Here’s a look at Wednesday’s top performers from the Arizona Fall League, including two Top 100 prospects.
Marlins: Jacob Berry, 3B (No. 4), Peoria Javelinas
Playing in his home state, Berry was instrumental in the Javelinas' victory on both sides of the ball. The 22-year-old made several sparkling plays at the hot corner and also reach base safely four times. Berry doubled, singled twice, -- his first three hits of the Fall League -- walked and scored a pair of runs. Miami's first-round pick (No. 6 overall) in the 2022 Draft, Berry spent a majority of 2023 with High-A Beloit before a late-season promotion to Double-A Pensacola. More »
Angels: Sonny DiChiara, 1B (Unranked), Scottsdale Scorpions
DiChiara went the other way three times, most notably on a go-ahead grand slam, as Scottsdale picked up the win. DiChiara added a pair of singles to improve to 4-for-10 with two homers -- both opposite-field jacks -- in his first two Fall League games. Of the right-handed hitter's nine career long balls with Double-A Rocket City across two seasons, only two went to right or right-center. More »
Cubs: Kevin Alcántara, CF (MLB No. 71), Mesa Solar Sox
After reaching base on a dropped third strike and proceeding to steal second, it was clear the No. 4 Cubs prospect would have a big night. Alcántara hit his first Fall League homer and added a pair of singles to cap his big night. The 21-year-old finished the 2023 season with three multihit games in his final six contests for Double-A Tennessee.
D-backs: Blake Walston, LHP (No. 27), Salt River Rafters
The 6-foot-5 southpaw had four scoreless starts with Triple-A Reno during the regular season and he started off his Fall League stint with another strong outing. Walston struck out four across three scoreless innings, walking one and scattering four hits. The 2019 first-rounder garnered seven whiffs on 17 swings -- good for a 41.2 percent swing-and-miss rate -- and fired 29 of his 43 pitches for strikes.
Nationals: DJ Herz, LHP (No. 16), Scottsdale Scorpions
Herz has pitched at another level since he was acquired from the Cubs at the Trade Deadline. His ERA dropped from 3.97 to 2.55, and his strikeout rate rose from 30.3 percent to 36.1 percent. That hot stretch continued in his Fall League debut as he punched out five across three scoreless innings. The southpaw allowed two hits and one walk and was particularly strong in his final frame when he painted the corners and struck out the top of the order.
Rockies: Sterlin Thompson, 2B (No. 6), Salt River Rafters
The 2022 first-rounder continued his hot hitting in the Fall League with a 3-for-4 outing that featured an RBI triple, a stolen base, a run scored and a walk. Through three games, Thompson has reached base in eight of his 12 plate appearances. His ninth-inning triple was a rocket, traveling 341 feet to center field at 96.4 mph and that was actually his softest hit of the day -- his singles produced exit velocities of 98.1 and 100.3 mph.
Royals: Eric Cerantola, RHP (Unranked), Surprise Saguaros
The 6-foot-5 right-hander airmailed his first pitch of the game to the backstop and threw his first six offerings for balls before honing in and impressing during his three-inning stint, ultimately throwing 26 of his 38 pitches for strikes. Working with a mid-90s heater and low-80s curve, Cerantola racked up four strikeouts, yielding a run on his lone hit allowed. The 23-year-old finished the regular season with a dominant eight-appearance stretch across High-A Quad Cities and Double-A Northwest Arkansas, posting a 1.47 ERA and .171 opponents’ batting average with 44 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. More »
Mariners: Harry Ford, C (MLB No. 39), Peoria Javelinas
The Mariners' No. 2 prospect settled into a groove during his AFL debut, ripping a three-run homer in the seventh inning of the Javelinas' win. Taking a walk on four pitches in the fifth inning displayed that he has discipline in addition to power at the plate. The 20-year-old led all Northwest League backstops with 15 homers for High-A Everett.
Mets: Rowdey Jordan, IF/OF (Unranked), Glendale Desert Dogs
After the pageantry of facing former Mississippi State teammate Eric Cerantola in his first at-bat, Jordan was determined not to get beat by a heater the rest of the night. He ultimately swatted a pair of run-scoring doubles, the first of which plated two in the fourth and the second capped a seven-run night for the Desert Dogs. The switch-hitting utility man is coming off a full season at Double-A Binghamton, where he recorded 30 steals, making him one of four Mets Minor Leaguers to reach that mark. More »