Arizona Fall League: Confusion?

In the Arizona Fall League this week, they played all of their games during the day so they would not coincide with the World Series. The Saguaros had a decent week pounding out 16 hits on Monday, won a close one on Friday, with San Diego Padres prospect Matt Hampton earning his first save, and lost an extra inning game Saturday. <br><br> The question many have had is whose advice to heed as these players attempt to hone their skills.

Consider this:

Rob Deer is the hitting coach for the Saguaros, yet the Padres have sent three pitchers to the league. The pitching coach is – none other than Blaine Beatty from the New York Mets system.

The Padres have obviously explained to these young guys just what they want them to work on. But how will Beatty help the likes of Alan Webb, Matt Hampton and Clifford Bartosh when he has no vested interest in their success? Will Rob Deer keep him in line by holding a bat to his head?

"It's really hard who to listen to and who not to listen to," Milwaukee farmhand Ben Hendrickson told us.

Matt Hampton seems to be the only pitcher of the group to be excelling on his own. Bartosh and Webb have struggled with control and Bartosh has allowed three homer runs over a seven game span. Webb, meanwhile, is walking almost a batter an inning and instead of getting better, has actually gotten worse as the season has progressed.

Hendrickson knows what he needs to work on and he does say Beatty is helping him along his path. One has to wonder – just how much help?

"I just take in everything and do what in my mind is the best for my career," Hendrickson added. "Here in the fall league the Brewers told me what to work on before I came out here. Blaine is working with me also which is good."

Deer is in charge of the hitting in Peoria. Thus far, just as one guy starts to hit the ball with some authority, another goes off the deep end.

The only consistent hitter has been somewhat of a surprise as his year split between Mobile and Portland was not that great. Rico Washington is hitting the ball well, but again, not to get too excited – he has only seen action in six games.

Jon Knott has hit a wall. After nine hits in his first 35 at bats, he has gone three for eighteen and seen his average drop like a stock market crash.

After starting the season one for nineteen, JJ Furmaniak is starting to hit his groove. He is five for his last 15, three of those hits coming in one game.

Jake Gautreau is two for his last twelve and not making anyone forget his season at Mobile.

More tomorrow on the Arizona Fall League as we recap the week that was.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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