Arizona Fall League Week One Roundup: Deck McGuire Dominant
We are one week into the Arizona Fall League (“AFL”) season and the Salt River Rafters – composed, in part, of Blue Jays prospects –have compiled a 4-2 record, one game ahead of the Mesa Solar Sox for first place in the East division. The standout performer on the Rafters for the first week has to be top Rockies SP prospect Tyler Chatwood who, in two starts, has struck out 11, allowing only six hits and touted a K/BB ratio of almost 4-to-1. Chatwood currently leads the AFL in strikeouts.
Out of the Blue Jays’ delegates, 2010 first round draftee Deck McGuire is the leading performer. In two innings of relief, McGuire has allowed no hits, striking out three and walking one.
In his first appearance last Tuesday against Mesa, McGuire entered the game in the sixth in a high-leverage situation: two outs with runners at first and third. While Deck faltered initially – issuing a seven pitch walk of Cubs prospect Matt Szcuzur to load the bases – the hard-throwing righty ultimately escaped the jam, inducing a soft groundball to shortstop Carlos Sanchez, who went to second for the force out.
While the top of the sixth was a harmless yet somewhat tumultuous debut for McGuire, in the top of the seventh he rolled. Deck opened the inning with two strikeouts. He froze first-round Tigers draftee Nick Castellanos looking at a fastball right down the middle and overpowered AFL Player of the Week Jonathan Singleton on a similar pitch. To close the inning McGuire got ahead of pinch hitter Jonathan Schoop to a 2-1 count, and was able to encourage a lineout to Jays compatriot Jake Marisnick in center field.
In his second appearance last Friday against the Scottsdale Scorpions, Deck was called in the bottom of the eight to face righties Alex Monsalve and Gift Ngoepe. He induced a weak flyout to left by Monsalve and struck Ngoepe out on four pitches — the final strike catching the lower-inside corner.
On the whole, it was a promising first week for a vaunted yet enigmatic McGuire who showed great promise in 2011, but disappointed last season. Let’s hope he continues his fall success and carries any momentum forward into spring training.
Through six games, here are the lines on the rest of the Blue Jays’ seven delegates.
OF Kevin Pillar: 2/8, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 1 SO, 1SB,
OF Jake Marisnick: 4/15, 2 2B, 0 RBI, 6 SO,
SS Ryan Goins: 0/8, 1 SO, 1BB, 1R, 1 SO
C Sean Ochinko 1/7, 1 SO, 1 R
RHP Sam Dyson: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 3 SO,
RHP Ryan Tepera 2.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 SO
RHP Deck McGuire: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0ER, 1BB, 1 SO
RHP Ian Kadish: .1 IP, 2H, 1 ER, 1 BB,
The Rafters face Phoenix today at 6:35 MST. While you cannot watch the game, you can follow the gamecast here.