AFL, HWB, VWB: The Bats Are Waking Up

A recap of the fall action in Arizona, Hawaii and Venezuela.

INF, Sergio Santos

Santos is riding a four-game hitting streak (6-for-15) that includes two doubles (first extra-base hits), a home run, a walk and only one strike out. He was also successful in stealing a base in last Friday's game. He has struck out only four times in twenty-seven at bats so far in the AFL season.

Contrary to his numbers last season in New Hampshire, he has been hammering right-handed pitching, but has yet to put the ball in safe territory against a southpaw (7 AB, a walk and two punch out).

Defensively, the 24-year-old continues to handle both third base and shortstop and has yet to commit a fielding error.

OF, Travis Snider

Travis Snider hit his first home run in the AFL Monday, a two-run shot in the 7th inning that was part of a five-run effort in that 10-1 win for Scottsdale. A third of his hits have been for extra bases (all against RHP) and presents this batting line: .321/.412/.500.

He committed his first error of the season Saturday, on a throw from the outfield.

OF, Ryan Patterson

The outfielder, used primarily in center field, had a huge game Monday, going 3-for-5 with a run scored, a run batted in and a strike out. He also had a hit Saturday, giving him a more reasonable batting line of .226/.273/.226.

He struggles against right-handed pitchers (20 AB, 3 hits and 7 K for a .377 OPS), but seems comfortable against left-handed competition which he hits at a .364 clip. It is a continuation of struggles encountered in 2007 when he had close to a .400 differential between his OPS numbers against RHP and LHP (.671 OPS to 1.030 respectively). By pulling the ball so much, he becomes vulnerable to right-handed breaking pitches on the outside corners and it's clearly been costing him.

LHP, Ricky Romero

The first rounder has allowed five hits and five earned runs in his last three outings (2 2/3 IP). His 12.27 ERA stands out along with his .333 average against.

LHP, David Purcey

Purcey has walked at least one batter every time he has taken the mound so far, but has struck out thirteen to lead the league (his six walks are also tied for the lead in the AFL).

The 6'5'', 235 pounds pitcher has been pounding both sides of the plate and is working on throwing his change-up for strikes. However, he has found himself throwing at lot of pitches in a small amount of time, like his 72-pitch effort Saturday that worked out to only 3 2/3 innings. He allowed three fly outs and three ground outs in that outing.

RHP, Justin James The reliever came back strong from a bad outing in his previous opportunity to impress, allowing only a hit for the entire inning of work. The outs included two ground outs and one fly out. Hitters are hitting only .214 off of him right now.

Hawaii Winter Baseball

The West Oahu Canefires have also won two of their last three games and the Jays representatives continue to contribute to the recent successes the team has had.

INF, Anthony Hatch

Playing shortstop Saturday, he committed yet another error defensively, his eight of the short season, this time coming while executing a throw to first base. His 0-for-3 performance offensively stopped a small three-game hitting streak (4-for-11) during which he had hit his first home run and fifth double. His .340 batting average stands for fourth best in the HWB league and has an .903 OPS.

Four of his thirteen hits in his last ten games have gone for extra bases, roughly the same pace he presented in the regular season with the Dunedin Blue Jays (45 for 120).

C, Brian Jeroloman

As far as getting on base, the defensive-minded catcher is picking up where he left off at the end of the 2007 season with seven base on balls so far in nine games, along with eight strike outs. However, he is improving in the hits department with nine in 31 AB and four going for extra bases (three doubles and a homer). His batting line looks like this: .290/.421/.484.

He is hot right now with four hits in his last ten at-bats and due for a start in tomorrow's game against North Shore (13-6).

Venezuelan Winter League

Juan Bustamante

Bustamante is a product of the Jays Dominican League program and finished the 2007 season with a 5-3 record and a 2.88 ERA. He's appeared in one game in the VWL and allowed one run, on two hits.

LHP, Jesse Carlson

The lefty has been crafty in the VWL, keeping a virgin ERA and allowing only one hit in 3 1/3 IP. He has walked a batter and struck out another.

Edgar Estanaga

Estanga has appeared in four games, but has notched just 1 1/3 innings. He's yet to allow a run, but has yielded three hits.

Ryan Houston

Houston is trying to duplicate his 2006 VWL success yet. He's pitched in four innings and has allowed a run, on five hits.

Jean Machi

The right-hander has tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out three batters and not issuing a walk.

RHP, Javier Nieves

The right-hander has been less effective than his counterpart: three innings pitched, four hits, two earned runs, two walks and a punch out. Opposing batters have hit him at a .308 average.

He played with the Auburn Doubledays in 2007 and was successful with a 2.66 ERA and 44 strike outs in 44 IP. He put up these numbers as a reliever that dominated right-handed batters (.200 average against).

Julio Pinto

Pinto has started one game and appeared as a reliever in two more. He's 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 2/3 innings, having allowed five runs, on eleven hits. He's yet to allow a walk, while fanning eleven batters.

Orlando Trias

Trias has struggled in Venezuela this fall having allowed three runs, and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.

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