Arizona Fall League Wrap-Up

The Arizona Fall League has ended, with the Championship game slated for tomorrow when the Salt River Rafters will take on the Peoria Javelinas. The Yankees’ prospects spent the season with the Scottsdale Scorpions, who ended up 15-16 and 2.5 games behind the Rafters. There were some performances to get excited about, but – as has been the theme for the Yankees’ this season – the players closest to the Majors continued to struggle. I’ll get the bad news out of the way first.

Dellin Betances wasn’t able to get past the rest of his rough 2012 season, going 1-3 with a 5.25 ERA over eight appearances and twelve innings, though the news wasn’t all bad. After an ugly first outing, Betances did string together some solid performances, keeping opposing teams scoreless over four games (5.2 innings). He only allowed three hits and one walk, which was a good sign for a pitcher whose lack of control was particularly problematic this season. Betances got knocked around for four runs on five hits, not even lasting an inning against Salt River. He came back and threw two scoreless innings in his last outing of the year. While Betances has clearly seen his prospect status drop off quite a bit this year, the fact that he only walked four while striking out fifteen in Arizona was a welcome sign.

Austin Romine, who missed most of the season with a back injury, went to Arizona to get some extra work in. The catcher who had a shot to make the big league team during Spring Training did not fare particularly well in the AzFL. He hit .222/.342/.286 over eighteen games with four doubles and six RBIs. He struck out thirteen times and drew twelve walks. Dan Burawa also returned to Arizona looking to get some work done after missing the entire 2012 season with a back injury. Burawa had an 11.57 ERA in 11.2 innings of work, allowing a .388 batting average to opposing hitters. He walked thirteen and struck out just six. Zach Nuding had a decent season with the Tampa Yankees, but it didn’t seem to translate to Scottsdale, where he went 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA over 21.2 innings of work. Batters hit .344 off Nuding, though he did end the season on a high note, pitching four innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits.

Now for the good news. Slade Heathcott, David Adams and Mark Montgomery all put in very strong performances for the Scorpions. Heathcott hit .388/.494/.612 over eighteen games and 67 at bats. He had one homer, three triples and six doubles, along with fifteen RBIs. He hit .500 over the last ten games, including going 4-5 twice and earning Player of the Week honors for the week of November 6th. If he can keep everything together and get healthy, Heathcott will be an exciting player to watch over the next couple seasons.

David Adams put together a strong season in Trenton this year, working his way back from a couple short seasons plagued by injury. Adams capitalized on the chance for some extra work in Arizona, hitting .286/.388/.524 over 22 games. Adams knocked three homers, two triples and seven doubles, plating fifteen runs. He has also been nominated for the Stenson Sportsmanship Award, which is based on work ethic and leadership more than production. and will be awarded at tomorrow’s Championship game.

Finally, Mark Montgomery, who quickly became a favorite here at IIATMS and other Yankees blogs, threw a very strong 10.1 innings for Scottsdale to round out his impressive 2012 year. He had a 2.91 ERA, giving up one run in his first outing and two in his last, while he kept batters scoreless for seven straight games and didn’t allow a hit in six. On the whole, he only allowed five hits, three runs and five walks, striking out nineteen batters in the process and holding them to a .174 average. I know I’m not alone when I say that I can’t wait to see this guy in the Yankees’ bullpen.

About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

5 thoughts on “Arizona Fall League Wrap-Up

  1. Betances is going to probably disappear gradually from the Yankee scene. Big man, big arm, no pitching aptitude. At least not that we've seen yet. Romine is a backup catcher at best unless he learns to hit. If the Yanks are thinking about him as a regular, they'd better think again. Heathcott is an intriguing young player, as is Adams. Both of them have a grinder mentality along with considerable talent that would make them very valuable in the Yankee scheme. Montgomery looks to be a future bullpen star, maybe even as early as next year. Hope to see some of these young men next season and I fervently hope to eat my words on Romine and Betances.

    • Yeah, I agree completely. I am having a hard time seeing Betances make it at this point, but I was surprised to see his work this fall wasn't quite as bad as the numbers looked at first. My big concern with Romine is whether he'll ever be healthy enough at this point.

  2. "no even lasting", "has clearly seen his prospect drop off", "Dan Burawa also returned the Arizona", "allowed five hits on three runs", "I know I’m not alone when I say …"

    I know I AM alone when I say that I'd like to see decent quality writing.

    • My apologies. Yesterday was a hectic day. I had a lot going on around me as I was writing this and was rushing to get it posted before I had to leave. It was a rough day in what's been a rough couple weeks, so I am sorry I neglected to proof read this, but thanks for bringing my attention to it so I could make corrections.