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Prospect Report: Zac Veen Displays His Exciting Skill Set



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On Wednesday, Salt River won its first Arizona Fall League game in nine tries. At the center of it all was Rockies top prospect Zac Veen, who showed gifts at the plate, on the bases and in the field as the Rafters downed their nearby rival Scottsdale.

By game's end, Veen had gone 2-for-4, scored twice, stole three bases and made a sliding catch in left field. Such a line is befitting of someone who has earned the nod as the Most Exciting Player in his league two years running during BA's annual Best Tools survey.

This year wasn't always smooth sailing for Veen, who was the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2020 draft, out of high school in Florida. After a strong stretch in High-A, he was promoted to Double-A and ran into his first real resistance as a professional.

With Hartford, the 20-year-old hit .177/.262/.234 and struck out three times as often as he walked. Still, Veen welcomes the challenge he now has in front of him heading into 2023: to adapt and adjust to upper-level pitching.

"I think I was pretty happy with how the season ended," he said. "You know, I think I needed it. If anything, I grew a lot from it and I'm happy ... I'd never really dealt with failure before and it was my first time really getting kicked in the teeth. I definitely needed it."

So far, so good for Veen in the Fall League. After Wednesday, he's hitting .500/.630/.722 with a double, a homer, four RBIs and seven walks against just one strikeout. He's also stolen seven bases in eight tries.

For his early efforts, Veen earned the AFL's Hitter of the Week.

"It was sweet," he said of taking home the honor. "I'm glad all my work's paying off."

Jordan Walker, OF, Cardinals: Salt River's first win was keyed late by Walker's two-run single up the middle, scoring Jordan Lawlar and Zac Veen. Though Walker has shown a tendency to swing and miss against offspeed stuff, his pure strength makes him one of the circuit's most intriguing prospects. Add the fact that he's continuing to get reps in center field and you've got a recipe for a potential very special player if everything clicks.

T.J. Rumfield, 1B, Yankees: Rumfield came over from the Phillies in the deal that sent Nick Nelson and Donny Sands to Philadelphia but missed most of the 2022 season with injury and is now making up for lost time in the AFL. After nine games, the 22-year-old Virginia Tech alum is on a tear. His .526 average is tops in the league, as is his 1.478 OPS. He bolstered those stats on Wednesday by going 3-for-5 with a double and his first home run of the AFL.

Nerwilian Cedeño, 2B, Padres: The 20-year-old switch-hitting Venezuelan went off on Wednesday against Mesa, finishing a double shy of the cycle. His home run was very long and very loud, landing well past the bullpen in right field at Peoria. He's hitting .364 in the early going for Peoria.

QUICK HITS: Righthanders Justin Martinez (D-backs) and Jorge Mercedes (Marlins) each touched 100 mph with their fastballs on Wednesday. Martinez had Tommy John surgery in 2021 and pitched at four levels this season—Rookie, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A—while racking up 38 innings. He fanned 62 during that span but walked 22 as well. Mercedes' career has been stunted by injuries. He signed in 2018 but injuries and the pandemic delayed his official pro debut until this season, which he spent in the Florida Complex League as well as High-A and Double-A. He's touched triple-digits in each of his last two outings.

ORGCLASSPLAYERABRHRBIAVGNOTES
ARIWINJordan Lawlar, SS21000.2502 BB (7), E (1),
ATLWINJustyn-Henry Malloy, 1B50200.3752B (4),
BALWINCesar Prieto, SS30010.095BB (1),
BOSWINNiko Kavadas, 1B20000.3642 BB (6),
BOSWINNick Yorke, IF41120.300
BOSWINWilyer Abreu, RF30010.111E (1),
CLEWINConnor Kokx, OF40100.300
CLEWINAngel Martinez, IF40100.214E (1),
COLWINWarming Bernabel, SS50000.095
COLWINGrant Lavigne, 1B32100.4212B (4), 2 BB (3),
COLWINZac Veen, OF42200.500BB (7), 3 SB (7),
DETWINDillon Dingler, C21200.500BB (4), E (1),
DETWINGage Workman, SS40110.056
LAAWINKyren Paris, SS40000.176
LAAWINBryce Teodosio, OF31000.125BB (1), SB (1),
MIAWINJose Salas, SS41200.2503B (1), BB (3),
MIAWINVictor Mesa, CF51200.250
MIAWINJoe Mack, C42200.2942B (1), BB (4),
NYMWINKevin Kendall, SS50000.320
NYYWINTyler Hardman, 1B50100.360
NYYWINT.J. Rumfield, 3B51330.5262B (4), HR (1),
OAKWINLawrence Butler, 1B42230.368HR (2), BB (6),
OAKWINDenzel Clarke, OF41000.071BB (2), SB (3),
SDWINNerwilian Cedeno, 3B41320.3643B (1), HR (1),
SDWINTirso Ornelas, LF40000.211
SEAWINRobert Perez, 1B40000.154
SEAWINSpencer Packard, OF30000.143BB (7),
SFWINAdrian Sugastey, C31200.417BB (1), 2 E (2),
STLWINJordan Walker, 3B51220.286
TBWINMason Auer, OF50220.2763B (2), CS (2),
TBWINTanner Murray, SS31100.333BB (2),
TORWINTanner Morris, SS30000.250
TORWINZach Britton, RF20110.3332 BB (2),
WASWINBrady Lindsly, C31100.300BB (3),
WASWINWill Frizzell, 1B40200.429
Zac Veen Larrygorenfourseam

2022 High-A Minor League Prospects With The Best Scouting Tools

Best tools and scouting analysis for the High-A Midwest, Northwest and South Atlantic leagues.

ORGCLASSPLAYERIPHRERBBKERANOTES
WINChris Lincoln, RHP1.0110120.00
ARIWINKyle Backhus, LHP1.2000022.70
ATLWINAllan Winans, RHP4.0442332.00
BOSWINRyan Zeferjahn, RHP1.0000206.23
BOSWINJacob Webb, RHP1.0222116.00L (0-1)
CLEWINCade Smith, RHP0.2100012.70
COLWINFineas Del Bonta-Smith, RHP2.13432212.79
COLWINBlair Calvo, RHP1.01000012.46Sv (1)
DETWINTyler Mattison, RHP1.0000020.00W (1-0)
LAAWINKelvin Caceres, RHP1.0100109.00
MIAWINChandler Jozwiak, LHP1.0000030.00
MIAWINJorge Mercedes, RHP1.0000039.82
NYMWINGrant Hartwig, RHP2.0322118.31
NYMWINChristian Scott, RHP3.08441413.50L (0-1)
OAKWINRyan Cusick, RHP5.0311221.00W (2-0)
SEAWINAdam Macko, LHP1.01000216.20
SEAWINTy Adcock, RHP0.1122205.40
TBWINAntonio Menendez, RHP2.0511026.35
TORWINAnders Tolhurst, RHP2.0100236.75
WASWINLucas Knowles, LHP1.0000009.00
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