Marlins Arizona Fall League updates

October 26th, 2019

Seven Marlins prospects are playing for the Salt River Rafters in the 2019 Arizona Fall League: Shortstop Jose Devers (No. 10), right-hander Nick Neidert (No. 11), outfielder Victor Victor Mesa (No. 13), outfielder Jerar Encarnacion (No. 17), right-hander Vincenzo Aiello, right-hander C.J. Carter and left-hander Alex Vesia.

Here’s a day-by-day look at how Miami's AFL contingent is faring:

Oct. 26: Salt River 5, Surprise 1
Jerar Encarnacion’s second AFL grand slam highlighted Salt River’s five-run fourth inning and proved the difference in the Rafters’ 5-1 victory over Surprise in Saturday’s championship game. Batting with two outs in the frame and one run already in, the Marlins’ No. 17 prospect unloaded on a no-doubt blast over the left-field wall on the second pitch he saw from Surprise right-hander Sterling Sharp. Encarnacion’s ‘slam, a 418-foot shot, had an exit velocity of 109.6 mph -- the hardest-hit ball in Saturday’s AFL title game. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk after batting .269 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 19 games during the regular season.

Victor Victor Mesa scored a run and went 1-for-4. He also stole a bag, but was thrown out trying to advance from second to third base after the catcher’s throw trickled into shallow center field. Jose Devers was one of three Rafters to record multiple hits, turning in a 2-for-4 performance from the bottom of the lineup. Left-hander Alex Vesia, who worked 10 1/3 scoreless innings with 16 strikeouts for Salt River during the regular season, tossed a perfect ninth to nail down the win.

Oct. 25: Salt River 6, Peoria 1
Jose Devers put Salt River on the board in the first inning as he hit a one-out double off of Forrest Whitley before stealing third base and scoring on catcher Logan Driscoll’s throwing error. The Marlins’ No. 10 prospect came through again against Whitley in the third, this time tagging the Astros right-hander for an RBI single, then picked up another stolen base en route to another run in the following frame. Devers finished the game 2-for-4, improving his average to .262. Jerar Encarnacion (No. 17) extended his hitting streak to four games with a 1-for-3 performance. 

C.J. Carter struck out a pair of batters during two perfect innings out of The Rafters’ bullpen in one of his better AFL performances. The 22-year-old right-hander had allowed runs in four straight appearances heading into the day. Overall, Carter posted an 8.18 ERA with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 11 innings (eight appearances).

Oct. 24: Salt River 0, Mesa 0
In a league that heavily features pitch-count restrictions, Nick Neidert’s dominance has allowed him to extend his looks. For the third time in a row, the 2015 second-rounder pitched at least five innings -- this time five on the dot without allowing a run. He gave up just two hits and struck out five without permitting a walk. Over his past three starts, Neidert has allowed only one run on 10 hits with 10 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings, helping move his Fall League ERA to 1.25. More »

Alex Vesia has yet to allow a run in the Fall League, as he worked around a hit and a walk and got a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless seventh.** Jerar Encarnacion was the only Marlin to record a hit for the Rafters, notching two singles to raise his average to .266. Jose Devers finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and Victor Victor Mesa**’s average dropped to .271 after going 0-for-4 with one K.

Oct. 23: Glendale 5, Salt River 4
Victor Victor Mesa’s Fall League average fell to .288 with an 0-for-5, two-strikeout performance for Salt River. Jose Devers, who started at second base and batted ninth for the Rafters, hit his second AFL double in a 2-for-4 performance that pushed his average up to .256. Defensively, the 19-year-old committed a throwing error while trying to complete a double play in the fifth inning, resulting in an unearned run.

Entering in the fifth inning in relief of starter Drew Strotman, Vincenzo Aiello gave up four runs on two walks and two hits (including a two-run homer) in just two-thirds of an inning. His Fall League ERA sits at 10.64 after the performance, and he’s now been scored upon in four straight outings.

Oct. 22: Scheduled off day for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Oct. 21: Salt River 11, Glendale 7
Jose Devers had a productive game from the bottom of Salt River’s lineup, going 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and two stolen bases. The 19-year-old middle infielder has made three straight starts for the Rafters, collecting at least one hit in all three contests. Victor Victor Mesa, who served as Salt River’s DH on Monday, recorded multiple hits -- including a ninth-inning double that was key in the Rafters’ come-from-behind win over Glendale -- for the third time in four games. He’s batting .311 after finishing 2-for-5. 

Vincenzo Aiello surrendered a leadoff home run to David Fry in the seventh inning but bounced back to retire the next three batters and complete the frame.

Oct. 20: Salt River 2, Surprise 1 (10 innings)
Victor Victor Mesa finished 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but he’s still batting .304 this fall and has looked comfortable at the plate throughout. Jose Devers hit his first double of the Fall League campaign to finish 1-for-4, and also struck out once.

Oct. 19: Salt River 8, Surprise 1
Victor Victor Mesa turned in his second straight multihit performance for Salt River, going 2-for-5, though both of his hits were singles that he flared out to shallow right field. Jerar Encarnación put the Rafters on the board in the first inning with a two-run single. He’s batting .250 in the Fall League, with 16 RBIs through 17 games. Alex Vesia struck out three and allowed just one hit over the final two innings in Salt River’s win over Surprise. It was the eighth scoreless appearance in the Fall League by the 23-year-old southpaw, and he’s allowed just three hits while compiling 14/1 K/BB in 9 1/3 frames.

Oct. 18: Peoria 9, Salt River 0
C.J. Carter pitched in long relief of Salt River starter Shane Baz, allowing a run on an RBI double -- his only hit allowed -- while striking out three batters in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two in the bounceback performance, after allowing seven combined runs over two innings over his past two outings. Vincenzo Aiello followed up Carter, surrendering a pair of earned runs on sac flys in his 1 2/3 innings. In total, the 25-year-old gave up three hits and a walk while punching out two batters.

Oct. 17: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Oct. 16: Salt River 4, Peoria 2
Victor Victor Mesa provided Salt River with a key insurance run via an eighth-inning RBI double, his third in the AFL. The Marlins’ No. 13 prospect finished 2-for-4 and has now hit safely in three straight games.

Oct. 15: Scottsdale 2, Salt River 1
Jerar Encarnacion went 0-for-4 at the plate and is now batting .265 in Arizona.

Oct. 14: Scottsdale 6, Salt River 5
Jerar Encarnacion was the only Marlins prospect who played in Salt River’s 6-5 loss to Scottsdale on Monday night, but he certainly represented well. The outfielder went 2-for-5 with three RBIs on the night, all three coming on his three-run home run with two outs in the third off of Mets lefty David Peterson. The right-handed hitter took a Peterson slider the other way, 97.7 mph off the bat for his third AFL homer. He now has 14 RBIs, putting him in a tie for fourth in the league.

Oct. 13: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Oct. 12: East 4, West 2
Here's how every player performed in the Fall Stars Game. More »

Oct. 11: Mesa 3, Salt River 2
Victor Victor Mesa, Miami’s No. 13 prospect, hit the ball weakly on the ground in all four at-bats, as he rolled over to third base twice and snuck a single through the right side of the infield before grounding out to first base in the seventh to end the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-16 at the plate and owns a .302 average overall. Jerar Encarnacion (No. 17) broke up Mesa’s no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a two-run double that briefly gave Salt River the lead. He finished 1-for-3. Encarnacion also dropped a routine fly ball in right field for his fourth error in 12 AFL games.

Oct. 10: Mesa 9, Salt River 3
After going hitless in each of his past two games, Victor Victor Mesa got back in the hit column with a double on Thursday. The Marlins’ No. 13 prospect went 1-for-4 and has fared well in Arizona, hitting .308 through 10 games. Jerar Encarnacion finished 0-for-3, but he drew a walk to reach base and eventually came around to score.

Vincenzo Aiello was tagged for two runs on four hits (including a home run) in 1 1/3 innings. He issued two walks, but he also struck out three batters, two of which he recorded via his sharp 83-85 mph slider, which played as an above-average pitch for him Thursday. C.J. Carter’s Fall League ERA spiked to 12.79 after the right-hander allowed two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings out of the Rafters’ bullpen. Although the 5-foot-9 right-hander sat at 86-88 mph with his fastball, his high-spin-rate breaking ball in the mid-to-high 70s helped him to rack up three strikeouts. Left-hander Alex Vesia worked 2/3 innings in the eighth inning to extend his scoreless streak to 7 1/3 innings. He’s posted 11 strikeouts against zero walks while permitting just two hits in that span.

Oct. 9: Salt River 6, Glendale 2
Victor Victor Mesa went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his AFL average to .314.

Oct. 8: Salt River 11, Glendale 10
No Marlins prospects played in Salt River’s game on Tuesday.

Oct. 7: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Oct. 6: Salt River 6, Surprise 4
Nick Neidert, the reigning Fall League Pitcher of the Week, made a case to extend his reign another week. The Marlins’ No. 11 prospect was lights-out for Salt River as he cruised through 5 1/3 scoreless frames. Neidert, who threw 48 of his 65 pitches for strikes, gave up leadoff singles in each of the first two frames, but neither runner ever made it to second base. That was the extent of the offense Surprise mustered against the 22-year-old as he retired each of the final 13 batters he faced.

“I thought it was a really good day,” Neidert said. “Slider wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but made adjustments -- pitched fastball, changeup, mixed more curveballs in than I’m used to, but overall I thought it was a good day.”

Through four AFL starts, Neidert has pitched to a 1.62 ERA, yielded three runs and struck out 17 over 16 2/3 innings.

Victor Victor Mesa picked up his third stolen base of the fall after reaching on a fielder’s choice in his first trip to the plate. That would be the lone time Mesa reached base as he finished 0-for-4. Jerar Encarnacion went 2-for-3, but the highlight of his afternoon was certainly his two-run single in the seventh inning. Encarnacion crushed a ball with a 103.2 mph exit velocity off the right-field wall and tied the game at four.

Oct. 5: Peoria 9, Salt River 7
Jerar Encarnacion had only one hit Saturday, but it was a massive one. The outfield prospect lifted a grand slam to right-center field, fueling a five-run sixth inning for the Rafters.

Four of the five runs on C.J. Carter’s line came via home runs. Carter recorded just one out and allowed five hits. Vincezo Aiello struck out a batter in a scoreless eighth inning, and Alex Vesia worked out of a second-and-third jam with one out in the ninth for a scoreless appearance.

Oct. 4: Salt River 10, Peoria 9
Victor Victor Mesa had a big day at the plate for Salt River, going 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and a walk. After a disappointing pro debut in which he slashed .235/.274/.263 in 116 games between Class A Advanced Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville, the 23-year-old outfielder is currently batting .409 in the AFL, one of the circuit’s best marks, with nine hits in his first six games. Mesa did, however, also drop a routine fly ball in the first inning that led to three unearned runs.

Oct. 3: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams

Oct. 2: Salt River 4, Scottsdale 2
Victor Victor Mesa has played only five Fall League games, and he’s already notched three multihit performances. That was the case against Scottsdale, as Salt River’s leader in batting average (.389) went 2-for-4 and stole his second base in the AFL. The 2018 international signee also showed his range in center field with a ranging catch as well. Jerar Encarnacion singled and scored in the seventh inning, his only hit in a 1-for-3 day.

Vincenzo Aiello was charged with a blown save, allowing a two-run double as one of the two hits on his line. The University of Oklahoma product struck out two and walked one. Alex Vesia followed him in the seventh, extending his streak of scoreless appearances to begin the AFL season to five as he pitched a clean inning with one strikeout.

Oct. 1: Salt River 5, Scottsdale 2
C.J. Carter walked one and gave up one run on two hits in one inning of work.

Sept. 30: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Sept. 29: Salt River 4, Glendale 3
Nick Neidert got the start for Salt River and pitched five innings, allowing only three hits along the way. A third-inning double would drive in a run against the Marlins’ No. 11 prospect, but that was the extent of the damage the Desert Dogs could do. Neidert walked only one batter and struck out three, tossing 47 of his 72 pitches for strikes. He earned the win, his second of the Fall League season.

Alex Vesia came on in the ninth inning and picked up the final two outs to earn his first save of the fall. There were runners on first and third when he entered the game, but a big strikeout to the first batter he faced followed by a groundout got him out of the jam and earned the Rafters a win.

Sept. 28: Salt River 10, Mesa 3
The Solar Sox couldn’t find a way to keep Victor Victor Mesa off the basepaths Saturday. The touted international prospect went 3-for-3 -- all singles -- and drew a walk for Salt River, bringing his batting average to .500 in the Fall League. He also stole his first base of the AFL season, knocked in a run and scored once. The only out he recorded was a first-inning sac fly. Jose Devers finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the No. 9 hole.

Sept. 27: Salt River 6, Mesa 1
Jerar Encarnacion served as the designated hitter for the Rafters and reached via a walk and scored a run, but struck out in his other three at-bats.

Sept. 26: Glendale 5, Salt River 4
C.J. Carter pitched a pair of perfect innings for Salt River, striking out three batters along the way. The 29th-round pick of the Marlins in the 2018 Draft appeared in 36 games in the Minors this season, pitching to a 2.30 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 54 2/3 frames. Alex Vesia pitched the ninth inning for the Rafters, striking out the first two batters he faced en route to a three-up, three-down frame.

The organization’s hitters struggled, as Jose Devers went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and Victor Victor Mesa was hitless with two punchouts.

Sept. 25: Salt River 8, Glendale 4, postponed due to lightning
Jose Devers, Miami’s No. 10 prospect, laced a 1-1 pitch into left-center field in the top of the second to extend Salt River’s early lead. The 19-year-old middle infielder drove in another run in the fifth via a fielder’s choice to finish 1-for-3 with two RBIs in the Rafters’ game that would be called off due to weather in the fifth inning.

Sept. 24: Salt River 4, Hermosillo 1
Nick Neidert, who gave up two runs over 2 1/3 innings in his first start of the Fall League, had a much better outing Tuesday. The right-hander fired 41 of his 61 pitches for strikes as he carved his way through the Hermosillo lineup. Neidert gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings and struck out the side in the fourth, giving him six strikeouts on the night. The 2015 second-round Draft pick posted a 4.67 ERA across 54 innings this season, but he missed time with injury and was limited to just 54 innings. Vincenzo Aiello bounced back from a rough first AFL appearance to spin one scoreless inning. The right-hander retired the side in order and needed just 11 pitches (six strikes) to do so.

Victor Victor Mesa did a bit of everything in his first Fall League action. The Marlins’ No. 13 prospect showed off multiple tools and contributed both on offense and defense. Mesa, who finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, beat out an infield single in his first at-bat and reached a sprint speed of 29.3 feet per second on his way to first, but he was also promptly caught stealing second base. Defensively, Mesa showed off his plus arm strength by throwing out a runner at the plate on a grounder up the middle. Jerar Encarnacion finished 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Sept. 23: Scheduled day off for all Arizona Fall League teams.

Sept. 22: Salt River 11, Scottsdale 4
Jerar Encarnacion came through with a booming RBI double -- one that had a 105.9 mph exit velocity -- in the right-center-field gap in the first inning. He also drew a pair of walks and finished 1-for-3 with a run scored. Encarnacion is hitting well in Arizona, posting a .357 average and showing solid power in batting practice.

Sept. 21: Surprise 12, Salt River 0
C.J. Carter came in to finish up the third inning for Salt River. The right-hander gave up one run on two hits, walked one and also struck out one in one-third of an inning. Alex Vesia cruised through his two innings on the mound. Vesia struck out two and retired all six batters he faced.

Jose Devers went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Jerar Encarnacion finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

Sept. 20: Surprise 4, Salt River 1
Right-hander Vincenzo Aiello gave up two runs on three hits in his lone inning on the mound. Jose Devers went 1-for-4.

Sept. 19: Salt River 4, Mesa 1
Southpaw Alex Vesia struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth inning to help keep the Rafters on top. The 2018 MLB Draft pick pitched to a sparkling 1.76 ERA across three levels this season, striking out 100 batters in 66 2/3 innings. Jerar Encarnacion followed up his homer the night before with a single and a run.

Sept. 18: Peoria 10, Salt River 6
Outfielder Jerar Encarnacion launched a solo home run to left-center field in the fifth inning for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League opener on Wednesday. Encarnacion, 21, split the 2019 season between Class A Clinton and Class A Advanced Jupiter, where he hit a combined .276 with 16 home runs and a .756 OPS.

Right-hander Nick Neidert got the start for Salt River and allowed two runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings, striking out three. Reliever C.J. Carter entered in the fifth inning and pitched a clean inning on just 11 pitches, striking out one batter.