The Yankees sent seven players to the Arizona Fall League to play for the Surprise Saguaros. Unlike previous years, the Yankees declined to send any of their top-30 MLB Pipeline prospects, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of talent looking to take advantage of an extended season out in the desert. Let’s catch up on the performance of the Yankees’ Arizona Fall League participants.
Stowers is probably the Yankees most highly-regarded prospect of the bunch. The Yankees acquired Stowers from the Mariners as part of the Sonny Gray transaction, and appeared on their Top 30 Prospects list earlier this season. However, he’s struggled mightily in his first Fall League action. After slashing .273/.386/.400 in 105 Single-A games this season, Stowers is 3-for-30 with one extra-base hit (a home run) in his first nine games in Arizona. With at least 16 games left in the season, Stowers has some time to turn things around and show that he has big league upside.
A former infielder converted to the catcher position, Sands struggled to the tune of a .593 OPS in 68 games at High-A Tampa this season. His performance in the AFL hasn’t been any better. Through seven games, Sands is batting .148, although he’s managed to drive in six runs with only four hits.
A breakout prospect in 2018, when he posted an .841 OPS and 21 home runs across two levels, Wagner took a step back in 2019. The first baseman batted .177 at Double-A Trenton, but the Yankees gave him a chance in the AFL to salvage his season. Wagner has been one of the Saguaros best players and won Player of the Week honors the week of Sept. 23-29. He’s blasted two grand slams and leads the Saguaros with 16 RBI in nine games. “Out here I’m trying to be a little more aggressive, swing at the pitches I want to swing at, and trying to do damage,” Wagner told MLB.com.
McGarity, a 24-year-old right-hander who pitched across three levels this season, owns a 2.25 ERA in four bullpen appearances for the Saguaros. He’s struck out six in four innings, surrendering just two hits and one walk. McGarity was the team’s 15th-round pick in 2017, and owns a shiny 1.90 ERA in 104 minor-league innings.
Craft pitched 30 innings between Pulaski and Staten Island this season, recording a 2.70 ERA and 11.7 K/9. The 6-foot-8 relief pitcher has only pitched two innings for Surprise, but he’s surrendered just two hits and zero runs.
Another huge right-hander, Bies stands at 6-foot-9. The 23-year-old Gonzaga product has struggled in four outings for Surprise. Bies has a 7.20 ERA in five innings after posting a 3.33 ERA across three levels in the regular season.
Like Stowers, Otto was also removed from the MLB Pipeline Top 30 list during the regular season, but he’s still a legitimate prospect when he’s healthy. He owns a 2.85 ERA across 91.2 innings in the minor leagues. Otto’s made two starts for the Saguaros and he’s been tremendous. Otto went 3.0 shutout innings in his first start on September 21 and 4.0 no-hit innings on September 28. If Otto continues to impress in the AFL, he could be well on his way to a spring training invite in 2020.