Josh Vitters, 3rd (Cubs): Few pitches, many hits. Business as usual for the confusing prospect. Except on this occasion the hits happened to leave the yard. Twice, actually (5 RBI and one stolen base on the day). Vitters certainly has the swing and bat speed to produce a lot of power, it’s just that his approach has dramatically reduced how much it actually shows up in games. He doesn’t strike out a lot either (11% this year), so if he can just manage to become more selective on what he swings at he could quickly regain elite prospect status and be a dominant hitter.
Anthony Gose, OF (Blue Jays): One of the best (if not the best) athletes around in Arizona Fall League play, the Toronto farmhand started the season off nicely with a double and a home run. Gose’s power increased significantly this year, so it’s likely more extra base hits are in his future. No opportunities yet for him to steal bases, but it’s likely he’ll be among the league leaders.
Michael Choice, OF (Athletics): Surprisingly, Choice bumped the faster Gose off of the center field position. Not something usually seen for a guy thought to simply be a power bat in the outfield. Batting third, his 3 for 5 day left him a triple short of the cycle. He’s one of the more obvious candidates to be the Fall League home run king with his plus power.
Robbie Grossman, OF (Pirates): He might fall into the overachiever category, usually playing over and beyond his tools, but he’s shown that he can provide offensive value. Grossman singled, homered, and walked in his 5 plate appearances, driving in two. The switch hitter doesn’t have amazing speed, but he is capable of stealing at a better-than-average rate, something that should keep him at the top of the lineup since he’s a high walk rate kind of bat.
Brad Boxberger, RHP (Reds): Boxberger registered the first save of the season while not allowing a single hit, walk, or run. And he struck out each one of the four batters faced on Tuesday. He certainly has the stuff to become a shut down reliever, it’s just a matter of consistency. Look for him to end up as one of the most effective relievers in all Arizona Fall League play by the end of this season.
Jaff Decker, OF (Padres): The athletic outfielder managed to reach base 5 times in Tuesday’s action, walking once and hitting singles in his other 4 plate appearances. Between the air in Arizona and his extra base power, expect plenty of doubles and a fair share of home runs before this Arizona Fall season is out.
Tim Wheeler, OF (Rockies): Wheeler started in center and drove in two, collecting a walk, single and double in his 5 plate appearances. Coming off of a season where the outfielder hit over 30 home runs, it’s likely that some of those doubles will soon be turning into home runs.
Matt Adams, 1st (Cardinals): The power hitting first baseman picked up two singles, a double, and a stolen base (don’t expect much of those) in 5 trips to the plate. He’s more of a power bat than average guy, but not overwhelmingly so by any means. Though Adams hit fifth in the lineup, he could easily be moving up very soon if he displays some of the power seen at AAA this year.
Nolan Arenado, 3rd (Rockies): One of the strongest hitters in Fall League play, he collected two doubles and a walk through 5 plate appearances. His power is still evolving, but the strength and bat speed is there for him to be a dangerous hitter, especially considering the high contact rate that he’s sustained through 2011.
Jedd Gyorko, 3rd (Padres): The 2010 draft pick has hit for strong average wherever he goes, and if hist first game is any indication of things to come, that trend should continue. With 3 singles in 5 plate appearances, one might think that the power isn’t there for a shorter infield prospect, but his 74 extra base hits in 2011 minor league action speak otherwise.
Ryan Wheeler, 1st (Diamondbacks): Restricted to first base and DH, Wheeler will always need to hit to stay relevant as a prospect. Tuesday should help then. His two doubles and single in 5 plate appearances are nice, but scouts have wanted, and will continue to want him to show more power considering his defensive limitations.