There will be no championship this year. In fact, the Peoria Javelinas played to make sure they do not finish with the worst record in the Arizona Fall League. That's rough.
Last year, the Javelinas were champions of the AFL and today, they sent out their squad for one final game this fall.
Padres prospects Austin Hedges, Cory Spangenberg, and Tommy Medica all started today. After the game was over, the Javelinas were officially in 5th place overall in the AFL. Their 3-0 win gave them a record of 12-19 to avoid last place. Though, they still would have avoided it because the other team down there, who was 1 game worse before today, lost their game today to finish 10-21.
For one of the 3 Padres prospect starters, this fall has been a tough time under the sun for them in a Javelinas uniform.
The AFL has not treated him nice. Medica, who debuted with the Padres this September, made his presence known immediately. In 19 games this September, he batted .290 in 69 at-bats over 19 games. His 3 home runs and 10 RBIs gave us some sort of glimpse into the future for Medica.
Unfortunately, Medica had major struggles at the plate. In 66 at-bats this fall, he batted a dismal .121 with only 8 hits in 20 games. His 2 doubles and zero RBI are very disappointing to see, especially after the impact he made with the Padres. One must hope that this may just be a rough patch. Fortunately, he will have the offseason to prepare for Spring Training 2014 when the way he swings the bat will truly begin to matter.
Hedges had himself quite a nice outing in the league. His defense has been spectacular and his offense numbers were just as good. In his 15 games with the Javelinas, Hedges had 15 hits in 55 at bats. His .273 batting average along with 6 RBI made him a very productive member of the team. He finished 2013 with the San Antonio Missions so he will be one to watch for once Spring Training rolls around next year.
Spangenberg played extremely well in the AFL. He led the team with a .308 batting average, 12 runs scored, an OPS of .849, and has the 2nd most SB on the team with 7. He also tied for the team lead in hits with 20. Cory brought his A-game this fall and his regular season stats were just as good. His overall BA over the regular season was .292 and racked up a total of 150 hits over 513 at-bats. His 36 stolen bases is an indication of the type of threat he is on the base paths. He finished 2013 with the Missions and will be another prospect knocking on the Petco Park doors in 2014.
Padres Pitching Prospects
I would be remiss of I didn't at least mention the Padres pitching prospects with the Peoria Javelinas. Keyvius Sampson, Adys Portillo, Dennis O' Grady, Johnny Barbato, and Joe Wieland each took the mound this fall.
Portillo struggled in his 9 appearances giving up 11 ER in 11.1 innings for an ERA of 8.74. Granted, 8 of those ER occurred in only 2 of the 9 games, but it is still a troubling statistic.
Barbato gave up 9 ER in his 14 innings pitched.O'Grady gave up zero ER in his 9.1 innings pitched.
Prior to today, Wieland made a single appearance for the Javelinas going only 1 inning and giving up 2 hits and 1 ER while recording 1 strikeout. It was his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2012. This afternoon, he took the mound and threw a shutout inning, giving up only 1 hit and using only 11 pitches.
Sampson has been the gem of the 3 pitchers. In his 11.1 innings pitched, he allowed only 8 hits and 1 ER for an ERA of .79. He spent most of the time working out of the bullpen, making only 1 start over his 9 games. He finished the regular season a bit rough in Tuscon so it is nice to see him have some good outings in Peoria.
About halfway through this I realized that I should have let jodes produce gifs from some underground double secret footage of these games or something in a final farewell to the Javelinas. At least until next year when Max Fried and Hunter Renfroe lead them to the title.
It was a valiant effort for the Javelinas, but it was just not to be. Goodbye, Arizona Fall League. Though the seasons will change, your name will stay the same.