The AFL wrapped up this week. It may not be much consolation (read: no consolation), but the Phoenix Desert Dogs won the League Championship with a 6-2 victory over Grand Canyon on Saturday, although none of our prospects had much of an impact in the game. In the last week Kevin Melillo rebounded a little bit from a disappointing campaign. He went 6-for-13 with a double and a home run in the last three regular season games, but ended the season with a .245 average in 94 at-bats with just six extra-base hits and nine walks.
Marcus McBeth and Michael Mitchell each pitched respectably for the Dogs this season. McBeth had a 4.50 ERA in 10 IP, but struck out 11 with three walks against some very talented hitters. Mitchell pitched even better, posting a 2.61 ERA with 10 Ks against three walks over 10 1/3 frames. Mitchell's success was a little more eye-raising than McBeth's, but both will carry lofty expectations over to 2007.
Daric Barton and Jason Perry both started playing in the Dominican League at the end of last week. I would have the exact stats, but the only place I know has them updated is "temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit". Barton was playing very well in the handful of games he been in, hitting for both average and power. 2006 was supposed to be his breakout season until he broke his elbow during a freak play in Sacramento. Next year's expectations should be no less, especially if he continues to hit well on the island. Perry hasn't had as much success as Barton in the few games he has appeared in.
Veterans Charles Thomas and Doug Clark are both playing south of the States as well. Clark, who played in his ninth professional season at the age of 30, hit a career high 15 home runs in 2006 and posted a .366 OBP. He is playing well so far in the Mexican League, going 31-for-101 with six homers and 23 walks. Thomas, who struggled to maintain an OBP over .300 in Sacramento, has hit .255 with just four extra-base hits and nine walks in 47 at-bats. Neither figure to play a large part in the A's future, though. Speaking of Charles Thomas, it occurred to me that trades the Braves make usually end up good for them and bad for their trading partner, especially when it comes to pitching. With Mazzone long gone, I wonder if that pattern will continue.
Maybe bears have it right, just go to sleep when the World Series ends and wake up when Spring Training starts. I hope my boss understands. Err... and my dog.