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Arizona Fall League Update: Week 3

Yankee prospects continue to play well in the desert this fall

Mesa Solar Sox v. Glendale Desert Dogs
Leam Mendez
Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The third week of play has finished in the desert, as a plethora of young players get extra reps to augment their 2022 seasons. Among them, of course, are several Yankee farmhands.

First baseman T.J. Rumfield continues to play well, with his name gracing the offensive leaderboards throughout the Arizona Fall League. He had a bit of a quiet week, going 0-for-3 on Monday and getting a couple of days off. But he went 2-for-4 Wednesday with a walk, and has consistently shown the ability to put the ball in play, striking out only six times in 40 plate appearances.

Tyler Hardman had himself a nice week. Offensively, he hit his second home run of the fall in the first inning on Wednesday. His OPS continues to climb for the Solar Sox, though he continues to have some swing and miss in his game, with 14 K’s thus far. Hardman also showed the leather this week, kicking off the rarely-seen 5-2 double play with some slick glovework.

Jasson Domínguez, meanwhile, quietly had himself a nice week. He brought his batting average up 30 points over the course of the week, with more extra-base hits (two doubles) than he had in the previous two weeks combined (one).

The Martian has also continued to show a keen eye at the plate, and hone his craft as a base stealer. Through three weeks, he has only one more strikeout than walk (nine to eight) and he has yet to be caught stealing. The young outfielder is tied for second on the Solar Sox with his four stolen bases. And his eye is sharp enough that he won a challenge on a pitch originally called a strike.

On the other side of the ball, Leam Mendez continues to be the best of the arms the Yankees sent to Arizona. Working exclusively in relief for the Solar Sox, Mendez has now thrown 8.1 innings to the tune of a 3.24 ERA. The Solar Sox’s team ERA sits at 6.18, so Mendez is performing extremely well, and he has the second lowest ERA of any of the club’s relievers.

Yorlin Calderon made an appearance on the 21st and tossed his best outing of the fall. Calderon threw three innings in relief, allowing only one run. In his 3.1 previous innings, he’d allowed four earned runs, so he took a leap forward this week. Nelson L. Alvarez, meanwhile, has continued to struggle. He has allowed 19 baserunners in only six innings, doubtless a major factor in his 10.50 ERA. One silver lining though has been his ability to miss bats. Alvarez has racked up nine strikeouts thus far, giving him a gaudy 13.50 K/9.

Shaine McNeely, the fourth hurler the Yankees sent to Arizona, has not pitched since the opening week. Tragically, the young man’s father passed away earlier this month and it seems likely he stepped away from the AFL to be with his family. Our condolences go out to him and his entire family for their loss.

Three weeks in, we’re seeing varying levels of success from the young players the Yankees sent to Mesa. Hopefully they continue to improve and get valuable reps to help them prepare for 2023 and beyond.