There was some hype built around the players the Rockies were sending to the Arizona Fall League or AFL. One of their prospects people were most excited to see was pitcher Yency Almonte. On top of Almonte, the Rockies also sent pitchers Shane Broyles, James Farris, Zach Jemiola, and position players Dom Nunez, Brian Mundell, and Yonathan Daza. There were rumors about their number one overall prospect Brendan Rodgers going to the AFL after suffering an injury and possibly needing more playing time, but the Rockies decided to keep him off the Salt River Rafters roster.
Almonte was put into a relief role in the AFL even though the Rockies mainly want to utilize him as a starter. The Rockies wanted to limit his innings so putting him on the roster as a reliever was their call. Almonte’s overall ERA was a 7.20 in the AFL, but that was mostly because of one bad outing where he pitched two innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Otherwise, Almonte’s other three appearances combined for three innings, allowing only one run and five hits. He’ll be a guy to keep an eye on next year as he could possibly make an appearance in the MLB from the Rockies bullpen. He has a lot of potential and plenty of room to grow.
Broyles and Jemiola performed the best of the pitchers sent to the AFL. Broyles came out of the bullpen, throwing three innings total allowing only one hit and no runs in all of his appearances. Jemiola, on the other hand, was a starter. In his first appearance, he pitched three innings, allowing no runs on two hits, walking two batters and striking out five. Then in his second appearance, he was even more dominant, pitching five innings, giving up five hits, no runs, no walks, and striking out four batters. It was a good sign to see Broyles being so dominant and able to keep the walks low and strikeouts relatively high even though it was only two short starts.
As for position players, Nunez was a bit disappointing as he did not manage to get on base in any of his 10 at-bats. Mundell on the other hand absolutely tore it up. In 27 at-bats, Mundell recorded eight hits with a .412 OBP and six walks while only striking out three times. Daza performed fairly well as he hit .308/.321/.423 in the AFL and managed to steal three bases while getting caught once.
It was a smart idea for the Rockies to send these guys to the AFL so this way they have some more playing after the season to make any adjustments to prepare for spring training in March 2018. All of these guys have been progressing through the system fairly well and it was exciting to get to see some of them debut their talent against other teams top prospects. Jemiola and Mundell were two of the best players who represented Colorado in the AFL and it will be interesting to see how they could carry that into next season.
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