The Arizona Fall League is underway and Atlanta Braves prospects have been putting up a strong showing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Scottsdale went 3-3 overall on the week with a Braves prospect appearing in each of the six games.
Stats: 6-15, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 8 BB, 2 K
Justyn-Henry Malloy was the undoubted star among Braves prospects last week, reaching base in all five games he played while taking up real estate in the middle of the Scorpions lineup. Malloy took his strong run of plate discipline over from the regular season and drew three walks on opening day as part of a league-leading eight for the week. Malloy leads all Fall Leaguers in on base percentage as well and sits at .609. Malloy took a day off then got right back to his hitting ways with a double in game two for his first fall league hit. He had two hits on the day and another walk, then continued his walk streak with two more walks in his third game of the week. Through all of this Malloy still had not had the fortune of accounting for a run but finally got on the board with a first inning single in his fourth game of the week. He came around to score on a ground ball and went 2-3 with a walk in the game but Scottsdale went on to lose that one 10-6. Scottsdale capped the week with a 11 run outburst in a loss and once again Malloy put up good numbers. He had two more hits and another walk, including a ninth inning RBI single.
Did not play.
Stats: 5-18, 4 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 0 BB, 6 K
Conley joins Malloy in being off to a hot start, and made a more tangible immediate impact with an RBI double in Scottsdale’s opening day win. Conley started four games during the week and totaled a league-leading four doubles as well as two stolen bases. He again doubled in a run in a Scottsdale win during the second game of the week, then went 1-4 with a double in their third and final win of the week. After this strong start Conley was given an opportunity to hit leadoff and rewarded that decision with a 2-5 performance and another double in a Scottsdale loss. The only knock on Conley’s early performance is that which plagued him in the regular season as his six strikeouts and no walks in 18 plate appearances certainly doesn’t give reason to believe his approach has been tweaked.
Stats: 2 G, 2 2⁄3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 3.38 ERA
Alex Segal is making his way back from Tommy John surgery in the AFL and got off on the right foot with a scoreless inning on opening day. With the game tied at 4-4 in the sixth inning, Segal took the ball and retired two batters on ground outs before getting a strikeout to cap off a perfect frame. Unfortunately his second outing wasn’t as crisp as command eluded him and he walked three batters while allowing a run in 1 2⁄3 innings of work.
Stats: 2 G, 2 2⁄3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Austin Smith had a bit of an up and down season with Rome this year, but the one thing he did prove is that he can strike guys out and he made no exception of that in his AFL debut. In his first appearance he struck out two batters in a scoreless eighth inning as part of Scottsdale’s 12-5 Tuesday win, then got one more chance to pitch on Saturday. It was a rough day of pitching for Scorpions pitchers, but Smith was the exception and led the team with four strikeouts over 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings.
Stats: 1 G, 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Winans is the sole starting pitcher the Braves sent to Arizona, and he represented well by pitching five strong innings in a 5-2 Scottsdale win. His own error in the first inning ultimately cost him a run, but no Solar Sox hitter recorded a knock against Winans in the first four innings. A one out single in the fifth was the only player who reached on anything but an error and Winans left with a lead that was ultimately short-lived. Winans struck out four batters over his five innings, but his bread-and-butter was forcing weak ground balls as he recorded 11 outs via ground balls in this start. Winans was fantastic in his time with Mississippi this season, though injuries plagued him in his first attempt to start at the professional level.
Stats: 2 G, 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
William Woods was part of the team that held the Solar Sox to one earned run in that win, and took the ball in the seventh inning to pitch a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. This strong debut was then followed by a total clunker in Scottsdale’s 13-11 loss. Woods was brought in with the job to keep the game close in the top of the ninth inning and got off to a good start with a ground out. A soft single followed, but a strikeout had him just one out away when it began to slip. Woods allowed a walk then two straight hits to score three runs and let Glendale’s lead swell to 13-8. Woods finished off the inning with a strikeout.