The 2018 season is officially over, ending with a few San Diego Padres prospects raising a championship trophy.
On Saturday afternoon, the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League put a bow on the 2018 season with a walk-off home run in the AFL championship game, taking down the Salt River Rafter 3-2 in 10 innings. With a roster comprised partly of San Diego Padres prospects, the 2018 season ended on a positive note for Padres fans who may now look ahead to 2019 with slightly higher spirits.
Taking the ball for Peoria was Miguel Diaz, who capped off his dominant AFL campaign with another solid outing in the championship game. Diaz brought the heat and a beautiful slider to the bump, taming a tough Salt River lineup consisting of top prospects such as Daulton Varsho, Tyler Nevin, Carter Kieboom, and more.
Diaz gave up one earned run on three hits across 3.2 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Reaching back for 97 mph with his fastball and eventually corraling his slider, Diaz was impressive for much of the afternoon and will enter spring training as a serious candidate to make the Padres 25-man roster.
Fellow Padres prospects Austin Allen, Buddy Reed, and Hudson Potts also started for the Javelinas on Saturday, combining to go 2-11 at the plate. Allen wrapped up his fall with a 1-3 performance, working a walk in the process. Buddy Reed also went 1-3 with a walk, while third base prospect Hudson Potts finished 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts.
Recapping the 2018 AFL season for the San Diego Padres prospects.
Allen ended his AFL season with a .263 average, three doubles, two home runs, and a .358 on-base percentage. As for what 2019 holds, no one knows at the moment. Allen is Rule-5 draft eligible and AJ Preller has to make a decision as to whether or not they protect the catching prospect, leave him vulnerable, or trade him away.
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Outfielder Buddy Reed once again became a fan favorite, hitting .333 with five doubles, one triple, one home run, and five stolen bases. He drew seven walks in 73 plate appearances after drawing just 36 in 530 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Hopefully, this will jumpstart his 2019 season, likely joining the newly named Amarillo Sod Poodles in Double-A.
Potts struggled in his AFL experience, hitting .228 with 27 strikeouts in 79 at-bats. He did add five doubles and two home runs and impressed a number of evaluators who spent time in Arizona this fall. At 19, Potts has a long way to go in his development, but many assume he could eventually become a starting third baseman for the Padres.
The pitching prospects sent to Arizona put in impressive performances, led by Miguel Diaz and relief pitching prospect Travis Radke.
- Miguel Diaz: 2-1, 4.87 ERA, 20.1 IP, 20 H, 9 BB, 19 K
- Travis Radke: 0-0, 2.81 ERA, 16 IP, 15 H, 7 BB, 17 K
- Blake Rogers: 0-0, 1.23 ERA, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K
- Dauris Valdez: 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 10 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 15 K
Less than 90 days before pitchers and catchers report!