Wednesday's top AFL prospect performers

October 13th, 2022

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

Cardinals: Jordan Walker, OF (MLB No. 6), Salt River Rafters
While progression trumps all in the AFL, players still strive to win, something the Rafters had not done until Walker came through in the clutch. The 20-year-old's two-run single snapped an eighth-inning tie and pushed his RBI total to six in six games. It was the second knock of the contest for Walker, who has five hits in 13 at-bats after going 1-for-8 to open the Fall League.

Rockies: Zac Veen, OF (MLB No. 23), Salt River Rafters
Whether it's via a walk or a hit, Veen is wreaking havoc on opposing pitchers. The 20-year-old was on base three times during Salt River's first victory, collecting a pair of singles, scoring twice and swiping three bases. Veen, who stole 55 bases in 126 games during the regular season, leads the AFL with seven thefts in eight attempts. The 2020 first-round Draft pick has gone 9-for-18 (.500) and owns a .630 OBP thanks to seven walks in six games. More »

Athletics: Ryan Cusick, RHP (No. 13), Mesa Solar Sox
Lawrence Butler, DH (No. 14), Mesa Solar Sox
What was anything but a good season for Cusick has taken a decidedly positive turn in the desert. The 22-year-old turned in his second consecutive strong outing, limiting Peoria to one run over five innings to pick up his second win in as many starts. Cusick allowed three hits, walked two and struck out a pair while tossing 43 of his 65 pitches for strikes. The 2021 first-round Draft pick has yielded one run across nine innings to begin his fall campaign, a marked improvement over the 7.12 ERA he posted in 13 appearances (10 starts) in 2022. More »

A pair of injuries interrupted what was an otherwise solid regular season for Butler, who is concluding his 2022 with a flourish in Arizona. The 22-year-old had his handprints all over the game, clubbing a three-run homer and adding a single and a walk in Mesa's rout. Butler, who posted an .808 OPS in 84 games across two Minor League levels this past year, is slashing .368/.481/.842 with five extra-base hits in 19 at-bats this fall. His two homers are tied for the AFL lead and his nine RBIs sit one of the pace.

Rays, Mason Auer, OF (No. 12), Mesa Solar Sox
Auer continues to be a tough out in the Solar Sox lineup. The Joplin, Mo., native has reached safely in all six games, collecting at least one hit in five of them. The speedy outfielder added a pair of knocks against the Javelinas, including a two-run triple, his second this fall. Through 29 at-bats for Mesa, Auer is slashing .300/.483/.783 with four extra-base hits, seven runs, six RBIs and four stolen bases.

Padres: Nerwilian Cedeno, 2B (No. 26), Peoria Javelinas
A 1-for-7 start through his first two games morphed into something much bigger for Cedeno. The 20-year-old fell a double shy of the cycle and capped his big afternoon with his first AFL home run for the Javelinas. Cedeno produced both runs for Peoria with an RBI triple in the third before going deep in the eighth. The Venezuela native appeared in 71 games with Single-A Lake Elsinore, slashing .256/.362/.400 with 23 extra-base hits and 54 RBIs.