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Arizona Fall League Recap: Drew Lugbauer Homers in First Game

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Drew Lugbauer was added to the roster in place of Shea Langeliers, and it took two at bats for him to go deep for Peoria

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

As you all know the Atlanta Braves are making quite the postseason run, and with that comes some Arizona Fall League news. Our suspicions that Shea Langeliers was on the Braves taxi squad were confirmed and because of his commitment to the major league squad he was removed from the Arizona Fall League roster. As reported last week Drew Lugbauer will be placed on the roster in Langeliers’s stead. That is good news for our viewing pleasure, as in three games he already has as many hits as the other two Braves prospects combined. This week was better than last for the Braves representatives, but that’s not saying a whole lot and on the whole it wasn’t particularly good. Lugbauer and Victor Vodnik were the standout performers with no one else having much to show yet this fall.

Jesse Franklin

4 G, 1-18, HR (1), 3 BB, HBP, 7 K

AFL Totals: 6 G, 2-26, 1 HR, 3 BB, 10 K, .095/.269/.238

Franklin kicked off his week with a bang, going 0-5 with four strikeouts in Peoria’s opener as they fell to 0-5 on the season. Fortunately it got better for the team as they went 3-2 over the final five games, and Franklin turned his week by reaching in each of the final three games. Franklin did do quote a bit despite without having to do much in his second game of the week, as he reached base three times on two walks and a hit by pitch. Franklin walked and scored a run in his third game of the week, starting an on base streak. Peoria fell 10-6 in the final game of the week, but perhaps Franklin got his season going. In his final at bat he came to the plate 0-3, but erased all worries about that by crushing a three run home run.

Luke Waddell

3 G, 0-10, 2 BB, 3 K, SB
AFL Totals: 5 G, 1-17, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 SB, .059/.227/.059

Luke Waddell has struggled even more than Franklin out of the gates and went hitless this week over three games. Waddell went 0-4 at the bottom of the lineup for the Javelinas in their first game of the week, but at least contributed in small ways in his next two. In the Javelinas tough loss in their fourth game (more on that later, unfortunately) Waddell scored the first run, as he drew a walk, advanced to second on another walk, and came around to score on a single. He went 0-3 in his other at bats, but reached on an error in the 8th inning that advanced Jesse Franklin to third, who scored on a wild pitch in the next at bat. Waddell finally appeared in a win in Peoria’s fifth game, and he had a small role to play in that despite going 0-3. In Peoria’s five run fifth inning he drew a walk, which kept the inning going and allowed a ground out to score the fifth run of the inning. Waddell drove in the tenth and final run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning.

Drew Lugbauer

3 G, 3-11, HR (1), 3 BB, 5 K, .273/.429/.545

Drew Lugbauer brought some life to the Javelinas and had a fantastic week while reaching base in all three games. In just his second at bat he crushed a two run home run which extended the Javelinas lead in that game to 4-0. His next time up he ripped an RBI single which extended the lead to 5-0. He would also strike out in each of his other three plate appearances, including one to end the game with the tying run on third base. Lugbauer didn't join the hit parade in Peoria’s 10-8 win, but he did draw three walks in the game and scored twice. The final game was his weakest as he only had a single, but that single was a ninth inning RBI single. We’ll just have to ignore that Peoria was down 10-2 prior to the hit.

Jake Higginbotham

1 G, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K

AFL Totals: 3 G, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 0 K, 4.50 ERA

I can't imagine excitement is high for Peoria’s manager when he brings in a Braves pitcher, and Jake Higginbotham has done his part in that. Higginbotham was brought in to protect a two run lead in the sixth inning of a seven run game, and it did not look like he was going to do it for a minute. He walked the leadoff hitter and then after getting the first out allowed a single to put the tying run on base. A wild pitch scored a run and moved the tying run into scoring position, but he fortunately got an infield pop out for the second out and a fly out to end the inning. Peoria went on to win this game 5-4, and it’s the only one they’ve won in which a Braves pitcher made an appearance.

William Woods

1 G, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

AFL Totals: 2 G, 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 6.00 ERA

After four strong innings from Victor Vodnik they Javelinas brought in William Woods to protect a 4-0 lead, and he got off to a roaring start in that bid. He allowed a walk in the fifth inning and a base hit in the sixth, but was able to easily pitch around those and got through two scoreless innings with fairly little trouble. In the seventh inning he was clinging to a 5-0 lead when things began to go south for Peoria. Woods allowed a home run to the first batter he faced — his third home run allowed in two games — and it did not stop there. After a one out fielding error Woods allowed another home run, this time a two run blast that moved Peoria’s lead to just two runs. Woods settle down after that and got an infield pop out and a strikeout, but unfortunately was bitten by the home run ball again.

Victor Vodnik

1 G, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

AFL Totals: 2 G, 7 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, 3 HR, 7.71

Victor Vodnik put his struggles from his first fall league game behind him and pitched a solid game for the Javelinas despite a number of baserunners. After cruising through the first inning the game got a little hairy for Vodnik in the second. He allowed a single to lead off an inning and then a walk, then after recording a strikeout he allowed a walk to load the bases with one out. He came through with the pitch he needed to the next batter and got an inning ending double play to squash a rally. He pitched his only 1-2-3 inning in the third, then worked around an infield single and a walk in the fourth to finish four scoreless innings. Vodnik

Indigo Diaz

2 G, 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 0 K

AFL Totals: 3 G, 2 13 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 30.86 ERA

I alluded to this earlier and now we have to face it. Indigo Diaz had a terrible week, but it did not start with that fourth game. He struggled in the opener as well, allowing two walks and an RBI double that moved Peoria’s deficit to two runs. That performance is lights out in comparison to his final game, when he was brought on to protect a three run lead in the top of the ninth inning. He started out with a pop out to the second baseman, and then didn’t record another out before allowing four walks and a hit to score two runs and leave the bases loaded. His replacement didn’t have much better luck, as he allowed a sacrifice fly and then two walks to score the two runners inherited from Diaz and cough up Peoria’s lead.