Arizona Fall League Prospect Report: Ricky Tiedemann Dazzles In Debut


Image credit: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

SURPRISE, Ariz.—It’s not often that a pitcher can set a high-water mark in the Arizona Fall League. It’s even rarer that it happens in a pitcher’s first start of the league’s opening week, when hurlers are typically eased in for a couple of innings after a layoff between the regular season finale and AFL Opening Day.

In that regard, and in plenty of others, Ricky Tiedemann isn’t a typical pitcher. The Blue Jays lefthander went five one-run innings on Tuesday night, the first time in 2023 that he’d lasted five complete frames.

Before yielding to Reds southpaw Jayvien Sandridge, Tiedemann held visiting Peoria to just three hits—a trio of seeing-eye and blooped singles from Padres prospects Nathan Martorella and Graham Pauley and Cleveland outfielder Chase DeLauter.

Tiedemann struck out seven, allowed three hits and three walks and got 13 swings and misses over the course of his 77 pitches, good for a rate of 16.9%, a tick higher than the 15.6% rate he produced in 44 innings in the regular season.

The 2021 third-round pick out of Golden West JC, in California, missed most of the season with injuries. In spring training, he was slowed by shoulder soreness. Later in the season, his biceps started barking. As a result, he missed more than two months, landing on the injured list on May 5 and not returning until July 21, when he made a rehab start in the Florida Complex League.

Tiedemann began his season with Double-A New Hampshire but made just four starts before being placed on the IL. He did not return to the level until August 11.

Despite the limited action, all season long evaluators were steadfast in their belief that Tiedemann was one of the best pitching prospects in the game. On Tuesday, it was easy to see why.

The big southpaw stymied a Peoria club stuffed with hitting prospects by using his signature mix of a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a pair of potentially plus or better pitches in his nasty slider and changeup. All three pitches showed flashes of dominance on Tuesday, though his command and control came and went throughout the course of the outing.

Tiedemann’s fastball command wasn’t the sharpest—particularly up in the zone—but raw stuff was excellent enough to be overwhelming at times, especially in the first week of the AFL, when hitters usually are regaining their timing after the gap between the close of the minor league season and the beginning of their six-week stint in the desert.

Before Tuesday, the last time Tiedemann pitched five innings or longer was July 1, 2022, when he was with High-A Vancouver. His first turn in the AFL cemented what has long been true of the electric-armed lefthander: His pure stuff is talented enough to dominate on the game’s biggest stage.

Now, he just needs to stay healthy.


Scottsdale’s tilt with Glendale featured a duel of pitchers dealt at this summer’s trade deadline. The Desert Dogs started lefty Jake Eder, who went from the Marlins to the White Sox in exchange for Jake Burger. Scottsdale countered with Tekoah Roby, a righty who went from Texas to St. Louis as part of the package that brought lefty Jordan Montgomery to the Rangers.

Eder, a Vanderbilt alum who dominated the Double-A Southern League in his pro debut in 2022 before having Tommy John surgery, went three shutout innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 31 of his 52 pitches for strikes and got six groundouts and did not allow a flyout.

On the other side, Roby, a righthander who was part of Texas’ outstanding 2020 draft class—which also featured outfielder Evan Carter and pure-hitting infielders Justin Foscue and Thomas Saggese (the latter of whom also went to St. Louis in the Montgomery deal—matched Eder zero for zero. He fanned five in three one-hit frames, which he needed just 43 pitches to complete.

The Rangers and Marlins got their money’s worth in the deals, too, with Montgomery spinning seven scoreless for Texas and Burger bashing nine home runs after the trade, which helped propel Miami into the final wild card spot.

Time will tell how each deal is remembered, but with the players’ performances in the playoffs and the AFL, it’s hard to find a loser among the early returns.

In the third game of the evening, Baltimore’s TT Bowens made his presence felt. The Central Connecticut State product, whom the Orioles signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, connected on a pair of home runs in Mesa’s win. Both home runs produced exit velocities of greater than 100 mph and had projected distances of 392 and 432 feet.

Guardians outfielder Chase DeLauter had two hits. Here’s a look at one of them:

And here’s a look at his swing from the side in batting practice.

NEXT UP: Wednesday’s projected AFL starters

LHP DJ Herz (Scottsdale/Nationals) vs. LHP Blake Walston (Salt River/D-backs)
RHP Eric Cerantola (Surprise/Royals) vs. RHP Kendall Williams (Glendale/Dodgers)
RHP Ike Buxton (Peoria/Marlins) vs. RHP Nick Hull (Mesa/Cubs)

Bowens, TTMSSBAL522303.400.4001.6002 HR
Pavolony, ConnorMSSBAL412110.500.6001.250HR
Rosier, CoreyGDDBOS302000.667.667.667
Triantos, JamesMSSCHC413220.750.833.750SB
DeLauter, ChasePEJCLE512101.400.400.400
Manzardo, KylePEJCLE512202.400.400.400
Bigbie, JusticeSRRDET401000.250.250.5002B
McIntosh, PaulPEJMIA411112.250.400.5002B
Mendez, HendrySURMIL301001.333.333.6672B
Cowles, BenjaminMSSNYY403211.750.8001.0002B, SB
Armenteros, LazaroMSSOAK512002.400.400.400
Martorella, NathanPEJSDP312011.667.800.667
Pauley, GrahamPEJSDP512300.400.400.6002B
Brown, DasanSURTOR301001.333.333.6672B
Baumler, CarterMSSBAL33100170.00
Van Loon, PeterMSSBAL3.21000240.00W
Eder, JakeGDDCWS30000330.00
Smith, DylanSRRDET2.185522219.29L
Jones, NickSCOLAA21000030.00
Casparius, BenGDDLAD21000030.00
Sauer, MattMSSNYY21000120.00
Granillo, AndreSCOSTL22000150.00
Roby, TekoahSCOSTL31000050.00
Workman, LoganPEJTBR4.23000150.00W
Tiedemann, RickySURTOR53110371.80L
Ribalta, OrlandoSCOWAS20000010.00W

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