Wednesday’s AFL Wrapup: Chris McGuiness, Jonathan Singleton Star At The Plate

We're taking a look at the good, the bad and the in between from Wednesday's Arizona Fall League games.

The Good

• In one of the deepest farm systems in the game, it’s harder for a prospect to get noticed. First baseman Chris McGuiness is the best first base prospect in the Rangers’ system if you view Mike Olt as a third baseman. Acquired from the Red Sox in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade, McGuiness has a very good feel of the strike zone, uses the opposite field well and is starting to tap into his solid power potential. On Wednesday, McGuiness went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run. McGuiness will be Rule 5 eligible if he isn’t added to the 40-man roster.

• Center fielder Brian Goodwin (Nationals) impressed scouts this season with an advanced approach and plenty of tools. He may be adding more admirers in the Arizona Fall League as he went 2-for-4 with a home run to right field off of Chia-Jen Lo.

• It was a good day for Nationals prospects and Salt River. First baseman Matt Skole homered as well as part of a 3-for-5 day that included a double.

• Third baseman Matt Davidson (Diamondbacks) got Salt River’s easy 11-3 win over Mesa going with a three-run home run in the first inning. Davidson later added a single and walk and scored three runs.

• One more Salt River regular hit a home run. Left fielder Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays), one of the best pop-up prospects in the organization this year, homered as part of a two-hit day.

• The fact that first baseman Jonathan Singleton (Astros) homered off of Sam Dyson (Blue Jays) wasn’t all that surprising. After all, Singleton is one of the best first base prospects in the game. The fact that Singleton tripled in the same game was much more surprising. Singleton isn’t exactly a speedster and he has only seven career triples in just under 400 pro games.

• Right fielder Nick Castellanos (Tigers) continued his hot hitting with two more hits in four at-bats, lowering his two-day average to .444. He also stole a base.

Trevor Rosenthal has been one of the revelations of the playoffs, as the Cardinals’ rookie has dominated with a high-90s fastball and nasty breaking ball. Next year, Sam Freeman might be similarly revelatory. The lefthander can run his fastball up to 95-96 mph with good natural sink. He struck out two in an inning of work.

• Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (Rays) stole three bags in three attempts as part of a 1-for-4 afternoon.

• As good as first baseman/outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard (Brewers) was in 2011, his 2012 has been equally snakebit. Kjeldgaard broke a finger in April sliding into a bag. That injury sent him to the disabled list. Once he returned, he never really got comfortable at the plate, struggling to a .211/.326/.398 stat line between high Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. He also was dropped from the Brewers’ 40-man roster. Kjedgaard started to put his rough 2012 behind him with a pair of hits including a home run for Phoenix on Wednesday.

• Third baseman Cody Asche (Phillies) had a pair of doubles.

The Bad

• Lefthander Jon Keck (Royals) is one of a number of potential Rule 5 eligible players who are battling for either a 40-man roster spot or auditioning for a possible Rule 5 selection. As a tall (6-foot-6) lefty with a 91-94 mph fastball and a decent breaking ball, Keck has the stuff to make scouts take a second look, but he’ll need to have better outings than the one he had on Wednesday. Keck allowed four hits and three unearned runs in just two-thirds of an inning of work. He threw only 13 strikes in 28 pitches.

• Righthander Mike Wright (Orioles) is at his best when he’s pitching off his sinker. But as Orioles’ reliever Jim Johnson has shown this week, sometimes when the ball doesn’t sink, it can travel a long ways. Wright gave up back-to-back home runs to Davidson and Skole in a four-run first inning.

• After an excellent debut on Tuesday, shortstop Javier Baez (Cubs) went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and also committed a pair of fielding errors.

• The combination of catcher Alex Monsalve (Indians) and righthander Mark Montgomery (Yankees) had trouble slowing down basestealers. In just one inning of work, Montgomery gave up three stolen bases. For the day, Monsalve, who threw out 26 percent of baserunners during the regular season, gave up six steals in six attempts. He did try to get some revenge by stealing two bases himself, which equalled his total for all of the 2012 regular season.

The So-So

• Scouts have long thought that Tim Beckham would end up moving off of shortstop at some point. With shortstop Nick Ahmed (Braves) joining him on the Desert Dogs roster, Beckham is getting some exposure to second base in the Arizona Fall League. Beckham went 0-for-4 with two walks and two strikeouts on Wednesday. He also was thrown out stealing, was picked off first and committed a throwing error defensively.

• Third baseman Kaleb Cowart (Angels) had a pair of hits in five at-bats in his Arizona Fall League debut.

Minors | #Arizona Fall League #Daily Dish

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