Meloan The Arizona Standout; Hu Had Problems

The Phoenix Devil Dogs wrapped up another title in the Arizona Fall League this weekend. Last year that was good news for the Dodgers who were one of the teams that supplied that club with players. Not so this time, though.

This year, the Dodgers were one of those cooperating with the Mesa Solar Sox which wound up with a 15-16 mark in second place behind Phoenix in the East Division.

It's often a mistake to judge players by their performances at this time of year but you can't blame teams for doing it anyway. Of those seven Dodgers who participated in this league, there's no question as to who advanced his cause the most. That would be righthander Jon Meloan.

Meloan, a last-minute addition to Mesa replacing Scott Elbert, whom the Dodgers decided to rest, was impressive just about every time out. He wound up with a 2-0 record, included one save, had a 1.96 ERA and was among the league's strikeout leaders with 21 recorded in 18 innings. So impressive was he that the Dodgers are considering taking him to spring training as a non-roster addition to see if he might fit into their 'pen sometime in 2007.

Just as Meloan was the most impressive, shortstop Chin-lung Hu was the reverse. He was in Arizona to work on his hitting but it only got worse. He wound up with a .193 average and had all those who have said he won't hit when he gets into better competition nodding their heads

He's been considered the best prospect the Dodgers have at that position for some time; now, though, that designation may go to Ivan DeJesus, Jr.

Catcher A. J. Ellis aided his cause by hitting .346. That's not to say he's going to be considered to back up Russell Martin. No, they'll acquire a veteran to do that if they oblige Toby Hall with a trade as expected. But A. J. can challenge for a spot at Las Vegas.

Like Hu, Anthony Raglani was sent to brush up his plate work after a disappointing season at Jacksonville. He really didn't do that, finishing at .237 with two homers, both in one mid-season game.

Casey Hoorelbeke continued to look like a possible bullpen candidate. He was 1-0, 2.84 with one save. Brian Akin, though, didn't move either forward or backwards, winding up with a 1-3, 3.65 record.