I went to the AFL game on the 15th and it was a treat. Buxton went 2/4, Kepler had a couple of hits and got to see Meyer, May, and Achter pitch... Here was my overall impressions:
1) Buxton's got great ++ speed. His first hit was in IF single to the short... in his second at bat, he beat out a double play hit to the third baseman with runners on first and second. Both were sure outs by less gifted ball players. His homer was a no-doubter... We're all going to be very happy to watch this guy play when he makes the show.
2) Meyer made Pro's look silly... He struck out all 3 in the first with Swing and Miss stuff and he induced weak contact to get outs in the next inning. None of the hitters really looked like they had a chance. I know it's SSS but I walked away thinking he's our best starter, right now.
3) May was hit hard, even on his outs.
Overall, it was a great experience... there were less than 400 people there... you could sit anywhere and just absorb the game. We sat right next to the on deck circle and just soaked it all in. I can't recommend it enough... although, don't plan to eat there. Due to limited attendance, there was also limited offerings for concessions... Thinking I'll visit my inlaws more often in October going forward. The golf was great too (pre-peak season so not as highly price as it is in Nov-March)!
Buxton 1-4 last night w/ an RBI and hit by a pitch. Also had an error. I don't really care how he does (as long as he doesn't get hurt), it won't change my opinion and it's great for him to get the experience.
Kepler 1-3 with a double, an RBI and a walk.
Meyer started, went 5 innings with 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. 77 pitches in 5 innings.
5 batters HBP in the game. Wildness or interesting back story?
Looking at Wikipedia, only one pitcher has won the AFL MVP award, and only 3 of the 26 players in the AFL "Hall of Fame" are starting pitchers (and none of those 3 pitched in the AFL after 1998).
Buxton hit a homerun today (3) while going 2-5.
Rosario added another hit and has posted a .277 average, thus far.
Zach Jones continued to struggle. He failed to complete one inning of work. Jones gave up 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 homeruns. He also had one strikeout.
AJ Achter pitched another perfect inning with a strikeout. He now has 7 shutout innings in the AFL.
I thought the Rays seemed to have good pitchers so I went through them.
At Baseball-Reference.com I entered 2006 Rays. Picked the ones I remembered did well (Kazmir as a 22 YO, Shields as a 24 YO), counted their ERA+ years >100, then skipped ahead a couple of years.
Also checked to make sure they were actually drafted by the Rays.
I may have missed one or two.
Not saying the Rays are the best ever and everyone else sucks. I just believe they have done an excellent job in their pitcher selections.
Most teams get lucky once in a while with a late round draft pick. I think they do that more than most others.
Yeah Jones is imploding in almost every appearance.