AFL Update: Week 3

The Peoria Javelinas. That's the Arizona Fall League club that six M's minor leaguers are suiting up for during the five-week schedule in the desert. By the way, ever wondered what in the world a "Javelina" is? Me, too. So I used google for the 54th billion time this week, and according to Princeton University, a "Javelina" is a Peccary.

Great. Now, what the heck is a Peccary? Again, according to Princeton University's wordnet, it's a medium-sized mammal related to the pig and the hippopotami, and looks like a wild boar. It's found in the southwestern areas of the U.S. and all throughout Latin America. They grow to be 3 to 4 feet in length and weigh about 60 pounds.

The funny fact about the Javelina is that it's grey with a white collar. A WHITE COLLAR. In places like deep Texas, Mexico and Southern Arizona, of all locations. Poor pig. He's bound to get picked on for wearing that thing.

Trivia Questions of the Week (answers at the bottom): 1. What's a Saguaro, the nickname for the other Peoria-based club in the AFL?

2. What's Arizona Fall League record for home runs in a single season?

Enough of the desert animal planet show, seen here every Monday at noon…

Brandon Wood (LAA) continues to lead the league in home runs, but has gone five straight games without one. Everybody now… GASP!

Wood, 20, also leads the league in runs batted in with 21 and slugging percentage at .842 while playing shortstop for Scottsdale. (Everyone knows what a scorpion is, right?)

Rockies third base prospect Ian Stewart, 20, who ended his season in the Cal League with a .311/.409/.533 finish over 37 games, has picked up right where he left off with the Nuts of Modesto. (Yes, the Nuts) Stewart, a left-handed hitter with the defensive skills to stick at the hot corner, is hitting .316/.409/.605 with three home runs for the Javelinas. Stewart also boasts a 6-6 K/BB ratio in 11 games.

Brenadan Harris (Washington) continues his league lead in hitting, sitting at .524… Kendry Morales (LAA), the Cuban defector, is smoking hot as well, hitting .396/.484/.660 with two homers and a 9-7 K/BB ratio… Right-hander Jered Weaver, yet another top prospect for the Angels, sports a 17-2 K/BB ratio in four starts, but is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings of work… The best pitching performance in the AFL thus far may belong to Orioles' southpaw Adam Loewen. Loewen, 21, has yes to allow an run in 12 innings pitched and surrendered just three hits for a sparkling .088 BAA.


RHP - Clint Nageotte
3 GS, 0-1, 2.25 ERA, .209 BAA, 12 IP, 9 H, 12 K, BB
Nageotte continues to shine in the valley of the sun, tossing nine strikeouts at the Mesa Solar Sox in a five-inning stint on October 20. Nageotte has faced 44 batters in his three outings, and has put up some pretty incredible numbers against them. Of the 44, only 11 have reached base, nine via the base hit, one by way of error and one by way of the base on balls. Of the 33 batter outs that the 24-year-old has recorded, 28 are by way of strikeout or groundout. Only five batters have made outs through the air versus the right-hander. Five. In 12 frames.

CF - Adam Jones
12 G, .154/.214/.333, HR, 2-3B, 3 RBI, 9 K, 3 BB
Jones is still slumping at the dish, but is making marginal progress in center field. He knows how to use his cannon throwing arm and already has two assists to show for it, and he's avoided the fielding miscues during the past week. The more experience he gets, the sharper his routes will become and his jumps will seem like lightning. One scout says "that kid has star qualities that you can't teach. He'll be fine."

C - Jeff Clement>
11 G, .360/.500/.680, 2 HR, 2-2B, 5 RBI, 5 K, 7 BB
Clement is doing exactly what was expected of him at the plate. Behind it, is another story. On October 22, six base runners were successful trying to steal off the 22-year-old backstop, though one was clearly a misplay by the second baseman and another was a questionable call. Clement did throw out one would-be base stealer in that ballgame, his first of the AFL season.

OF - Gary Harris
11 G, .286/.333/.393, SB, 6 K, BB

RHP - Chris Buglovsky
6 G, 0-1, 18.00 ERA, .476 BAA, 7 IP, 20 H, 2 K, 3 BB

RHP – Michael Flannery
6 G, 0-0, 2.79 ERA, .282 BAA, 9.2 IP, 11 H, 9 K, 2 BB

Trivia Answers: 1. A Saguaro is a large tree-like cactus, one of the larger cacti species. It bears one central trunk and at least one arm. It looks like a fork, basically. The Saguaro played an important role in the economy of the Hohokam and the Pima and Papago cultures and is native of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern U.S. as well as parts of Mexico.

2. Tagg Bozied (SD) blasted 12 homers for Peoria in 2002. Wood may eclipse that output this fall. He has nine round-trippers with more than half the season to be played.

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