Thursday's top AFL prospect performers

October 29th, 2021

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

Royals: Asa Lacy, LHP (No. 3, MLB No. 66), Surprise Saguaros
Lacy struck out five over three scoreless innings in the Saguaros’ wild win, allowing two hits and two walks. The lefty tossed 28 of his 45 pitches for strikes, registering 11 swings-and-misses. In four AFL starts, the 2020 Draft’s fourth overall pick has posted a 2.35 ERA with 15 strikeouts and six walks in 7 2/3 inning. The Fall League is affording Lacy the chance to work on some of the issues that plagued him in his debut season. The 22-year-old posted a 5.19 ERA across 14 starts and 52 innings for High-A Quad Cities, flashing high strikeout potential by fanning 79 batters but struggling with his command by walking 41.

Nationals: Jackson Rutledge, RHP (No. 3), Surprise Saguaros
Donovan Casey, OF (No. 18), Surprise Saguaros

Rutledge followed Lacy as the first Saguaros’ reliever out of the bullpen and tossed three strong innings. The 6-foot-8 righty allowed one unearned run on three hits, fanning six and walking one. Rutledge lowered his AFL ERA to 7.36, and he's registered 11 strikeouts in 11 innings. The 2019 first-rounder has an opportunity to finish 2021 strong after enduring a strained rotator cuff and blister issues during the regular season and posting a 7.68 ERA in 36⅓ innings across three levels.

Casey blasted his first AFL home run in a two-hit, three-RBI day and was the catalyst in the ninth-inning rally that led to Surprise's walk-off win. With one out in the bottom of the final frame, the 25-year-old roped a double and scored on Austin Wells’ game-tying three-run single five batters later. Casey’s long ball came in the second, a three-run shot to left field that put the Saguaros up by four. In the regular season, the 2017 Draft selection amassed 16 home runs, 44 extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases across 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A. In 26 Fall League plate appearances, Casey has posted a .211/.385/.421 slash line with an .806 OPS. More »

Rays: Curtis Mead, 2B/3B (No. 14), Scottsdale Scorpions
Mead kept his hot AFL start rolling with two hits and four RBIs in the Scorpions' 11-4 win over the Solar Sox. The 21-year-old cranked his third Fall League homer in the first inning, a two-run shot to left. Mead tacked on another RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the sixth and doubled home a run in the eighth to cap his productive day at the plate. The Australia native has tallied seven extra-base hits (two doubles, two triples, three home runs) in 10 AFL games, posting a .310/.341/.667 slash line with a 1.008 OPS. Mead’s Fall League performance has been a continuation of the breakout 2021 season in which he racked up 55 extra-base hits with a .911 OPS in 104 games over three levels. More »

Pirates: Ji-hwan Bae, 2B/SS (No. 22), Peoria Javelinas
Bae set the tone out of the leadoff spot for Peoria with a three-hit day that included his second AFL home run and the scoring of the game-tying run in the Javelinas’ walk-off win. Bae singled in the fifth, cranked a two-run shot to center in the seventh that cut Glendale’s lead to two runs and drove in the Javelinas’ first run of the ninth with a one-out single. He scored the tying run on a single by Nick Gonzales (PIT 4, MLB No. 62) two batters later. Bae ranks fourth on Peoria’s roster with a .920 OPS and third with a .333 average in 10 games, totaling 14 hits and 11 runs.

Giants: Patrick Bailey, C (No. 8), Scottsdale Scorpions
Bailey continued to impress at the plate in the AFL, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs in Scottsdale’s victory. The 2020 Draft first-rounder doubled in the second and recorded both of his RBIs on an eighth-inning single that scored the Scorpions’ final two runs of the game. Through eight games in the Fall League, Bailey has a .333/.419/.519 slash line with a .938 OPS, going 9-for-27 and driving in three runs. The switch-hitting catcher reached three levels in his debut season, splitting the majority of his time between Low-A San Jose and High-A Eugene. He totaled nine home runs, 25 doubles, 61 runs scored and 39 RBIs in 82 games.

Angels: Jeremiah Jackson, SS (No. 5), Glendale Desert Dogs
It has been a slow start to the Fall League for Jackson, but the 21-year-old shortstop smoked his second home run in his second multihit game of the season. After starting his time in Arizona 2-for-22 in his first seven games, Jackson has four hits and the two long balls in his past three games. The 21-year-old’s debut Minor League season was derailed by a quad strain that limited him to 51 games, but he showed off his combination of power and speed with 10 home runs, 28 extra-base hits and 13 stolen bases in 218 plate appearances.