With this year’s Arizona Fall League now complete after Salt River defeated Surprise, 5-1, in Saturday’s championship game, MLB Pipeline is finding different ways to highlight the top players and performances from the league’s 28th season. Already this week there has been a story on 20 breakout prospects as well
With this year’s Arizona Fall League now complete after Salt River defeated Surprise, 5-1, in Saturday’s championship game, MLB Pipeline is finding different ways to highlight the top players and performances from the league’s 28th season. Already this week there has been a story on 20 breakout prospects as well as a look at the league’s top Statcast™ performances, and an AFL Top 25 prospects list is still to come.
Today, MLB Pipeline’s end-of-season coverage rollout continues with an All-AFL Team, as voted on by members of our team. While performance was the determining factor in our final selections, we also considered players’ prospect status in some instances.
Here is MLB Pipeline’s All-AFL Team for 2019:
C: Joey Bart (Giants’ No. 1)
After a strong finish to the Minor League at Double-A Richmond, Bart got off red-hot start in the Fall League, slashing .333/.524/.767 with four home runs, 10 RBIs and more walks (9) than strikeouts (7) across his first 10 games before a non-displaced fracture in his right thumb that he suffered via a hit-by-pitch on Oct. 8 prematurely ended his campaign. Runner-up: Tyler Stephenson (Reds’ No. 7)
1B: Seth Beer (D-backs’ No. 4)
Beer’s bat was key in helping the Salt River Rafters win this year’s AFL title. The former first-round pick (2017) recorded multiple hits in five of his final 10 games and, overall, produced a .315/.375/.452 line with seven extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in 19 games. He did, however, commit five errors. Runner-up: J.J. Matijevic (Astros’ No. 17)
2B: Vidal Brujan (Rays’ No. 3)
Brujan’s 15 walks were tied for the AFL lead and fueled his .380 OBP in 22 games for Salt River. He also scored 12 runs, stole four bases and recorded nine extra-base hits, including a league-best four triples. The 21-year-old finished with a .256 average despite a 2-for-22 showing across his final seven games. Runner-up: Jahmai Jones (Angels’ No. 6)
3B: Royce Lewis (Twins’ No. 1)
Lewis was named this year’s AFL MVP after he led the circuit in both hits (30) and runs scored (21), ranked second in RBIs (tied-20) and total bases (48), and finished third in batting (.353) and OPS (.975). The former No. 1 overall pick (2017) also impressed with his defense, standing out with the glove at third base (12 games), second (4) and shortstop (1) as well as in center field (5) for Salt River, and garnered MVP honors in the annual Fall Stars Game. Runner-up: Alec Bohm (Phillies’ No. 1)
SS: Andres Gimenez (Mets’ No. 3)
After slashing only .125/.250/.292 over 19 games in last year’s Fall League, the 21-year-old Gimenez returned to the desert and led the circuit in both batting (.371) and OPS (.999) while posting 10 multihit performances in 18 games for Scottsdale. He also drove in 15 runs and racked up nine extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs. Runner-up: Geraldo Perdomo (D-backs’ No. 7)
OF: Greg Deichmann (Athletics’ No. 17)
One of the top breakout prospects in this year’s Fall League, Deichmann erupted to hit an AFL-best nine home run in 23 games for Mesa and also paced the circuit with 52 total bases and a .634 slugging. He had a pair of four-RBI games and finished with 20 RBIs, tying him with Royce Lewis for second-most in the league. Runner-up: Jo Adell (Angels’ No. 1)
OF: Brandon Marsh (Angels’ No. 2)
The former second-round pick’s (2016) stock is on the rise after a standout Fall League campaign in which he batted .328/.387/.522 with seven extra-base hits, 13 runs scored and 11 RBIs in 19 games for Mesa. Marsh, a left-handed hitter, fared particularly well against same-sided hurlers, going 9-for-20 with five extra-base hits. Runner-up: Josh Lowe (Rays’ No. 11)
OF: Jared Oliva (Pirates’ No. 11)
Oliva was a standout from start to finish in the AFL, batting .312/.413/.473 in 26 games for Peoria. The 23-year-old ranked led the circuit with 11 doubles and 11 stolen bases and finished second in hits (29), runs scored (18) and walks (tied-14). Runner-up: Trey Harris (Braves’ No. 18)
DH: Kyle Isbel (Royals’ No. 8)
Isbel’s consistent production was instrumental in helping Surprise reach the AFL championship. The 22-year-old paced the Saguaros in most offensive categories, slashing .315/.429/.438 with six extra-base hits, 16 RBIs and six steals in 21 games, and also went yard in the Fall Stars Game. Runner-up: Alfonso Rivas (Athletics’ No. 25)
SP: Conner Seabold (Phillies’ No. 30)
Seabold only made four starts for Scottsdale in this year’s Fall League, but no hurler enjoyed a more dominant stretch. The 23-year-old righty worked to a 1.06 ERA and 0.56 WHIP over 17 innings, compiling 22 strikeouts against three walks. He held the opposition to a .125 average, allowing just seven hits. Seabold tossed four hitless frames in his Sept. 25 start, then followed it on Oct. 2 with an eight-strikeout performance, matching the highest single-game total this season.
SP: Penn Murfee (Mariners)
Playing in the Fall League on the heels of a strong first full season, Murfee emerged as one of the AFL’s top hurlers while making six starts for Peoria. The 25-year-old right-hander’s 1.23 ERA was the fifth-best mark in the circuit, and he also he finished second in strikeouts, fanning 30 batters in 22 innings. Murfee, who was the Championship Chains AFL Pitcher of the Week for Week 3, did not allow more than three hits in five of his six starts and recorded at least seven strikeouts in three of his final four turns. Runners-up: Forrest Whitley (Astros’ No. 1); Victor Castaneda (Brewers)
RP: Ashton Goudeau (Rockies)
Goudeau, 27, worked 13 scoreless innings across six appearances out of Salt River’s bullpen en route to an unblemished AFL-leading ERA. He racked up 18 strikeouts and led the circuit with a 0.31 WHIP, a product of him allowing zero walks and just four hits (.095 BAA). Goudeau worked multiple innings in all six outings and recorded at least three strikeouts in five of them. He garnered Championship Chains AFL Pitcher of the Week honors in the season’s final week, then tied a bow on his tremendous Fall League campaign by tossing 2 2/3 scoreless frames with three strikeouts to earn the win in the AFL championship. Runner-up: Alex Vesia (Marlins)
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.