I’m back from playing 6 nights and 12 games in the Arizona Fall League, so I empty my notebook to finish what I started with last week. I’ve seen each team at least three times, so I have notes on just about everyone on the lists, with the exception of a few beginner shooters, although in some cases I haven’t found enough potential to include it in any of the posts. The league is full of attacking this year, with a few good starting chances and a lot of loyal players who are throwing hard and don’t know where to go or don’t have a great second chance. As a result, the offensive stats are ridiculous – I’ve only watched one game with a final score of 20-4, and it wasn’t the worst match I’ve seen all week – and teams oscillate between bowlers so quickly that many matches, including all three have been shortened to a third day. Saturday at Chase Field, to seven innings.
• As if things are not going well enough to Padres Right now, they have another stellar opportunity to climb into the short Jackson Merrill, their 2021 first-round pick from a high school in Maryland. Merrill was brilliant on both sides of the ball in Arizona, showing extra range especially on his right, as well as speed outside the box, and a solid plan on the board that included – gasp! The actual two-stroke approach, which I must admit warmed this old man’s heart. He stays on the ball very well and has the swing to get at least gap strength, although I think as he gets stronger he will put 15-18 balls over the fence.