Fall League Update - 10/18

Fall baseball is underway, and RC today takes a look at how the Royals' prospects in both the Arizona Fall League and the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League are faring. In all, 12 Royals' minor leaguers are participating in the two leagues, playing for the Grand Canyon Rafters and the West Oahu CaneFires.


Grand Canyon Rafters (5-1):

Luke Hochevar got the start in the AFL opener on October 10 vs. the Peoria Javelinas, picking up a no decision while tossing three innings. He allowed two hits and one run while walking one and striking out a pair of Javelinas. Unfortunately, his second start wasn't quite as good. On Monday, Hochevar surrendered seven runs (five earned) on six hits and a walk over 2.1 IP. He was on the hook for the loss, but the Rafters bailed him out with a late rally to preserve their perfect record. Hochevar's ERA through his two starts and 5.1 IP is 10.13, and he's allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out four. His next start should come sometime this weekend, and hopefully he can get back on track quickly.

Hochevar had his roughest outing as a professional on Monday

Fortunately, the relievers on the Rafters' roster have fared much better. Gabe DeHoyos has led the way, compiling a 0.00 ERA in three appearances spanning four innings. He's surrendered four hits and a walk while striking out two. Neal Musser has also been solid. In 4.2 IP thus far, Musser has allowed five hits, one earned run (1.93 ERA), and no walks while striking out four. Devon Lowery has made three appearances, allowing one earned run in three innings pitched (3.00 ERA) while striking out three and walking none.

DeHoyos has yet to allow a run in the AFL

Though his numbers – 6-for-24 (.250) – aren't outstanding, Mitch Maier has already come up with some big plays. He reportedly made an outstanding catch over the wall on Friday, and later in the same game, he knocked in the game-winning run with a two-out, RBI single in the ninth inning. Fellow outfielder Chris Lubanski, who's on the "taxi squad" and can only play twice a week, saw his first action on Sunday and went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. That certainly wasn't the AFL debut Lubanski was hoping for, but hopefully circumstances will soon dictate that he'll get a chance to play more regularly. Second baseman Fernando Cortez has seen action in five games, going 4-for-12 (.333) with three RBIs and a pair of stolen bases. Catcher Adam Donachie has only played twice thus far, going 2-for-7 (.286) with a pair of doubles.

Cortez is off to a fast start

West Oahu CaneFires (4-5):

Over in paradise, Mike Stodolka and Brian McFall have been splitting time at first base thus far for the CaneFires. McFall, who was the High Desert Mavericks' regular right fielder during the season, has struggled through his first 19 at bats, getting just two hits (both doubles) while striking out six times. Stodolka, however, has been outstanding, going 6-for-14 (.429) with a double and five walks.

Brian McFall has been playing first base so far this fall

A pair of quality relief prospects rounds out the remainder of the Royals' representation on the CaneFires' roster. Gilbert de la Vara, who posted a 4.27 ERA in 2006 between Burlington and High Desert, has appeared in four games. In 7.0 IP, de la Vara has allowed seven hits, three earned runs (3.86 ERA), and four walks while striking out nine. Jarrod Plummer has been nearly unhittable in his four appearances thus far. In four innings pitched, Plummer has allowed just two hits and no runs while striking out seven batters. Plummer, as you'll remember, very quietly had a solid season in High Desert before earning a late season promotion to Wichita. He's certainly an interesting prospect to watch.

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