Seven Twins prospects began play in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) three weeks ago, and it’s
beyond time for an update!
As you may (or may not) know, the Twins’ prospects are playing for the Surprise Saguaros this year along with prospects from the Red Sox, Royals, Pirates, and Rangers. The Saguaros are currently 10-7-1, which ties them for the second best record in the AFL! Just keep in mind there are only six teams in the whole shebang, and they’ve only played 18 games a piece.
Nick Gordon SS
Despite being one of the younger players in the league, Twins’ top prospect Nick Gordon has been doing fairly well—so much so, in fact, he was named to the AFL All-Star Team.
Gordon currently has the 11th highest batting average of all qualifying players in the AFL. What Gordon has really been trying to work on, however, is his defense at shortstop. There have been mixed reviews about whether his range and consistency is up to snuff in order to stay at the position.
Mitch Garver 1B/C
Garver has shown a bit of pop in the AFL so far, having hit three home runs to tie him for first in the league with seven other players. Of course, as mentioned in our AFL preview, Garver’s main concern is working at his defense as a catcher and calling games. Since the Seguaros have 20 different pitchers on their staff (the rosters are kind of big), he’s had a lot of practice getting to know and work with different guys.
Interestingly, Garver also noted to MLB.com he was happy to be reunited with his AA hitting coach, Chad Allen, and that Doug Mientkiewicz was a big help to him last season. "He helped me a lot this year," Garver said. "He helped me grow as a player."
Tanner English, OF
Mr. English’s big thing was to show he could improve a bit with his bat, as he’s already known for having pretty good defense. Well, he did do a bit of that by hitting a surprising two-run home run as part of a 9th inning come-back rally on October 27th.
Other than that? Tanner has been struggling at the plate.
Stephan Gonsalves LHP
Gonsalves has only pitched 3 innings so far in the AFL, which isn’t a lot to go by (remember—the rosters are big). He has been working on his pitching and soaking up the opportunity to work with coaches and players from other organizations. "We compete with each other; we're changing up grips," Gonsalves told MLB.com. "Whoever has the best feel for one pitch, you might want to pick his brain on that, try to develop it yourself. I developed a slider this last year. I'm working with a couple of guys I know who throw those sharp cutters, just kind of mixing it up.”
John Curtiss RHP
Curtiss has long struggled with injuries, and is mostly using the AFL to get more experience under his belt. His initial numbers aren’t too great—but hey, at least he’s pitching?
Mason Melotakis LHP
It’s been a pretty good time for Melotakis down in the AFL this year. He’s only pitched 6.2 innings, but they have been pretty dominant ones. Mason is showing he could be a big league arm in the bullpen as early as next season.
Randy Rosario LHP
Rosario—still only a little over two years removed from Tommy John’s surgery—hasn’t really had a super AFL so far, but again, he’s only pitched 6.2 innings. Although he is generally a starter, he’s been used in more of a relief role this fall, which he may be less used to.