Arizona Fall League Recap: Pitcher Edition

A recap of pitching performances at the Arizona Fall League

Thanks for following along with the Pitcher List dynasty team. Yesterday, we were able to bring you a recap of how notable hitting prospects were performing in the Arizona Fall League. Today, it is my turn to bring you the pitcher’s side of things. Keep reading to learn about how 18 of the pitching prospects have looked in the AFL so far.


Glendale Desert Dogs


Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Jake EderChicago White Sox, LHP

15.2 IP | 16 H | 6.32 ERA | 13 BB | 16 K | 1.85 WHIP

A 4th round pick by the Marlins in 2020, Eder excelled in his first professional season and looked like a front-of-the-rotation starter. After a dominant Double-A performance only allowing 43 hits in 71.1 innings with a 1.77 ERA, Eder needed Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2021 season.

Still working back from injury in 2023, Eder reported to the AFL as a new member of the Chicago White Sox. The Arizona Fall League wasn’t kind to Eder as he struggled like he did in the 2023 regular season. Eder has yet to see his mid-90s fastball velocity fully recover.

Here is Eder throwing a low 90s fastball with his low 80s plus slider that is now his best pitch. Eder has struggled to throw strikes after Tommy John surgery which has added to his disappointing 2023. Hopefully, Eder can get back on track with a fresh start in 2024 and compete for a rotation spot in Chicago.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Ronan Kopp – Los Angeles Dodgers, LHP

8 IP | 3 H | 1.13 ERA | 6 BB | 15K | 1.13 WHIP

Kopp stands 6’7″, which gives him good extension/deception and velocity on his fastball. Kopp struggled with his command in 2023 and that has been present in the AFL as well. His large frame and extended delivery make it difficult to throw consistent strikes.

Kopp has shown off his stuff with a plus fastball and potentially plus slider. Kopp is shown here hitting 97 with his fastball but if the command doesn’t improve, he’ll be destined for a high-leverage relief role.

Despite the walks, Kopp has dominated with only 3 hits allowed in his 8 innings pitched with a dominant 15 strikeouts. With a true two-plus pitch mix and funky delivery, Kopp should have no problem racking up strikeouts.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Bryan MataBoston Red Sox, RHP

9 IP | 11 H | 8.00 ERA | 2 BB | 10 K | 1.44 WHIP

Mata was a top international signing back in 2016. Every year Mata puts up a solid ERA with good strikeout numbers but is often held back due to his walk rate. In 2023, Mata was returning from injury and had his first bad year in his minor league career as he walked 30 batters in 27 innings.

On to the AFL after a short 2023, Mata has not had the best AFL experience as he has allowed 8 earned runs in just 9 innings. He was 0-1 in save opportunities and hasn’t started any of the games he’s appeared in. For a highly touted pitcher who could end up pitching out of the bullpen due to his poor walk rate, this was not a good first test. Mata is still working back from injury and has started 94 of his 97 career minor league appearances. This could be him adjusting to a new role and Mata is still a pitcher to watch in 2024.


Mesa Solar Sox

Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Carter Baulmer – Baltimore Orioles, RHP

10.0 IP | 11 H | 4.50 ERA | 6 BB | 15 K | 1.70 WHIP

A 5th-round pick in the shortened 2020 draft, Baumler has been around for a while but has thrown just 28.2 professional innings due to injury. One of the more intriguing arms in the AFL, Baumler showcased his good stuff and made the AFL All-Star game.

Baumler has a very smooth and athletic delivery that he repeats without issue. Here he is with a dominant 7 strikeouts in his 3 innings of work. Baumler threw his curveball for strikes, leaving hitters frozen but also got some swing-and-miss on it. Now healthy, the Orioles have to be excited to see what Baumler can do as a full-time starter. There is a legit change at #3 starter potential if he can stay healthy.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Jack PerkinsOakland Athletics, RHP

11.1 IP | 9 H | 0.00 ERA | 6 BB | 13 K | 1.32 WHIP

A 5th-round pick in 2022, Perkins split his 2023 season between High-A and Double-A. Command was the biggest aspect of note headed into the AFL for Perkins and unfortunately, it was the only blemish on his otherwise impressive stat line. Perkins walked 6 batters in 11.1 innings but allowed just 9 hits and no earned runs with 13 strikeouts.

Perkins looked great in 2023 at the High-A level but the walks crept back up as he reached Double-A. Advanced and older hitting will be the biggest test for Perkins as he stumbled a bit at Double-A and was saved by short outings in the AFL.

Still, Perkins didn’t allow any of his baserunners to score which will help him stick as a starter in 2024 but is promising as a long-inning reliever as well.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Royber SalinasOakland Athletics, RHP

19 IP | 19 H | 6.16 ERA | 12 BB | 23 K | 1.63 WHIP

A big-bodied starter at 6’3, 205 pounds, Salinas has used that frame to gain plus velocity on his fastball and slider. Salinas has battled command his entire minor league career, which continued into the AFL. This AFL stint was a big test for Salinas, and he didn’t perform as most would have hoped.

Salinas had a good final outing in the AFL to hopefully build on in 2024. He went 4 innings and tallied six strikeouts allowing no earned runs and walking three. The stuff is there for Salinas, but he’ll need to make significant improvements to stick as a starter. We saw Oakland give Joe Boyle and Joey Estes a shot late last season and I won’t be shocked to see Salinas get one around the All-Star Break in 2024.


Peoria Javelinas

Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Zach McCambley – Miami Marlins, RHP

9 IP | 6 H | 5.00 ERA | 7 BB | 12 K | 1.44 WHIP

Before his last outing in the AFL, McCambley had solid numbers with a 3.38 ERA in the 8 innings he pitched.

A former starter, McCambley made the switch to reliever in 2023 and saw his numbers drastically increase. His 3.22 ERA in 2023 was over a full run better than any other previous season. The command was a bit shaky still, but he was able to work around that out of the bullpen.

McCambley impressed in the AFL despite a bad last outing leading to subpar numbers. His slider is his best pitch as shown above as it creates good spin rates to generate a lot of swing and miss. McCambley is a good late-inning option for Miami, and he could lock down a 7th or 8th-inning role in 2024.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Jarod Bayless – Seattle Mariners, RHP

6.2 IP | 1 H | 1.35 ERA | 3 BB | 12 K | 0.60 WHIP

Bayless has impressed in the AFL only surrendering 1 earned run across 6.2 innings pitched with 12 punchouts. As seen above, Bayless starts with his body completely closed off to the hitter hiding the ball with a bit of sidearm delivery as he drops his body down.

Bayless used his funky delivery to rack up the strikeouts in the AFL and after the promising 6.2 innings, Bayless could move fast in 2024. Given the Mariners’ success with churning out bullpen arms, Bayless could be next in line for Seattle.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Drew Sommers – Tampa Bay Rays, RHP

8.1 IP | 14 H | 6.48 ERA | 6 BB | 17 K | 2.40 WHIP

Sommers, an 11th-round pick in 2022, was coming off a solid first season at the Low-A level. In 43 innings, Sommers struck out 66 batters and pitching to a 2.72 ERA. Sommers had a big test in the AFL, and it wasn’t the result the Rays hoped for coming off a successful first pro season.

Sommers surrendered 14 hits and walked 6 batters in his 8.1 innings, with a 6.48 ERA. On the plus side, he has tallied 17 strikeouts, so his high K/9 has carried over from his start at Low-A. Regardless, this was not the AFL experience the Rays or Sommers were hoping for as he looks to rebound in 2024.


Salt River Rafter


Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Jackson JobeDetroit Tigers, RHP

15.2 IP | 14 H | 2.87 ERA | 5 BB | 19 K | 1.21 WHIP

Jobe took quite the jump in 2023 and is right up there with Ricky Tiedemann as the most notable pitching prospect overall in the AFL. In a short, but dominant 2023 season, Jobe had a 2.81 ERA with 84 strikeouts in 64 innings and just 6 walks allowed. A back injury had Jobe start the 2023 season late and he was about as impressive as you could be in just his second professional season.

The AFL has been much of the same for Jobe as he tallied 19 strikeouts in 15.2 innings pitched with a 2.87 ERA. Jobe has answered every question on whether he can continue his 2023 success against older hitters by maintaining great numbers. He has seen his fastball touch 98 and live at 96 in 2023 with his slider hitting a max spin rate over 3000. Jobe has seen his stuff improve after a long layoff from injury which moves him to a potential ace.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Case WilliamsColorado Rockies, RHP

14.1 IP | 7 H | 1.88 ERA | 8 BB | 14 K | 1.05 WHIP

A 4th round pick in 2020, Williams has struggled to live up to the potential. A 5.72 career minor league ERA for Williams through 2023, he has found much more success in a short AFL stint.

Williams has allowed just 7 hits in 14.1 innings and struck out 14 batters. He’s had the chance to start every game, but he won’t get the opportunity to pitch deep into games in the AFL. Regardless, this is the most success Williams has had since he made his professional debut and he’ll look to build on that headed in 2024.

More of a finesse pitcher, Williams doesn’t have overpowering stuff or high strikeout rates. Williams may transition to a bullpen role if he doesn’t see much progress in 2024 as a starter.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Wilmer FloresDetroit Tigers, RHP

18 IP | 25 H | 4.00 ERA | 4 BB | 22 K | 1.61 WHIP

One of the most intriguing pitching prospects headed into 2023 was Wilmer Flores. A dominant 2021 and 2022, Flores was flying up rankings as a strikeout pitcher with a good ERA. 2023 was a bit rougher on Flores as he finished with a 4.65 ERA. Flores found his groove in mid-June at Double-A but got hurt in mid-July and was out until late August.

Reporting to the AFL, a dominant showing would no doubt get Flores back on track and a shot at a 2024 rotation spot. This wasn’t the case as Flores gave up 25 hits in 18 innings pitched to the tune of a 4.00 ERA. While his overall numbers didn’t look terrible, it was my hope that Flores would dominate the competition. On the plus side, Flores only surrendered 4 walks and struck out 22 batters in those 18 innings.

Here Flores is striking out speedster Victor Scott II. He has an easily repeatable delivery with a big frame. Flores may not have been un-hittable in the AFL but I’m still high on him headed into 2024.


Scottsdale Scorpions


Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

DJ HerzWashington Nationals, LHP

17.0 IP | 13 H | 3.71 ERA | 9 BB | 25 K | 1.29 WHIP

Herz was a dominant strikeout pitcher for the Cubs with subpar command in both 2021 and 2022. The potential was there but Herz never was able to hone his command. Herz should have the chance to start for the Nationals in 2024 but there is some reliever risk at this point in his career.

Herz pitched all of 2023 at the Double-A level between the Cubs and Nationals. He lowered his walk rate from 2022 but it still needs some work. The one aspect every year Herz believers want to see is a livable walk rate. Unfortunately, he walked 9 batters in his 17 AFL innings so the command is still the issue that will limit the potential of Herz as a starter.

Herz has the confidence and stuff to become a starter as shown above. Herz has a similar profile to Blake Snell, who could be his comp if it all works out. Given that the Nationals are still rebuilding, Herz should get a chance to debut around the all-star break and throw 50+ MLB innings in 2024.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Davis DanielLos Angeles Angels, RHP

19.0 IP | 10 H | 1.89 ERA | 5 BB | 25 K | 0.79 WHIP

Davis had a brief MLB stint in 2023, where despite 9 walks in 17 innings, he pitched to a 2.19 ERA. With only 41.2 innings in 2023, Davis reported to the AFL and has impressed in all aspects.

With a sub 1.00 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 19 innings, Daniel has been dominant not allowing hitters to square him up while getting plenty of swing-and-miss. His curveball, (first pitch seen above) has a big break to it that often gets hitters to overswing. Paired with his rising fastball, Davis has tallied plenty of strikeouts in the AFL. Davis should start in the LA bullpen in 2024, with a chance to pitch in some high-leverage situations.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Tekoah RobySt. Louis Cardinals, RHP

13.2 IP | 15 H | 5.93 ERA | 6 BB | 18 K | 1.54 WHIP

Tekoah Roby was part of the return St. Louis got back for Jordan Montgomery. Roby has struggled to put up eye-popping numbers, but his stuff took a jump forward in 2023. There has been plenty of good in the short 13.2 AFL innings but the overall numbers are the disappointing part for those hoping Roby would take a step forward against older competition.

Roby reported to the AFL and shown above is him getting two close-to-MLB-ready prospects to strike out. His fastball has reached 98 mph in the AFL, but he lives mostly at 95 mph. His fastball may break out as a plus pitch if he can hit 98 more often. Roby has above-average command, but it has gotten away from him a little in the AFL. Roby has flashed as a #3 starter at times in his minor league career and more so in the AFL, but his inconsistency is slightly disappointing.


Surprise Saguaros


Most Notable Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Ricky TiedemannToronto Blue Jays, LHP

18 IP | 12 H | 2.50 ERA | 8 BB | 23 K | 1.11 WHIP

Personally, I believe Tiedemann is the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. In an injury-riddled 2023, Tiedemann still flashed plus stuff as he totaled 82 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched.

Tiedemann is one of the top prospects in the AFL and has shown he’s a dominant arm with 5 earned runs in his 18 innings. 23 strikeouts showcase the plus swing and miss stuff from Tiedemann that should be on display in 2024 spring training as he fights for a rotation spot.

Tiedemann missed a lot of time in 2023 due to a bicep injury that prevented him from having a shot at making his MLB debut. Extra reps in the AFL have reassured the Blue Jays that Tiedemann is a potential top-of-the-rotation starter.


Most Impressive Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Emiliano TeodoTexas Rangers, RHP

11 IP | 3 H | 0.00 ERA | 3 BB | 19 K | 5 SV – 5 SVO

A pure reliever, Teodo has had electric stuff for some time now. His ability to harness his pitches and throw them consistently for strikes has been the issue.

Teodo has a plus fastball with great velocity, but he has a high-effort delivery which limits the amount of strikes he throws. The best pitch for Teodo alternates between his slider and fastball but the slider makes hitters look silly.

These pitches show that Teodo has a chance to be an MLB closer even with his command issue. The elite 11 innings, paired with a perfect 5 for 5 in save opportunities from Teodo in the AFL has to give Texas a lot to be excited about heading into 2024 spring training.


Most Disappointing Prospect’s Arizona Fall League Performance

Mitch BrattTexas Rangers, LHP

11.1 IP | 14 H | 8.74 ERA | 8 BB | 13 K | 1.94 WHIP

Bratt has had a wildly eventful 2023 for a 20-year-old as he started with his rough WBC performance against Team USA, followed up with a full season at High-A, and wrapped up in the AFL. Unfortunately, the AFL experience for Bratt was much like his WBC performance.

Bratt struggled to limit contact and throw his pitches for strikes against older competition as he pitched to a 1.94 whip. 14 hits and 8 walks in 11.1 innings are tough to succeed and the walks are uncharacteristic of Bratt as he’s held a sub-9% walk rate in his minor league career.

Bratt doesn’t have any overpowering stuff so the test will always be how he fares against advanced hitting. His first two chances have been more than rough but Bratt should have another offseason to add strength and physically mature.

Photos by John Byrum & Joe Robbins | Icon Sportswire
Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram)

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