The Arizona Fall League is in the middle of the third week of their season. On Friday night Tyler Stephenson continued to do what he’s been doing since September 18th when the fall league began: Rack up doubles and rack up hits.
The recently turned 23-year-old catcher got the start for Glendale as the Desert Dogs designated hitter. After starting the game 0-2, he singled in the 6th inning to pick up his first hit. Bu tit was his hit in the top of the 11th that helped change the game and lead Glendale to the victory. With the game tied he doubled in Gavin Sheets to give the Desert Dogs the 6-5 lead. It was his 4th double of the year in just his 7th game played. He would later score on a Jonathan India sacrifice fly to extend the lead. India finished the game 1-3 with 3 RBI.
For Tyler Stephenson his multi-hit night pushed his line to .375/.464/.542 with 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 4 doubles, 5 runs, and 2 RBI. It’s just a continuation of what he did in the regular season with Chattanooga. His OPS of .782 in Double-A was 100 points higher than the league average, and he did that with a 10.2% walk rate to go along with a 16.5% strikeout rate – both above-average rates.
Jonathan India got out to a rather slow start to the AFL season. But after last night’s performance he’s crushing the ball today for Glendale in an afternoon contest. As I type this he’s 2-2 with his 1st home run of the season.
It’s already been an eventful afternoon for Jonathan India (CIN). Here he is with his first home run in @MLBazFallLeague play. It came on the fifth pitch from Glen Otto (NYY) to push Glendale ahead, 2-0. pic.twitter.com/vtsAIrlNVv
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) October 5, 2019
When the other winter leagues begin
The Dominican Winter League gets underway a week from today. Saturday October 12th will kick off the start of the league with a full slate of games. There should be some Reds players participating in the league during the season. Last year saw Jose Siri as the only position player to get significant time. But with his break out year this season don’t be surprised to see Aristides Aquino get a lot of playing time if he chooses to play (he played in 8 games last year). Brian O’Grady spent time in both Mexico and in the Dominican Republic last offseason playing. Like Aquino, if he chooses to play there’s a chance he could get plenty of time on the field.
As far as I’ve seen, the Venezuelan Winter League will not have any affiliated players participating in it. Jeff Passan reported in late August that Major League Baseball has banned players from playing in the league this winter as a result of an executive order by the United States of America as an embargo against Venezuela.
Things get started in the Mexican Winter League on Friday October 11th. It’s not a full slate of games, but there are two of them. Last season there were only two Reds players who got time in the league. Brian O’Grady played in nine games before heading to the Dominican Republic. And Adrian Rodriguez pitched in 7 games.
Australia will being play on Thursday November 21st. Last season no Reds players took part in the league. In 2017 it was only Jake Turnbull, a native Australian, who played in the league. It used to be a league that some non-Australian prospects would play in, but it feels that hasn’t happened as much in recent years. Perhaps with Venezuela being off of the table it could lead to a few more guys finding their way there. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.
The Puerto Rican Winter League strangely doesn’t seem to have a schedule posted anywhere for their 2019 season. But in a story recently published about how to watch one of the teams games it notes that starting on November 15th you can tune into a local channel to do so. So I guess for now, that’s the date I’m going with.