First Week In The Books

Whats going on AFL fans! It has been a little over a week since my last entry and a lot has happened here in Scottsdale since.  The Scorpions sit at 5-4 just one game out of first place.  It has been a great week, getting to know my new teammates better and feeling out the competition.  

We had our first off day in the fall league and a few of us decided to try our luck on the links.  We headed to North Scottsdale to play Troon North, which just might be the nicest course i’ve played.  Myself, Danny Moskos, Brian Friday, and Tuffy “Tiger Woods” Gosewisch had a good time, mostly all of us admiring Tuffy’s annoyingly good golf game…Tuffy isn’t allowed to play with us anymore!
In the past week I have also had two more outings, one being very good, the other being very bad.  I have also gotten to see my teammate’s abilities even more and what they bring to the table.  There is some very good talent here but i will tell you about a few who have impressed me the most:
Domonic Brown – If you were to mold an outfielder on a video game, I’m sure it would appear eerily similar to this guy.   When scouts talk about 5-tool players, Browny is exactly what they mean. 
Brandon Crawford – Even though we are in the same organization, and we swapped cars for the summer after being moved, I still hadn’t seen Brandon play much.  Folks, if you come out to an AFL game, make sure to get there early enough to see him take groundballs during pregame.  The guy turns BP into an all out And 1 Mixtape tour event on the infield…just call him the Professor.  I dont know if i’ve ever seen anyone field like this guy.
Donnie Veal – You can see why the Pirates snagged him in the rule 5 draft and hung on to him all year.  He throws one of the heavier fastballs from the left side i’ve seen.  Once polished, he has front of the rotation type stuff to pitch in this game a long time.
Thank you to everyone who left comments and questions.  
Trauts – I am a relief pitcher, I have been a closer at times during my professional career, but our big league team has one of the best in Brian Wilson.  I will be willing to help the big league club in any capacity whenever I do get that call.

Jim and Ruth – Thanks for the suppport! This fall league I look to focus on working on my weaknesses.  The main thing just being able to command my sinker, and to get ahead of hitters.  My strength has been my ability to get ground balls with my sinker.
Katy – To answer your question, not many pitchers arms or bodies feel great at this point of the year.  The fall league does present a good opportunity to build arm strength and see how your arm will react to playing over 162 games.  You learn about yourself as a pitcher when you have to get good hitters out and you don’t have your best stuff.
Mike – Great question, I would say the most important thing I have learned has been mental.  Just trusting my stuff and realizing I dont need to make my pitches better than they already are.  Early on I would try to do too much and that lead to control issues.
Tom- Great to hear from you, I hope Troy is doing well.  Thank you for the kind words, San Jose has been a great place to play, and its fans like you that make it that way! Tell everyone hello for me!
Thomas Neal should be here next week, so any questions you have for him, this is your chance…

7 Comments

Steve- great job with the blog! I wanted to know about how Brandon “The Professor” Crawford is doing with the bat. Are there any insights you can provide (things that aren’t evident by reading the boxscores alone)? He seems as though he is striking out less, an issue some scouts have picked on him for. The fact that he is striking out less and walking more against the best prospects in baseball seems to be a great sign. How does he look in BP? Also, Posey seems to be picking things up with the bat as well. How does he look in BP and how is he progressing behind the plate? Any thoughts about Turpen? Finally, I am really pulling for you to make the big league team as a setup guy along with Runzler next year. Keep up the great work!

I Just figured out how to reply to comments the correct way…Thanks for the support and comments. The Professor is looking very good with the bat. He has some serious pop in BP, and has looked very balanced and more discipline at the plate. He hit a rocket the other way yesterday that left the yard.. the ball maybe got 15 ft off the ground. Buster looks fine at the plate. He is a professional hitter and I have ZERO doubt he will carry it to the big leagues when he becomes a regular player. As far as his progression behind the plate I have nothing but good things to say. I have thrown to him in Hawaii last winter, San Jose, and Fresno this season. The progression has been unbelievable. I have not come across a pitcher in our org that doesn’t like throwing to Buster. Turp has a great arm and has developed a good changeup that has been a good equalizer for him.

Thomas- I am now officially a Keith Law hater, the so-called scout for ESPN. I am sure you have read about his challenge that he would like to see you duplicate your 2009 season against AA competition. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that you are doing exactly that and more with your performance in the AFL— a league filled with baseball’s top prospects. So congrats on carrying San Jose to another title and continuing to mash in the AFL! I would like to know what you worked on prior to your 2009 season. Also, what are you currently working on in Arizona? Your example, being drafted at a young age and working to improve you game each year, should serve all of the younger players well. Have you been approached by any of the younger prospects and if so, what advice have you given them? Good luck in 2010 and we all hope to see you roaming the outfield in SF soon!

Hi Thomas:

I have read glowing reports about your emerging power numbers in San Jose which is encouraging since there seems to be a dearth of similar talent at the big (and lower) league level(s) of the Giants organization. Are you mainly concentrating on improving your batting power in the AFL… or are you working on improving your BA/OBP?

Also, after the AFL, are you planning on playing winter ball (and where) or are you taking the rest of winter off? Thanks. Go Giants!

~~sfgyrosfan

Hey Steve…Thanks for answering my question and keeping us updated about your adventures out in AZ. We know you guys work very hard out there so its good to know you get to have a little fun too. Can’t wait to hear what Mr. Thomas has to say…..I love seeing a socal kid playing for the Giants. Good luck, have fun and take care of yourselves.
Katy

Hey Steve…Thanks for answering my question and keeping us updated about your adventures out in AZ. We know you guys work very hard out there so its good to know you get to have a little fun too. Can’t wait to hear what Mr. Thomas has to say…..I love seeing a socal kid playing for the Giants. Good luck, have fun and take care of yourselves.
Katy

Hey Steve! Thanks for the little reports about the players that have impressed you. Since I’m going to school and living in San Francisco, I haven’t been able to make it to Arizona to actually watch any of your fall league games even though I really wish I could see at least one! Instead, I’ve been watching almost every game on Gameday, but it gives me no idea what you guys actually look like out there, so I really appreciate you telling us. Nice job pitching Friday (at least from what I could tell from Gameday…) keep it up! :)
–Lauren

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