The Cubs advancing to the NLCS and the Dodgers forcing a Game 5 last night was cute, but the real highlight was the 2015 Arizona Fall League getting started with its first games. The Yankees are well represented on the Surprise Saguaros roster, with 8 players on the team, and they had more than a few stars in last night's 6-5 loss.
The biggest and brightest was Gary Sanchez, who popped a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st to get the Saguaros on the board early. He finished the night 2-4 hitting from the cleanup spot, and he was matched in that feat by fellow Yankee farmhands Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade. Both guys doubled as one of their hits and Wade drove in 2 runs batting from the 9-spot and playing second base. Austin hit 7th and played first.
There were no Yankee pitchers involved in last night's game, but that's where there figures to be the biggest focus once the season gets going. Ian Clarkin was announced on the initial roster a while back, and this will be big for him to finally get into some games and get some work after missing all of 2015 with elbow problems. A name that wasn't included then but is now is Domingo Acevedo, the big fireballer righty from SS Staten Island. He pitched to a 1.69 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 48.0 IP for Staten Island this past season and hit 100+ on the radar gun on more than occasion. At 21, he's a little old for short season ball, so this will be a good test for him against better hitting competition and a good way for the Yankees to start preparing him for A-ball next year.
With the inclusion of Acevedo, the Yankees' 8-man squad on Surprise is now he, Clarkin, Sanchez, Austin, Wade, Dustin Fowler, Chaz Hebert, and Tyler Webb. We'll be checking in on their progress from time to time as the AZFL season rolls along. Here's hoping Clarkin's elbow holds up, Acevedo's stuff impresses, and Sanchez mashes enough to overcome his unfair prospect fatigue and get back into the top 100.