The Arizona Fall League wrapped up its regular season on Thursday, but not before Oakland A's prospect Sean Manaea got one more start. The big lefty went 4⅔ innings and allowed only an unearned run on three hits and a walk, but the bigger story is that he struck out seven more batters. That raised his total to 33 strikeouts, which led all pitchers in the AFL -- runner-up was Seattle's James Paxton with 29.
Even more impressive is that Manaea only needed six starts to rack up those Ks. The next five guys in the rankings each pitched seven games and most of them threw more innings, which I assume is because Manaea skipped a regular season start so that he could pitch in the Fall Stars Game (where, by the way, he racked up four more Ks, pushing his total to 37). So, Sean Manaea made one fewer start than the other top pitchers and he still led the league in strikeouts.
The Mesa Solar Sox only played three games in this final week, and not a whole lot else happened. Chad Pinder made one more start at short but went 0-for-2; Brendan McCurry and Jeff Urlaub each made one last scoreless appearance; and Jaycob Brugman finally had a good game on the last day of the season, going 3-for-4 with a double. The final overall stats:
Nunez: 21-for-71, 4 HR, 2 2B, 4 BB, 14 Ks, .826 OPS
Pinder: 12-for-51, 4 HR, 2 2B, 4 BB, 13 Ks, .865 OPS
Brugman: 17-for-64, 3 2B, 2 3B, 6 BB, 19 Ks, .708 OPS
Manaea: 6 starts, 25⅔ ip, 33 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HR, 3.86 ERA
McCurry: 11 games, 13⅓ ip, 16 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HR, 4.73 ERA
Hall: 10 games, 10⅔ ip, 11 Ks, 5 BB, 2 HR, 6.75 ERA
Urlaub: 4 games, 4 ip, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 6 hits, 2.25 ERA
Kurcz: 4 games, 4 ip, 6 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HR, 11.25 ERA
Venezuelan Winter League
Franklin Barreto made four more starts in center field, bringing his total to nine straight starts at the position. He even threw out a runner at second base to pick up an outfield assist. But even more importantly, Barreto finally started to find some consistency at the plate, hitting safely in all four games and going 4-for-13 with a pair of walks for the week. His overall numbers still aren't great, but he's also still a 19-year-old playing in an advanced league.
Meanwhile, Rangel Ravelo still hasn't recaptured the dominance he displayed before his minor finger injury and league suspension. But he hasn't disappeared, either, going 4-for-14 in four games this week. He also returned to playing first base after taking the DH spot for his first several games back from his injury.
Finally, 19-year-old pitcher Jesus Zambrano made yet another scoreless start. This time, he went 4⅓ innings against the Caribes de Anzoategui, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out three. He did leave in the 5th after loading the bases, so his bullpen bailed him out at the end, but it's hard not to be impressed by the right-hander. Zambrano has now made four starts, and he's currently riding a 16-inning scoreless streak dating back to the final 1⅔ frames of the first one.
Although the AFL is finished, the Venezuelan League continues through the end of December. Here are the overall LVBP numbers:
Ravelo: 33-for-80, 5 HR, 5 2B, 24 BB, 11 Ks, 1.212 OPS
Barreto: 15-for-83, 2 HR, 3 2B, 6 BB, 20 Ks, .528 OPS
Chad Oberacker: 3-for-18, 2 2B, 3 BB, 5 Ks, .596 OPS
Zambrano: 5 games, 20 ip, 8 Ks, 8 BB, 1 HR, 1.35 ERA
Jose Torres: 10 games, 5⅓ ip, 5 Ks, 5 BB, 0 HR, 6.75 ERA
Other winter league notes
- Raul Alcantara made an appearance in the Dominican League. On Nov. 10 he went two scoreless innings, allowing four hits (no walks, no Ks). It makes sense to see Alcantara getting in some work this winter since he was just shy of 50 innings for High-A Stockton this season while he completed his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
- Max Muncy (Mexican Pacific League) still hasn't returned from an injury to his midsection. He last played on Oct. 17.
- Andrew Lambo (Dominican League) hasn't played since Nov. 4, though at 3-for-38 he hasn't been doing much anyway.
- Angel Castro isn't on the 40-man roster anymore, but he's still in the organization. He's thrown 16 innings in the Dominican League over four games (three starts) with a 2.25 ERA, 8 BB, and 5 Ks.
Click here for full stats of all A's winter league participants.