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the news from arizona

the Arizona Fall League ended this week. a select few Cardinals were flown down to Arizona to play in Peoria, which is apparently in Arizona now. i believe it has something to do with the football Cardinals.

anyway, at least one cardinal acquitted himself very well, some of them looked terrible, and most of them were pretty undistinguished in their service.

the undisputed champion of the small sample size was ryan jackson. he followed up a pretty reasonable 2011 in Springfield (.278/.334/.415) with a .342/.438/.500 line in Arizona. the long-time glove-first shortstop has begun to show a more adept approach at the plate. of course, the AFL numbers come with not just a small sample size warning, but a very strong offensive skew to the league and the parks. still, there's not really an environment where a .938 OPS is a bad result for a shortstop.

tyler lyons was clearly the team champ on the pitching side. he managed a 4.85 ERA in almost 30 innings (remember the whole hitter-friendly skew), but his peripherals were more telling: 7 walks to 28 strikeouts, for a 4:1 K:BB rate. he did get touched for 4 homers in that brief stint, but i am more interested in the strikeouts and walks.

two prospects making a name for themselves this season on the offensive side produced some resoundingly okay numbers. oscar taveras put forth a .307/.312/.413 line in 75 ABs, and matt adams hit for a .250/.258/.475 line in 80 ABs. between them, they had 3 walks. taveras's line is more appealing to me because he's coming from Quad Cities (instead of Springfield), he's 4 years younger, and he doesn't play first base. taveras is still stretching himself to play against leagues of almost exclusively older players; adams should be solidifying his dominance at the plate.that said, it would be nice to see more walks from both of them, even in a tiny sample size.

the rest of the pitching staff looked mostly terrible in their short stints. most notably, david kopp may have played his way out of the club's plans on the relief front; he was not among the names on the 40-man roster yesterday, making him eligible for the rule V draft next month. he put up a 10.13 ERA, with a 5:8 K:BB rate in almost 11 innings. keith butler didn't look very good either, with a 6.75 ERA and a 5:11 K:BB rate. justin wright looked similarly poor, with an 11.42 ERA and a 6:14 K/BB rate. again, it's a small sample size in a rare, batter-friendly environment, coming at the end of what was a very long season for many of these players, with none of the pitchers representing anything like the cream of the crop in the system. i don't think there is anything to worry about here, but few of these guys did themselves any favors.

also, if you haven't looked at d-dee's fanpost just to my right here, you should. right now, it has 103 recs, which is almost as many as the transcript of joe strauss and bj rains being stuck in an elevator for an hour would have.