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Astros winter baseball update: Arizona Fall League and more for Oct. 28 - Nov. 3

Catching up on all the Astros prospects taking part in off-season baseball

Delino DeShields participated in the AFL Fall Stars Game
Delino DeShields participated in the AFL Fall Stars Game
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first weekly update on what took place with Astros prospects who are playing in the various off-season baseball leagues. These should go up every Monday morning, covering the previous week of action (note: the AFL does not schedule games on Sundays, that's why there will be six AFL games per report).

Arizona Fall League

October 28th, 2013

Peoria Javelinas: 4-0 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions

-> Japhet Amador: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
-> Delino DeShields: 0-for-1, 2 R, 3 BB
-> Nolan Fontana: 0-for-3

SP Matt Heidenreich: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (win)
RP Alex Sogard: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)

October 29th, 2013

Peoria Javelinas: 3-2 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions

-> Delino DeShields: 0-for-2, BB, SB

RP Andrew Robinson: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K

October 30th, 2013

Peoria Javelinas: 7-5 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs

-> Nolan Fontana: 2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Japhet Amador: 0-for-4, RBI
-> Jonathan Meyer: 0-for-4, R

RP Jonas Dufek: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K (hold)

October 31st, 2013

Peoria Javelinas: 10-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs

-> Delino DeShields: 1-for-3, BB, SB, R

RP Alex Sogard: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K

November 1st, 2013

Peoria Javelinas: 5-4 win over the Mesa Solar Sox

-> Jonathan Meyer: 1-for-4, RBI
-> Nolan Fontana: 0-for-4
-> Japhet Amador: 0-for-1

RP Andrew Robinson: 0.2 IP, 3 R (0 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Note: Amador was replaced by Meyer at 1B starting the bottom of the second inning.

November 2nd, 2013

AFL West: 9-2 win over the AFL East

-> Delino DeShields: 0-for-2

RP Jonas Dufek: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K

AFL Weekly Totals

1B Japhet Amador: 3 G, 2-for-9, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
CF Delino DeShields: 3 G, 1-for-6, 3 R, 5 BB, 1 K, 2-for-2 SB
SS Nolan Fontana: 3 G, 2-for-10, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
3B Jonathan Meyer: 2 G, 1-for-8, R, RBI, 2 K

RHP Jonas Dufek: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Matt Heidenreich: 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Andrew Robinson: 2 G, 2.2 IP, 4 R (1 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K
LHP Alex Sogard: 2 G, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K

AFL Season Lines

1B Japhet Amador: 12 G, .289/.292/.467, 5 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, 0-for-0 SB
CF Delino DeShields: 15 G, .283/.400/.348, 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 9 BB, 15 K, 7-for-9 SB
SS Nolan Fontana: 13 G, .150/.306/.200, 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 8 BB, 9 K, 0-for-1 SB
3B Jonathan Meyer: 8 G, .207/.281/.345, 6 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K, 0-for-0 SB

RHP Jonas Dufek: 6 G, 8.1 IP, 6 R (2 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 11 K
RHP Matt Heidenreich: 3 GS, 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 8 K
RHP Andrew Robinson: 7 G, 8.1 IP, 10 R (2 ER), 10 H, 6 BB, 8 K
LHP Alex Sogard: 7 G (1 GS), 10.1 IP, 6 R (2 ER), 10 H, 5 BB, 7 K

South of the Border

Australian Baseball League

-> Joe Sclafani: 3 G, .462/.500/.846, 3 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-for-0 SB

Dominican Winter League

-> Teoscar Hernandez: 4 G, .286/.286/.286, 1 R, 2 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, 0-for-1 SB
-> Jimmy Paredes: 8 G, .267/.361/.300, 5 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 1-for-1 SB
-> Domingo Santana: 9 G, .276/.364/.552, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 10 K, 0-for-0 SB
-> Jonathan Villar: 9 G, .257/.308/.457, 7 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 12 K, 1-for-1 SB

LHP Rudy Owens: 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 10 K
RHP Jorge De Leon: 1 G, 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K

Mexican Pacific League

-> Leonardo Heras: 4 G, .400/.600/.700, 3 R, 4 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 2 K, 1-for-1 SB

RHP Gonzalo Sanudo: 3 G, 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Puerto Rican Baseball League

-> Rene Garcia: 1 G, .667/.667/1.000, 0 R, 2 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K, 0-for-0 SB
-> Enrique Hernandez: 1 G, .000/.250/.000, 0 R, 0 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-for-0 SB
-> Jonathan Singleton: 1 G, .333/.500/.333, 0 R, 1 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-for-0 SB
-> Austin Wates: 1 G, .333/.500/.333, 1 R, 1 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, 1-for-1 SB

Venezuelan League

-> Jose Martinez: 9 G, .278/.297/.500, 5 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 0-for-0 SB
-> Carlos Perez: 12 G, .359/.372/.513, 7 R, 14 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 0-for-1 SB

LHP Eric Beger: 4 G (3 GS), 14.1 IP, 5 R (3 ER), 11 H, 5 BB, 9 K
LHP Sergio Escalona: 10 G, 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K
RHP Carlos Quevedo: 3 G, 6.1 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K

Scouting the AFL Fall Stars Game

Note: the camera angle was fairly bad, a little too far down and way off to the right side of the mound, and that could certainly have affected the perception.

Delino DeShields, OF - RHB

DeShields led off for the West and played left field. In his first AB saw a couple of pitchers but then went for one that was down and away enough to induce fairly weak contact, a ground-out to second. Bat speed looked pretty good, and despite being a little off-balance after the swing, he got out of the box very quickly and his speed down the line was apparent.


His second AB opened with him hacking and missing at a high fastball, 93 MPH. A couple of pitches later he managed some pretty solid contact against another high pitch, hitting a fly ball to right-center that was on a line a bit, but it hung up just enough to allow the CF to come in and make the catch on his feet. He just missed a solid single here.

Click GIF to view.


His third and last trip to the plate ended with him laying down a sacrifice bunt to advance a runner that would eventually score, but it wasn't pretty; once again, pitches way up in the zone or even above it, and he popped up the ball with a bunt, but it luckily fell just in front of the plate before it could be caught. The ball was up around his jaw and the runner at second was not running on the pitch, so he could and should have taken it for a ball. Not pretty.


It looked like the book on him might be the pitch him up and he'll go for it. Aside from the first pitch he saw, a 94 MPH heater on the bottom-inside corner of the zone for a called strike, he never really got anything in the middle or lower parts of the plate, it was all up and away, and he wasn't able to catch up with it. The solid liner he hit was on a pitch up as well, but also inside. He looked like he had ample bat speed and the ability to turn on inside pitches, so you could see him as a guy that sprays it the other way really well when he's right, Altuve-style. Not much loft to his swing at all, but very quick and too the ball; I liked his contact skills, and he only actually swung and missed at one pitch.

On defense, he took a horrific, winding mountain scenic route on a relatively routine fly ball; he first went back, then towards the left field line before realizing he needed to swing back towards center. He ended up hopping up and into the outfield wall and seeing the ball drop a foot or so away from his glove. It was still plenty light out and there wasn't a lot of sunset glare that I could tell, and his sunglasses were on top of his hat if there was; definite ugly error, no doubt about it.


Jonas Dufek, RHP

Dufek came in to get the last out of the game. His heater looked fairly straight and ranged from 90-93 MPH. He gave up a solid opposite-field line drive on a 90 MPH fastball that was up but in the zone, and even though it was ruled a hit, it didn't look like it should have been a terribly difficult play. The right-fielder was moving back, but he wasn't having to move full-out, and the ball hit right off the middle of the glove; he pretty much just clanked it. During the next AB, he showed a two-seamer with some pretty nice life at 88 MPH, tailed away from the left-handed batter and got a fairly ugly hack. The camera angle made it hard to tell just how well it moved, but it was apparent he finished it well and got the desired result, no chance for the batter to make contact with it. It moved so well that I thought it must have been a change-up at first, but it was just too fast for that to be true.


Next he threw something that seemed similar; watching the pitch in slow-motion, the grip looks much more like a changeup than the grip he used previously for the two-seamer, and it moved more as well, so I'm guessing it was a changeup, but they didn't post the velocity on that pitch for some reason, so I can't be sure. It started in the middle and up, and broke to catch the guy looking on the outside corner for a strike. The last pitch he threw looked by movement, velocity and grip, to be a slider. It started up and broke down enough to get the batter to pop the ball up behind third to end the game.

Mechanically, Dufek looked solid. He doesn't have a super-long drive but he does use his lower-half pretty well. He looks fairly balanced, though he doesn't always seem perfectly fluid. There's just a hint of jerk in what he does, but it doesn't look like it involves his arms. I didn't see anything that made me think he'll have significant command issues, though his glove side arm can drop and be a little messy from time to time. Arm slot looked to be fairly high three-quarters, about as high as you can be without throwing straight over-the-top, though the camera angle may have exaggerated it a bit.

Overall, I liked what I saw from him. I'd sort of placed him on the back-burner mentally after not really dominating Lexington last year, as well as the growing depth of the system sort of squeezing him off the radar, so to speak. But he looked impressive. I wouldn't expect much, if any, more velocity to come at this point, as he looks very physically mature and has spent two and a half seasons in the system already. But it looks like he could certainly be a useful, if unspectacular, bullpen arm. The change and two-seamer looked like they should help him compete well against left-handed hitters, and his minor league splits bear that out so far; negligibly worse GB%, slightly worse but still solid BB/9 and K/9, slightly better FIP versus left-handed batters.