The 2019 AZL Reds: Reviewing the Season Doug Gray September 4, 2019 4 Comments The Arizona League Reds season came to an end near the end of August. They needed a win on the last day of the season to finish at .500. They didn’t get it and finished 27-29 on the year. Overall on the year they finished in a 3rd place tie in the AZL Central Division. But the league plays a first and a second half for playoff purposes. In the first half, the Reds went 10-18 and finished in 5th place. In the second half they went 17-11 and finished in second place. Only the division winners in each half qualify. The Reds didn’t qualify. Impressive team stats Offensively there was only one category where the AZL Reds were in the top three. And really, it’s not one they had much to do with: They were hit by 51 pitches on the season, 3rd most in the league. The pitching staff was not in the top half of the league in any stat other than innings pitched. Top Hitting Performance There were a few solid options to choose from here, but I’ll say that the top hitter on the team was Caleb Van Blake. The 22-year-old was the Cincinnati Reds 37th round draft pick this season out of UC Davis. He saw action at first base, second base, and third base with the AZL Reds this season – though most of it did come at first. He played in 32 games for the team in Goodyear, hitting .341/.391/.593. In his 133 plate appearances he had 7 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 7 walks, and he struck out 22 times. That earned him a late season promotion up to Greeneville, and then Billings. Top Pitching Performance Two guys are going to get a nod in this category. 21-year-old right-handed reliever Andres Falcon had about as tough of a start to the season as you can have. In the first 8 days of the season he threw 6.0 innings and allowed 12 earned runs, 8 hits, and he walked 9 batters. From that point forward he was absolutely dominant for the Reds. He threw 44.1 more innings and posted a 1.83 ERA with 11 walks and 36 strikeouts. He only allowed 27 hits in that span, holding hitters to a .172/.235/.261 line. When the AZL season began Spencer Stockton wasn’t even on the team. Or in the Reds organization. But he joined them after signing in early July and made six appearances – including 4 starts. He would throw 33.2 innings for the AZL squad, posting a 2.14 ERA with 5 walks and 41 strikeouts before being promoted to Greeneville (where he continued to dominate). Team MVP Without having actually been around to see the team in action, the defense, the team leadership – I have to lean on the stats here. And for that one I’m going to go with Fidel Castro. The 20-yearold outfielder saw most of his time in right field for the AZL Reds, but did get into two games in center and two more in left. Offensively his slash line didn’t quite match that of Caleb Van Blake, but he had significantly more playing time (43% more plate appearances for the AZL Reds) while hitting .290/.363/.515 and stealing 9 bases. Castro hit 10 doubles, 5 triples, and he had 6 home runs while also leading the team in runs scored and runs batted in. Toss in the still very good performance, additional playing time, and the defensive value as an outfielder versus a first baseman and he gets the nod here. If you would like to see the entire stats for the team you can click here and head on over the team page at Baseball-Reference. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 4 Responses Krozley September 4, 2019 Good seeing Seth Mejias-Brean get the call up by the Padres at age 28. He always seemed like he had a chance at being a utility guy in the bigs, it just took a little while to get there. Oddly, he started playing shortstop this year, getting the bulk of the games there for El Paso once Luis Urias was promoted. Good luck to him. RojoBenjy September 4, 2019 Just read that on trade rumors. No wonder that name seemed so familiar. Scott C September 4, 2019 I know he only had a few games at AZL, but I was wondering about Jose Acosta. Since he did pretty well in the couple of weeks he was over here, is there a chance that he gets sent to Greenville next year? Doug Gray September 4, 2019 Yes, there’s a chance. A few guys have gone right from the DSL to Greeneville/Billings over the last two years. Some guys have made stops in the AZL, which of course, Acosta did. He’ll be 20 next season, so it’s not as if they’d be pushing him incredibly aggressive like if he were 17 or 18 next season and having him only have a few weeks in complex ball.