If you haven’t been paying attention (I, for one, haven’t been paying attention), the Arizona Fall League has been drawing to a close and concludes this afternoon with the championship game. The Peoria Javelinas, the Mariners’ affiliate, left a trail of fire and brimstone through Arizona on their way to a 21-9 record. The next best team was the Salt River Rafters at 16-14, who will be the Javelinas’ opponent today.
The game will also feature a match up between Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura, who will play for the Javelinas, and Rockies first baseman Tyler Nevin, who will play for the Rafters. Hiura was just announced the MVP of the Fall League, and Nevin was considered by many to be choice 1B to Hiura’s 1A. You can read more about those two here.
#Brewers' hitting machine Keston Hiura is the 2018 @MLBazFallLeague MVP after hitting .323 with 5 homers and a league-leading 33 RBIs in 23 games. More from @wboor: https://t.co/Qbc6keDe54 pic.twitter.com/f47t6zO7fR— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) November 17, 2018
In addition to Hiura, Peoria is led by Braves center fielder Cristian Pache, Padres right fielder Buddy Reed, and Rays shortstop Lucius Fox. Peoria, of course being the Mariners’ affiliate, also features several Mariners, two of whom will start. Catcher Joe DeCarlo will be batting eighth and center fielder Ian Miller will be batting ninth and playing left field.
Peoria also features Mariners first baseman Evan White, who will not be playing today. White has dealt with a nagging hip injury throughout the AFL. It’s not clear that that’s what’s holding him out, but it seems possible. Other Mariners include sidearm RHP Wyatt Mills, RHP David McKay, RHP Matt Walker, and LHP Anthony Misiewicz. Of those, Misiewicz and Mills are the most intriguing, and both posted sub-3.00 ERA’s during this AFL.
The other Mariner on the Javelinas is Chris Mariscal. Mariscal actually had a phenomenal AFL, as he led all Javelinas with a .381 batting average. It’s worth noting, of course, that at 25 years old Mariscal is a couple years above the average age of the league.
Players to watch on the Rafters include Nevin, Diamondbacks pitcher Jon Duplantier, Marlins pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, Marlins outfielder Monte Harrison, Nationals shortstop Carter Kieboom, and ex-Mariners shorstop Bryson Brigman, now with the Marlins.
Full lineups for the game can be found here.
Game time: 12:00 PM PST (oops)