The Arizona Fall League season ended on Saturday, which means today is going to be the final update of the 2022 season.
The Mesa Solar Sox, the team comprised of minor leaguers from the Cubs, Athletics, Marlins, Rays and Yankees, went 1 and 2 this past week. They needed to go 2-1 to make the play-in semi-final playoff. They finished the season with a record of 13-15 and in fourth place.
Congratulations to the Surprise Saguaros, who beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 8-7 in an 11-inning thriller to claim the 2022 AFL Championship on Saturday night.
In case you missed them, here are the previous installments of this year’s recaps: introduction, week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4 and week 5.
The Solar Sox won their first game of last week against the Salt River Rafters and they looked in good shape to make the playoffs if they won one of their final two games. Unfortunately, they lost both of them badly and missed the play-in semifinal. In fact, in the season finale with Peoria on Thursday, the Solar Sox did not have a baserunner until A’s prospect Zack Gelof doubled with one out in the bottom of the seventh. That was the only baserunner the Solar Sox would have in the entire game which was scheduled for only seven innings.
Here are the results for this week. The home team is listed last.
Tuesday, November 8: Salt River 8, Solar Sox 9.
Wednesday, November 9: Glendale Desert Dogs 10, Solar Sox 4.
Thursday, November 10: Peoria Javelinas 4, Solar Sox 0.
As far as the individual Cubs on the Solar Sox did, they did not play a lot this past week. But this also serves as a season wrap-up.
First Baseman Matt Mervis
Mervis played in the losses on Wednesday and Thursday. He was 0 for 3 with a walk on Wednesday and a run scored and 0 for 3 in Thursday’s almost-perfect game. Mervis struck out twice.
Despite the poor final week, Mervis finished the season tied with his Mesa teammate, Yankees third baseman Tyler Hardman, for the league home run title with six. Mervis finished with a line of .262/.324/.590 with 12 runs scored and 12 runs driven in. He also stole two bases. In 17 games over 61 at-bats, Mervis struck out eight times and walked six.
Outfielder Owen Caissie
Caissie did not have any better a week than Mervis. On Tuesday, he was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. On Wednesday, Caissie was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He didn’t play in Thursday’s almost-perfect game, which was maybe for the best.
Caissie finished the season playing 16 games and hitting .220/.270/.356 with one home run and three steals. Caissie scored nine times and had nine runs batted in. The biggest issue was that in 59 at-bats, Caissie struck out 24 times and walked just four times.
Still, Caissie is just 20 years old and had never played above High-A. It wasn’t a great showing out of him, but it wasn’t a disaster and it was a undoubtedly a good learning experience.
Infielder BJ Murray Jr.
As in normal, Murray played in just one game this past week, Wednesday’s 10-4 loss to Glendale. Murray was 1 for 3 with a strikeout while playing third base.
Murray played in seven AFL games this season and went 4 for 19 with a home run. He walked once and struck out six times. That translates into a line of .211/.250/.368 for Murray.
Left-hander Bailey Horn
After pitching in last Sunday’s Fall Stars Game, Horn did not pitch this week.
Not counting the Fall Stars Game, Horn pitched 12 innings over eight games. He gave up two runs on six hits, which translates to a 1.50 ERA. Horn was 0-0 with one save. He struck out nine, walked seven and held opposing hitters to a .150 batting average.
Right-hander Zac Leigh
Leigh did not pitch this week or in any AFL game after October 24.
Leigh finished the AFL season with a record of 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA and one save. Leigh threw 7⅓ innings and allowed four runs and seven hits. He struck out six, walked four and held opposing hitters to a .259 average.
Left-hander Riley Martin
Martin was the only Cubs prospect to pitch this past week for the Solar Sox. He got the save in Tuesday’s win, allowing one unearned run on one hit (a two-out triple in the ninth that scored on a subsequent error) over two innings. Martin struck out four and walked no one.
For the AFL campaign, Martin pitched in eight games and went 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA and the one save. Over 12⅔ innings, Martin allowed ten hits. He struck out a whopping 19 batters and walked just five. Martin held opposing hitters to a .196 average.
Martin had a good AFL season.
Right-hander Sheldon Reed
Reed did not pitch this week or, in fact, in any game since October 29. He finished the season pitching 8⅓ innings over six games. He gave up four runs on eight hits, which comes out to an ERA of 4.32. Reed was 0-0 with one save. He struck out 10, walked six and opposing hitters had a .258 batting average against him.