The Giants will send seven players to the Arizona Fall League this year, all of them intriguing in their own unique, snowflakey way. The list:
- Clayton Blackburn
- Steven Okert
- Erik Cordier
- Hunter Strickland
- Daniel Carbonell
- Matt Duffy
- Blake Miller
We talked about Cordier, Strickland, and Carbonell over over here while talking about potential September call-ups. I'm not sure how their AFL selections affect their chances of joining the Giants in September, but it hasn't hurt players in the past.
Blackburn is a right-handed starter who has been on a tear since a disappointing May. He's not exactly likely to fight for a rotation spot next spring, but he'll be on the short list when something goes wrong. That's assuming he doesn't run into the wall of Fresno fire that Chris Heston ran into a couple years back, when we would have written the same thing about him.
Okert was a former first-round possibility before he slid to the Giants in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, and he's thrived in a relief role. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him up soon, nor would it be a surprise to watch him stick on the roster for a few years once he's up. Of course, I said the same thing about Heath Hembree for three years, so ...
Duffy we know about -- well, we don't know exactly where he is or if he'll get into another game this season -- but Miller can probably be categorized in the Matt Duffy genre, playing all over the infield and hitting a little more than anyone expected from a 25th-rounder. Also, he's from Western Oregon University, which is as close to a player from Southern Oregon University is ever going to get to the majors, which is as close as I'm ever going to get to the majors. So I'm pulling for him.
From all accounts, the AFL is the agoraphobic's preferred method of watching baseball, at least compared to spring training. Going to Scottsdale in March is like a Duff commercial starring 43,000 22-year-olds and directed by A.J. Pierzynski. The AFL is, like, six baseball nerds who want to watch players like Matt Duffy. I enjoy spring training, but I have a feeling I'd enjoy the AFL even more. They just need to stop having the silly thing during the MLB playoffs.
Basically, what I'm saying is that if anyone here has extra airline miles they aren't going to use ...
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