Fall League Updates
Each major league team must send seven players to the Arizona Fall League each season, and this year the Twins sent Nick Blackburn, Anthony Swarzak, Eduardo Morlan, Ryan Mullins, Matt Macri, Trevor Plouffe, and Drew Butera.
Since the league started sometime around the end of the regular season, theses players have been playing in several games with players from various other teams. But, there have been no updates on how they are doing, and after looking at their stats, it turns out they've all been playing pretty well.
Here are some stats and notes on each of the seven players.
Blackburn made it to the majors at the end of the season after having a nice year at AAA. With the Twins, he had a few rough outings with the team, but he had some very good ones as well. So far in the Fall League, Blackburn has pitched very well. In 6 games, Blackburn is 4-0 with a nice 1.64 ERA and 20 strikeouts.
Swarzak is regarded as one of the Twins' top minor league prospects. He missed some time this past season after being suspended for substance abuse, but came back and pitched well at AA. So far in the Fall League, Swarzak has pitched in 7 games, and has posted a 2.05 ERA to go along with 12 strikeouts. Swarzak is also tied for the team lead in innings pitched with Blackburn.
Morlan is a reliever in the Twins farm system, and pitched for the Miracle and Rock Cats this past season. After putting up solid numbers at both stops, Morlan was chosen to represent the organization. So far, he has been awesome out of the bullpen. In 11 total games, Morlan has yet to allow a run (0.00 ERA). He is 1-0 with 7 strikeouts.
The final pitcher for the Twins in the Fall League is Ryan Mullins. This past year, Mullins pitched for the Miracle before getting promoted straight to AAA. He went on a little slump, before getting sent to AA where he finished the year. In 5 outings so far (4 starts), Mullins has went 0-0 with a nice 2.40 ERA. He also has 17 strikeouts in just 15 innings of work.
Plouffe is a future shortstop for the Twins, and is their best hitter so far in the Fall League. This past season, he played at AA New Britain. He is currently third on his team in hitting with a .280 average. In 15 total games played, Plouffe has 14 hits and 8 RBI.
You may have heard Macri's name this past season, that's because the Twins acquired him when they traded away Ramon Ortiz. Macri is thought to be a pretty good hitter, and has shown that so far. In 26 games, Macri is hitting .275 (4th on the team), with 2 homeruns and 9 RBI.
The final player from the Twins on the Fall League team is Drew Butera. Butera may also be a familiar name as his father played for the Twins, and the Twins also acquired him this past season when they traded away Luis Castillo. Butera is a catcher, and is thought to be one of the better ones in the system. So far in the Fall League, Butera has played in 11 games and has a .241 average. He has a total of 7 hits and 4 RBI.
After looking at all of the stats of each of these players, it looks as if the pitching in the Twins farm system is still at the top of the majors. It also looks like there are still an abundance of pitchers that could be making their way up to the top over the next few seasons.
I can say that I personally am pleasantly surprised with how we are doing in the Fall League, and I like to see that guys like Morlan are dominating.
If you would like more stats from any of these players, you can find them at the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster page.