scored a run in a Peoria loss. After a 1-17 start to the fall league slate Waddell is 11 for his last 30 with 4 doubles and a .924 OPS.

Drew Lugbauer

3 G, 2-9, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K

AFL Totals: 12 G, 15-39, 5 HR, 9 BB, 14 K, .385/.510/.769

Drew Lugbauer was human this week, though he added a home run to open the week in a 7-4 win for Peoria. He started that game off with a single but was unable to score a run in a tie game. Two innings later he took matters into his own hands with a go ahead solo home run and Peoria never again trailed in the game. Lugbauer went hitless in his final seven at bats of the week and only reached in the final game on a walk.

Jake Higginbotham

1 G, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

AFL Totals: 7 G, 5.2 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 7 BB, 3 K, 3 HR, 12.71 ERA

Jake Higginbotham was brought in to pitch a low leverage outing for the Javelinas and clean up a game they lost 6-3 and he brought his best performance of the fall by far. He threw a clean inning and struck out two batters after having just one strikeout in his first six appearances.

William Woods

1 G, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

AFL Totals: 5 G, 17 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 10 BB, 17 K, 4 HR, 4.24 ERA

William Woods put together the most dominant start a Braves prospect has had this fall with four scoreless innings and a season-high 7 strikeouts. Woods pitched in a 0-0 game throughout his outing and retired the first seven batters of the game and of those seven he punched out four. He got into a bit of a pickle with one out in the third when he allowed consecutive two out singles, but he struck out the Scottsdale leadoff man and got a ground out to escape harm with the score still at 0-0. He walked the leadoff batter in the fourth inning then bounced back with two straight strikeouts and then an inning-ending ground out to finish a sparkling performance.

Victor Vodnik

1 G, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

AFL Totals: 4 G, 18.2 IP, 19 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 14 BB, 21 K, 4 HR, 7.23 ERA

Victor Vodnik keeps alternating good and bad starts, and this was a bad one as he never had command of any of his pitches. Vodnik touched 96.9 mph according to statcast, and that was pretty much the highlight of a miserable performance. The game got off to a strong start with a ground out and a strikeout, but got away after the third hitter jammed a single into left field. Vodnik walked the next batter and then allowed a two run double that gave Salt River a lead. The second inning is when things truly began to go haywire for Vodnik as he allowed three walks and a bases loaded double that fortunately only led to two runs as an interesting baserunning decision ended in a runner being thrown out at home. Vodnik walked three more batters in the third inning including walking in a run with two outs and that was the end of a cruel day.

Indigo Diaz


AFL Totals: 6 G, 5 1⁄3 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 15.19 ERA

Did Not Play