For the past month and a half, eight Orioles prospects have been showing what they've got in the Arizona Fall League. Their team, the Surprise Saguaros, went all the way to the championship where they defeated the Mesa Solar Sox 2-0. Four O's prospects saw action in the game and each contributed to the win.
Eduardo Rodriguez started the game for the Saguaros and ended up as the winning pitcher. He pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He gave up one single each in the first and second innings, and pitched a perfect third to finish his day. Rodriguez's stats over the full AFL weren't dazzling (small sample size alert), but he did strike out 16 in 14 2/3 innings with six walks allowed. Rodriguez also participated in the AFL Fall Stars game where he pitched one scoreless inning.
Henry Urrutia and Jonathan Schoop both started the championship game for the Saguaros, with Urruita in left field and Schoop at shortstop. In the second inning Urrutia doubled with two outs and came in to score the first run of the game. It was a two-double game for Urrutia, who put up a great performance in the AFL. After struggling to do anything other than hit singles for the Orioles in limited time with the club, Urrutia hit .377/.434/.551 with three doubles and three home runs in 18 games with the Saguaros this season.
As for Schoop, he was also instrumental in the game. In the eighth inning he led off with a single and came in to score the second run of the game for the Saguaros. It wasn't a great fall season for Schoop, who hit just .177/.323/.271 in 16 games.
The fourth O's prospect to see action in the AFL final was relief pitcher Tim Berry. Berry started the sixth inning with the Saguaros holding a one-run lead. He got into trouble with a walk and a single, and then with one out, loaded the bases on his own fielding error. But he came back to retire Kris Bryant, the AFL MVP, on a pop up, and struck out the final batter to end the inning and keep the Solar Sox from rallying.
Berry pitched in just seven games for the Saguaros this fall and gave up just three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings pitched. He gave up just three walks compared to 11 strikeouts and pitched to a 0.95 WHIP.
The four Orioles propects playing in the AFL who didn't appear in the championship game were RHP Branden Kline, LHP Jason Gurka, OF Dariel Alvarez, and C Michael Ohlman. Ohlman in particular had a great AFL despite playing in just ten games due to his spot on the taxi squad (meaning he could only play two days per week). In those ten games he had just 31 at bats and still hit four home runs and three doubles.
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