AFL Rundown - Week 1

October 18, 2009

The Arizona Fall League is officially under way, and while the first week doesn't offer a decent enough sample size to make sweeping generalizations, there's already plenty to discuss. 

Grant Desme -- Desme has struck out in 42.1% of his 19 plate appearances thus far. He struck out in 26.1% of his plate appearances during the minor league season between Single-A and High-A ball. He also has already hit two home runs and doubled.

Mike Leake -- In his first taste of professional competition, Leake had mixed results. Working with a 88-90 MPH fastball, he gave up four hits, struck out two and walked one while throwing 46 pitches (29 strikes) over 2.0 innings. Leake faced just 10 batters.

Scott Sizemore --  Amid speculation that he may be in line for the Tigers' second base job next season, Sizemore has gone out and hit three home runs in as many games, making him the league's week one home run leader. To this point those are his only three hits. His progress will be something to keep an eye on in the AFL, as a strong showing could assure the Tigers front office that he is ready to handle the major leagues. 

Mike Stanton --  Known mainly for his power, Stanton has been showing some speed thus far, stealing three bases. With this total he has already equaled his stolen base output from the entire minor league season in 533 fewer plate appearances. Could the early stolen base totals point to Stanton trying to make himself a threat on the basepaths as well as at the plate?

Stephen Strasburg -- In his first AFL start, Strasburg didn't fail to impress. He struck out two of the first three batters he faced, and eight of his ten outs came via groundout. As the AFL progresses and he continues to shake the rust off -- remember, he didn't play all summer -- we could see how his power arsenal fares against some of the top prospects in the minors. 

I just created a twitter account that I'll be using to post about the AFL. Join me in following AFL players who are tweeting (Scot Drucker, Jonathan Gaston, Garrett Parcell, and Drew Storen). I'm also following the official AFL twitter and I plan to check in on Giants' reliever Steven Edlefsen's blog. Lastly, don't forget there's PitchFX data for the AFL this year.