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Arizona Fall League Recap: Drew Lugbauer continues tear

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Drew Lugbauer has been arguably the league’s hottest player with a 1.386 OPS and four home runs in nine games.

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

Drew Lugbauer has been the Atlanta Braves best fall representative with one of the hottest starts you can imagine for a player. Victor Vodnik put together a marvelous performance in his start and Indigo Diaz got back on track with two strong relief outings.

Jesse Franklin

3 G, 1-10, 3 BB, 5 K

AFL Totals: 11 G, 3-39, 1 HR, 7 BB, 18 K, .077/.265/.154

Jesse Franklin once again struggled with the bat, going another week and only recording one hit in three games. That hit, and one of his three walks, came in the opener of the week when Peoria and Mesa played a 10 inning 15-15 tie. Franklin scored two of those runs with both coming in key spots. First in the seventh he scored to tie the game at 12-12 and in the top of the tenth inning he was the go ahead 15th run. Franklin drew a walk each in his final two games, and in both cases was able to come around to score a run. In the final game of the week Franklin contributed defensively by throwing a runner out at second base.

Luke Waddell

4 G, 4-13, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K

AFL Totals: 11 G, 8-37, 4 2B, 6 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, .216/.318/.297

Luke Waddell continues to put the bat on the ball at a high rate and it is starting to turn into hits for him. Waddell hit safely in three of the four games he played this week with the only hitless outing coming when he was brought on as a substitution and only got to the plate twice. Waddell was one of the key contributors to Peoria’s 10-5 win in the second game of the week with an RBI and a run scored. He finished up the week with a two hit game, one of those a double, and again knocked in a run and scored one.

Drew Lugbauer

3 G, 5-11, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K

AFL Totals: 9 G, 13-30, 4 HR, 8 BB, 11 K, .433/.553/.833

Drew Lugbauer has been raking all season long and the fall league has been his best performance as he has yet again provided a huge boost to the Javelinas offense. Had he played enough to qualify he would easily lead the AFL in OPS and he has climbed his way up the home run leaderboards with two more this past week. He opened up the week with a human performance going 0-3 with 2 strikeouts in a 4-2 loss, but he was a menace in the next outing. The Peoria offense exploded in a 12-1 win and Lugbauer was the centerpiece of that with a four hit night that included two home runs. His first was a two-run shot in the fourth inning, which broke an early 1-1 tie and set the offense in motion. He added another two run home run in the seventh inning to make it 11-1 and tacked on an 8th inning RBI single to bring his game totals to five. He was held relatively in check in his final game of the week, recording a single in three at bats and drawing a walk. This game moved him up to the 4th spot in the order and it will be interesting to see if he continues getting key at bats.

Jake Higginbotham

2 G, 2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

AFL Totals: 6 G, 4.2 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 7 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 15.43 ERA

Things have gone off the rales for Jake Higginbotham this fall. Protecting a 7-1 lead in the 8th inning he nearly coughed it up as he allowed four earned runs in the inning with the big blast coming on a three run home run to make it 7-5. Fortunately he got his first strikeout of the fall to end the inning and the offense backed him up with 3 runs to erase most of his damage. His second outing of the week was a much smoother affair as he pitched a scoreless inning. He allowed a base hit with one out but was able to work around it and put up his first full scoreless inning this fall.

William Woods

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

AFL Totals: 4 G, 13 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 9 BB, 10 K, 4 HR, 5.54 ERA

William Woods pitched a scoreless outing his last time out, but he was unable to back up that progress and took a loss after imploding in the fourth inning. Woods was electric through the first two scoreless innings with four strikeouts, and he was able to work around the two walks he allowed. He got a 1-2-3 inning in the third to keep the game at 0-0, but when he was brought out for the fourth things went well off-script. The first batter of the inning cracked a triple off of Woods and the game went downhill after that as he walked a batter then hit a batter to load the bases before a hit batter forced in the first run. A two run single ended his day and the reliever allowed one of the inherited runners to score to tally four charged to Woods in the inning.

Victor Vodnik

1 G, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

AFL Totals: 4 G, 16 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 7 BB, 18 K, 4 HR, 5.64 ERA

Victor Vodnik put it all together in a start for the first time in a while and led the charge in a combined shutout victory for the Javelinas. Vodnik only faced one batter over the minimum and even in his final inning was strong for Peoria. After a 1-2-3 first inning he allowed a leadoff single in the second inning, but got around that with a strikeout and two fly outs. A double play ball in the fourth inning erased the only other hit against him and he finished his outing by striking out three of the final four batters. This is Vodnik’s second scoreless outing in his past three tries and since that horrendous first game has pitched 13 innings with a 2.77 ERA, 14 strikeouts, and 5 walks.

Indigo Diaz

2 G, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

AFL Totals: 6 G, 5 1⁄3 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 15.19 ERA

Finally we are seeing the Indigo Diaz we have come to expect as he put up his first good outings all fall. While Diaz didn’t pitch in high leverage spots nor was his command particularly good (22 of 40 pitches for strikes) he was able to be effective with two strikeouts each in two scoreless outings of an inning. In the first game he allowed a base hit and then a hard line drive for an out, but stuck out the final two batters to end the game. He also led off the second outing with a runner, this time a walk, but then got back to back strikeouts before a fly out ended the seventh inning.