TigsTown Roundtable: AFL Value

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: How much stock do you put into player performance in the Arizona Fall League?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
Often times, you can't put a ton of value into the production of a particular individual in the Arizona Fall League. There were concerns about Curtis Granderson two years ago during his AFL performance because of a lack of power; however, what wasn't discussed was that Granderson was sent their with specific instruction to work on making better contact, and show more patience, to prepare him for a leadoff role. On the other hand, there certainly can be value for individual players; Corey Hamman was excellent this year working middle relief, a promising sign for Hamman, whose future is likely there, even though he's moved all over for the various teams he's pitched for. So, there can be value found, you just have to know what you're looking for.

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
From an offensive perspective, I don't put a ton of stock in AFL performances. The environment in Arizona his extremely hitter friendly, and many of the parks are quite small. Unless a hitter is heading down there to make major changes to their game, where success would be an indication of quick learning or adjustment, I just don't see it as much of a difference. On the other hand, when a pitcher goes down there and dominates in spite of the hitter friendly confines, I think it requires some serious notice. Pitchers are at a distinct disadvantage in that offensive environment, and if somebody can string together something like Virgil Vasquez did after his first outing, it's worth noting and putting some stock in.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I don't put much into the AFL performances for the most part, because guys there are working on particular aspects they need to improve on. Pitchers go there either to sharpen their breaking balls, work on their changeups, and so on. Hitters go there to correct flaws with their swings and hitting mchanics. One thing I do take out of it is if a player is coming off of an injury, and he begins to show his pre-injury, then I think the team can begin to think about using him either as asset for next year's team at the major-league level, or to possibly better the team as part of a trade.

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