Gary Brown may be sidelined this offseason, but there are still a handful of Giants killing time in the Arizona Fall League. And who knows—with the way Brandon Belt was yanked around last year, you may be seeing some of these faces sooner rather than later.
Not the pitchers’ duels you’d expect: Then again, the AFL is hardly a pitcher’s paradise, as most pitchers are brought in for two or three innings at most (not to mention the abundance of double-digit games). The Giants currently have four pitchers on the Scottsdale Scorpions: relievers Stephen Harrold, Austin Fleet, Seth Rosin, and Ryan Bradley.
Harrold stands out in this bunch with 10 games, 13.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, and 13 SO. His 2.03 ERA is the 6th lowest in the league; his 1.05 WHIP, the 9th lowest. Last night, he posted his first save in a 2-0 shutout against the Salt River Rafters.
A former Augusta GreenJacket, Ryan Bradley joined the Scorpions roster in November, making his first appearance in Monday’s 4-9 loss against Salt River. In 0.2 IP, Bradley gave up 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and delivered 1 K. I’m sure that given a few more opportunities, he’ll have that 13.50 ERA down in no time.
About as much hitting as you’d expect: Leading the offensive charge for the Giants are infielders Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik. Neither player scratches the top 25 in batting average, runs batted in, or on-base percentage (it’s hard playing under Bryce Harper’s shadow), but Panik maintains a .286/.367/.400 line with 20 hits, 4 runs, and 8 RBIs in 19 games. More significantly, he was selected for the East roster in the Rising Stars Game last Saturday, the only Giants representative in a brutal 11-2 showdown.
Crawford sits comfortably at .309/.329/.485 with 21 hits, 11 runs, and 10 RBIs over 15 games. His notable achievements during the short AFL season include an ongoing 14-game hitting streak, unbroken since October 6.
While the majority of Arizona Fall Leaguers will continue to work their way through the minor leagues in 2012, it is comforting to see Crawford continue to improve this offseason. With any luck, the Giants will see enough potential and skill to give him a spot on that Opening Day lineup.