Spring training is a lot of fun, don't get me wrong. But there's a lot of dudebro. Which isn't a problem for me, necessarily, as I can flit between nerd, dudebro, effete, and pseudo-intellectual without much effort. I'm quite the renaissance man that way. Multi-lingual. But Scottsdale in March is packed with drunk people who were in diapers when I saw my first Kyuss concert, and after a week, it can start to wear on me.
What I've heard, though, is that the Arizona Fall League is just as amazing as spring training, but you're not dealing with crowds at all. Like, an 800-percent decline in street-side vomiting. And the games are awesome: prospect against prospect. One of these years, man. One of these years.
Long intro short: The Giants have released the list of players they're sending to the Scottsdale Scorpions, and it's a solid, solid group. The list:
In reverse order of how interested I am ...
Parker is an outfielder with tools and patience. He had a .355 OBP and 18 home runs in Richmond, which isn't too shabby. He's also 24, though, and he's a big, big whiffer. Perspective: Parker's 161 strikeouts this season would rank third on the all-time single-season list for the Giants, and that's with only 524 plate appearances in Double-A.
Villalona's story is well-known, and I'm still not sure how to feel. He had to sue the Giants just to get off the inactive list, but now it seems like the Giants are kind of enamored. He's on the 40-man roster, after all, and they're aggressively promoting him. He makes Pablo Sandoval look like Daric Barton with his plate discipline, but the in-game power he showed after years away from organized baseball was impressive. He just turned 23, so maybe there are some dingers in them arms after all.
Susac is a catcher who had a really nice year after a somewhat-disappointing debut in 2012. His defense is still a little hectory, but he projects to be a plus defender with a little bit of a bat. Then you move Posey to third, Pablo to first, Belt to center, and Pagan to second. Easy.
Mejia is one of the 39 different interesting starting pitchers with excellent control and strikeout numbers this year. He's left-handed, 20, and probably on most of the top-10 lists next year. He'll probably start in Richmond next year, and he's one of those players you aren't thinking of now, but you'll have all sorts of opinions on him in a year. Like Mike Kickham or Jake Dunning.
If you're a mechanics wonk, you can watch his delivery over and over and over if you're so inclined. Or, courtesy of Giant Potential, you can just watch him pitch:
Cody Hall makes me want to create unfair comparisons. For example, here's what Sergio Romo did in San Jose:
Here's what Hall did in San Jose:
It's unfair to compare them. Illogical! Inappropriate! But Cody Hall is probably the next Sergio Romo.
And, finally, sweet, sweet Kyle Crick.
/pets computer screen
If one of you could lend me $1,000 for airfare, hotels, and food, I'd do a pretty good blog post on the AFL. Unless I didn't feel like it or was sleepy. And I'm not sure when I'd pay you back.