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AFL Preview: Peoria Javelinas

The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced by Major League Baseball last week. The league allows up-and-coming prospects (usually from high-A and double-A levels, as well as recent high draft picks) to continue honing their skills away from the fall instructional leagues held by each organization. Play will begin in early October and run until late November with the six teams – each one made up of five organizations’ players – continually facing each other.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting names on each team. The rosters that were recently released are preliminary rosters and some players will be added, while others could be removed. Last Monday, we took a look at the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Tuesday, we had a gander at the Scottsdale Scorpions roster and on Wednesday we viewed the Mesa Solar Sox roster. Today, let’s look at the Peoria Javelinas roster.

The Peoria Javelinas (Click HERE for the entire roster)
Milwaukee, Seattle, Chicago (AL), Los Angeles (NL), Detroit

Phillippe Aumont | RHP | Seattle
Seattle, as per its M.O. (Modus operandi), rushed a number of its prospects through the system in 2009 with less-than-positive results. Aumont pitched very well in high-A despite playing in a very good hitter’s park and league. Moved up to double-A after 33.1 innings, the right-handed reliever saw his strikeout rate jump from 9.45 to 12.23 K/9. However, his walk rate also went up from 3.24 to 5.60 BB/9. He was hurt by a .436 BABIP.

Zach Braddock | LHP | Milwaukee
The 22-year-old Braddock had some problems early in his career while a member of the starting rotation. Injuries took a bite out of his 2009 season, but he was lights-out when he came out of the bullpen. In 39.2 innings split between high-A and double-A, Braddock allowed 24 hits, seven walks and 60 strikeouts.

Joshua Fields | RHP | Seattle
Because of a lengthy holdout before signing his first draft contract (He was also a college senior), Fields has appeared in just 31 pro games despite being 24 years old. The organization rushed him to double-A in 2009 but he imploded with a walk rate of 5.94 BB/9. His strikeout rate of 9.72 K/9 was encouraging and he allowed just 33 hits. His 6.48 ERA is not nearly as bad as it looks, with a FIP of 3.89.

Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt | RHPs | Detroit
Detroit nabbed a number of hard-throwing college relievers in the 2008 draft, including both Satterwhite and Weinhardt. Satterwhite was the bigger name and he spent all of 2009 in double-A where he allowed 46 hits in 49.1 innings of work. He gets more than his fair share of strikeouts, but walks are a concern (4.93 BB/9). Weinhardt wasn’t taken until the 10th round, but he’s been as impressive as any other college reliever taken in the draft outside of Ryan Perry who is already pitching in the Majors. Weinhardt split 2009 between high-A and double-A. He allowed 52 hits in 63 cumulative innings, while showing average command and good strikeout numbers.

Jonathan Lucroy | C | Milwaukee
With incumbent MLB catcher Jason Kendall on his last legs, there will be an opening on the big league club before too long. As the club’s third-round pick from the 2007 draft, Lucroy is one of the favorites to fill that position in the next two years. Known for his good bat, the right-handed hitter slipped a bit in 2009 at double-A with a line of .268/.380/.419 in 418 at-bats.

Dustin Ackley | CF/1B | Seattle
Ackley has yet to make his pro debut but that will come in the Arizona Fall League. The 2009 second-overall draft pick is an advanced offensive prospect but he needs work on his defense in center field before settling in on the big-league roster. Ackley spent much of the 2008-09 college season playing first base, but his power is below average for that position.

Carlos Triunfel | SS/3B | Seattle
Triunfel was to spend the 2009 season in double-A as a 19 year old. However, he suffered an injury that wiped out almost all of his regular season. Luckily, he is back and healthy enough to participate in the fall league. Last season, he hit .287/.336/.406 with eight homers and 30 steals in 436 at-bats. A shortstop early in his career, Triunfel is expected to be a long-term third baseman, although he currently has below-average power for the position.

Jordan Danks | OF | Chicago (AL)
Danks was a little bit more advanced as a hitter than people expected and he hit .322/.409/.525 in 118 high-A at-bats. Moved up to double-A, he struggled in August and September, which brought his line down to .243/.337/.356 in 284 at-bats. His power has also diminished with each move in his pro career, with his ISO dropping from .300 to .203 to .113. Defensively, he could play in the Majors right now.

Andrew Lambo | OF/1B | Los Angeles (NL)
After a breakout 2008 season, Lambo took a step back in 2009, but he was just 20 years old for much of the season while playing in double-A. He held his own but did not dominate with a line of .254/.309/.406. He also had 39 doubles and 11 homers in 488 at-bats. Lambo was hurt by a .296 BABIP.