The Arizona Fall League’s regular season came to an end on Friday. The championship game is being played this afternoon, but the Glendale Desert Dogs – the team with the Cincinnati Reds representatives – aren’t playing in it. For the Reds prospects, their season is over and now they can head back home to see their friends, family, pets (which are also, of course, family), and get some down time after a very long year of baseball. Let’s take a look at how each player performed in the league.
The Position Players
Cincinnati sent a group of eight players to the Arizona Fall League this year with four position players and four pitchers. The position players were all rated among the organizations Top 25 prospects in the most recent rankings by all reputable sources.
The Reds top draft pick from the 2018 season had about as poor of a start to the Arizona Fall League as you could imagine. He began the season by going 1-32 with 13 strikeouts. He picked things up from there, going 7-28 (.250) with a triple, three homers, four walks and eight strikeouts. He last played on October 19th, though, as a wrist injury led to him being shut down. As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer, the injury isn’t serious. He saw some action at both second base and third base (read the link from Nightengale’s linked article for some more information on what manager Luis Bolivar had to say about India and others).
After the slow start there was almost no way the numbers would recover given the short amount of time available in the season. He would finish with a .133 average, a .254 on-base percentage, and slug .333 in his 18 games played.
After a strong season with the Daytona Tortugas, Jose Garcia continued his year by joining the Desert Dogs. The shortstop played in 16 games for Glendale. Among the Reds players he was at the top with three stolen bases. He did struggle at the plate, though. He ran off a hitting streak of seven games between October 6th and October 20th, but finished the year with just a .213 average in his 61 at-bats. He walked five times, boosting his on-base percentage to .290, and his four extra-base hits gave him a .311 slugging percentage.
The player who saw the least amount of action among Reds prospects was Stuart Fairchild. But when he was on the field he took full advantage. He bookended his nine games with hitless games. But the middle seven games all saw hits, with four of them being multi-hit games.
The outfielder only had 34 at-bats, but as noted, he made them count. He hit .353, going 12-34. He added in four doubles to account for all of his extra-base hits. His on-base percentage was .405 thanks to adding in three walks in his nine games played. And he slugged .471 while adding in a stolen base.
The Reds top catching prospect had a good season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2019. He played in 89 games for the Lookouts and then extended his year by heading out to the Arizona Fall League. He was also the only Cincinnati prospect that played in the Fall Stars game, hitting a 411-foot home run in the game.
Over his 14 games played, Tyler Stephenson hit .353. That also came along with a .421 on-base percentage. He had eight extra-base hits, including his homer in the Fall Stars game, helping him slug .549 in his time out in Arizona.
He also earned the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. The award is handed out to “the player who personifies the spirit of sportsmanship and plays the game the way it was meant to be played.”
The Hitter’s Stats
Unlike the position player group, the four pitchers that Cincinnati sent out to Arizona didn’t feature anyone that was in the most recent versions of the Reds top 25 prospect lists. But several of them were coming off quality seasons, and one was working his way back from injury.
The right-handed reliever split time in Advanced-A Daytona and Double-A Chattanooga during the regular season, posting a 3.34 ERA between the two stops with 18 walks and 52 strikeouts in 59.1 innings pitched. His season was extended by heading out to Arizona to join Glendale.
The firs ttwo games were tough on Cory Thompson’s ERA, giving up four earned in 3.0 innings. But he clamped down from that point forward. In his next, and final seven appearances he allowed just two earned runs in 7.2 innings (2.35 ERA) with two walks and seven strikeouts. Those first two games made it tough to recover from an ERA standpoint, posting a 5.06 mark in his 10.2 total innings. He didn’t allow a home run in the league.
During the regular season Dauri Moreta dominated out of the Daytona Tortugas bullpen where he had a 2.35 ERA with nine walks and 64 strikeouts in 57.1 innings pitched. He continued his season in the Arizona Fall League for the last six weeks.
The right-handed reliever pitched in 10 games total. The first nine of them went well, throwing 10.0 innings with just two earned runs. But in his final game of the season he struggled – giving up three earned runs in 0.2 innings. It was that final outing that took his ERA from 1.80 to 4.22 as the final mark. Moreta gave up eight hits, including a home run, walked three, and he had nine strikeouts in his 10 appearances.
Much like teammate Dauri Moreta, Diomar Lopez dominated out of the Daytona Tortugas bullpen this past season. He pitched in 28 games and threw 43.0 innings with a 2.72 ERA, just one homer allowed, walked just nine batters, and he struck out 53. Also like Moreta, he threw in 10 games for the Desert Dogs.
Unlike his teammate, he struggled in his time out in Arizona. The right-handed reliever allowed runs in five of his 10 outings and posted a 9.53 ERA. In his 11.1 innings he allowed 19 hits, walked four batters, and he struck out 11.
The regular season didn’t go as planned for Jordan Johnson. The right-handed starter missed most of it, making just nine starts in Double-A Chattanooga this season. He made another six rehab appearances towards the end of the year before the season came to a close.
Johnson made four starts and one relief appearance for Glendale – and his relief appearance was an extended one, basically piggy-backing on the starter of that game. The first two starts saw him allow five earned runs and in his second start he walked five of the seven batters he handed out free passes to in his entire Arizona Fall League run. He rebounded well, giving up just two runs over the next three appearances and 12.0 innings. In total he posted a 3.32 ERA in his 19.0 innings with seven walks and 18 strikeouts.