Phillies AFL Update

With just two weeks left in the Arizona Fall League schedule, the Glendale Desert Dogs, home to six Phillies prospects, are 9-12 on the season and three games behind Peoria for the top spot in the West Division.

In Saturday’s Fall Stars Game, pitcher J.D. Hammer didn’t get into the game. Outfielder Cornelius Randolph entered in the sixth inning and finished the day 0-for-1 with a long flyball to center field. In case you were wondering – and we know you were – the exit velocity was a fairly impressive 100.2 miles-per-hour on the ball that Randolph hit.

The 20-year old outfield prospect is hitting .229 (11-for-48) in 13 games with Glendale this fall and has driven in five runs. He hasn’t gone deep, but he does have two doubles and a triple. The down side is that he has drawn just five walks and has struck out 12 times in his 48 at-bats.

Hammer, 23, might not have gotten to play in Saturday’s game, but he has been pretty impressive this season for the Desert Dogs. Hammer has pitched in seven games, covering 8 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits and three walks resulting in no runs. Hammer has seven strikeouts and opponents are batting just .074 against him. He has also saved two games for Glendale.

The other Phillies on the Glendale roster have had mixed results. Trevor Bettencourt, who saved 10 games this season between Lakewood and Clearwater with a 2.61 ERA, has been hit around in his last three appearances. After starting with two shutout innings, allowing just one walk and no hits while recording a save, Bettencourt has been hit for nine earned runs in just two innings of work in his last three relief appearances. The end result is that his ERA stands at 20.25 on the season with the Desert Dogs.

Garrett Cleavinger has made seven relief appearances in the AFL this season and has generally had success. There were two road bumps, one in a game against Peoria when Cleavinger was pounded for five earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning back on October 23rd and his latest hiccup was last Thursday when he gave up two earned runs in two innings of work. His five other relief appearances have covered five innings and he’s allowed just one hit, no walks and has struck out three batters in those outings. The two bad outings have pumped his ERA up to 8.59 in the AFL.

Among other position players, catcher Edgar Cabral, 22, has had a strong fall for Glendale. In 10 games, Cabral has hit .344 (11-for-32) with one run scored. Like Randolph, Cabral is striking out way too much, with 10 Ks in his 32 at-bats. he has produced a .417 on-base percentage with the Dogs.

Zach Green has played in 12 games with Glendale, hitting .225 (9-for-40) with a home run and three RBI. Again, the strikeout totals (13) are high for Green, who hit a combined .227 this season in 57 overall games between the Gulf Coast League, Clearwater and Reading.

The season concludes on November 16th with the AFL Championship to be played on November 18th.

Chuck Hixson

Chuck has a wide and varied background in covering sports both locally and nationally. Living in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, Chuck has the distinction of being the only person to have covered both the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Lehigh Valley Phantoms in every season of their existence. Chuck began covering sports in 1998 when he was the first program director and morning host at WTKZ-AM in Allentown, Pennsylvania when the station switched to an all sports format. Chuck produced the stations coverage of the Allentown Ambassadors baseball team, which played in the independent Northeast League. From there, Chuck was the editor and writer of Pinstripes magazine, covering Phillies baseball. That led to Chuck founding Philly Baseball Insider in 2003. Chuck has done freelance work for national entities such as USA TODAY, CBS, FOX Sports, Washington Times and others.

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