Saturday's top AFL prospect performers

October 24th, 2021

Here's a look at Saturday’s top performers in the Arizona Fall League from each team's Top 30 Prospects list.

Royals: Asa Lacy, LHP (MLB No. 66), Surprise Sagueros
Lacy tossed two no-hit innings as the Saguaros’ starter, fanning five and walking one while throwing 21 of his 30 pitches for strikes. Surprise’s relievers carried the no-hitter into the seventh inning before being broken up by a Bryson Stott single. Lacy, the fourth overall pick in the 2020 Draft, struggled in his debut season with a 5.19 ERA in 52 innings, but flashed his dominance with 79 strikeouts and a 33.3% strikeout rate. The 22-year-old lowered his AFL ERA to 3.86 and has fanned 10 batters over 4 2/3 innings. More »

Angels: Jeremiah Jackson, SS (No. 5), Glendale Desert Dogs
All four runs the Desert Dogs scored in its loss to the Solar Sox came off the bat of Jackson. The 21-year-old cranked his first Fall League homer with a three-run shot in the fourth and rounded out his two-hit day with a second-inning RBI single. Jackson has gotten off to a slow start in Arizona, carrying a .417 OPS through eight games, but has driven in seven runs and scored three as a fixture in Glendale’s lineup. The 2018 second-rounder showed off his combination of power and speed with 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 51 regular-season games, but struck out in 33% of his 218 plate appearances. In 27 AFL plate appearances, Jackson has fanned 10 times (37% K-rate). More »

Brewers: Joey Wiemer, OF (No. 23), Salt River Rafters
Wiemer’s breakout 2021 campaign keeps rolling in Arizona. Following a four-hit night on Friday, the slugging outfielder recorded three more hits to give him seven in the past two games, adding a run, two walks, a stolen base and a strikeout to his final line. The 2021 regular season finished as a stellar debut year for Wiemer, who smashed 27 homers and stole 30 bases while splitting time between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin. The Ohio native has carried that momentum into the Fall League, posting a .423/.545/.654 slash line with a 1.199 OPS in eight games with 11 hits, three doubles and a home run.

Cubs: Nelson Velazquez, OF (No. 29), Mesa Solar Sox
Velazquez continued to tear up Fall League pitching with his second consecutive multihit game in the Solar Sox 9-4 win. The 22-year-old roped his fourth Fall League double and tallied two runs, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout in an all-around performance on Saturday. Velazquez has posted a .370/.500/.630 slash line with a 1.130 OPS through seven games in Arizona, racking up 10 hits, seven walks and seven runs scored. Fresh off a regular season that saw the outfielder set multiple career bests with 23 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, Velazquez continues to impress in the AFL.

D-backs: Slade Cecconi, RHP (No. 7), Salt River Rafters
Cecconi rebounded from allowing a first-inning run to toss four strong innings in the Rafters’ win, allowing five hits, striking out five and limiting the Scorpions to one run. The University of Miami product tossed 37 of his 52 pitches for strikes, registering five swing and misses. Cecconi started 12 games and tossed 59 innings in his debut season for High-A Hillsboro, posting a 4.12 ERA with 63 strikeouts to 20 walks. In nine AFL innings, the 22-year-old has a 4.00 ERA with eight strikeouts and five walks.

Reds: Ivan Johnson, SS/2B (No. 16), Surprise Saguaros
Johnson served as the designated hitter in the Saguaros’ 10-6 win over the Javelinas. The middle infielder provided some muscle from the two-hole, swatting his third home run of the Fall League in a two-hit day. Johnson crushed a two-run shot in the first to start the scoring and tacked on another RBI with a seventh-inning single. The 23-year-old upped his AFL slash line to .286/.333/.762 with a 1.095 OPS through six Fall League games, but has also racked up 12 strikeouts in 24 plate appearances for a 50% strikeout rate, up from his strikeout rate of 30.3% in the regular season

Rockies: Ryan Vilade, OF (No. 5), Salt River Rafters
Vilade racked up four hits and reached base five times as the Rafters cruised to an 8-1 victory in Scottsdale. The speedy outfielder manned first base and batted cleanup for Salt River, cranking a double and driving in two runs. The 22-year-old boosted his slash line up to .300/.382/.433 with an .816 OPS over nine Fall League games with his multihit effort. Vilade roped 40 extra-base hits during the regular season for Triple-A Albuquerque, posting a .749 OPS and making his Major League debut on Sept. 18. More »