AFL: What you need to know from Week 5

The end of the Arizona Fall League is near.

There are four games left to be played, and the hopes of the Glendale Desert Dogs reaching the championship are gone. They are 10-16, while the 18-8 Peoria Javelinas have already locked up the West Division.

Here’s how the seven Yankees prospects fared this past week.

Jordan Foley

Foley’s only start of the week came on November 9, and it was by far his best one outing of the fall.

He threw four innings of one-run baseball, allowing three hits and four walks.

The 25-year-old has showcased his ability to strike out hitters this fall with ease. He had punched out 19 hitters in his previous four outings, but he didn’t strike out a single sitter on November 9.

Walks have been an issue with the Desert Dogs, and the struggles persisted this week. He’s now walked 16 in 15.2 innings pitched.

With four games left to be played, it is unsure whether or not Foley will make another start. If he does not, he will have concluded his fall league campaign coming off his best start of the fall.

Estevan Florial

The 20-year-old Florial only played twice in Week 5, going 2-for-8 with an RBI and three strikeouts. He is now hitting .169 this fall.

Florial has typically played the corner outfield positions this fall, but he did play a little bit of center field this week.

Barring a massive Week 6 at the plate, the Arizona Fall League was none too kind to the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect. He dealt with strikeouts all fall, and never really hit his way into a groove.

Regardless, Florial told me last week he is feeling “really good” and there’s no reason to be concerned with his struggles relating to his health.

That is certainly encouraging.

Thairo Estrada

Of the three position players New York sent this fall, Estrada has definitely been the most impressive. He went 3-for-12 in three games this week with two RBI. His average has jumped to .302 in his last ten games, courtesy of hitting safely in eight of those 10 contests.

There has been a few questions this fall surrounding Estrada’s healthy after the injury-riddled year he has had. But, he really is moving really well in the field.

On November 9, he went first-to-third on a base hit to left field with such ease, showing off the speed aspect of his game. Primarily a shortstop, Estrada did play some second base this week. No matter where he plays, he can absolutely pick it.

Kyle Zurak

At last, Zurak had a really good Week 5.

His struggles have been well-documented this fall, but he did a fine job this week in two appearances. He threw a combined two scoreless frames, giving up just one hit.

Zurak has made nine appearances and five of them has seen him give up a run. Considering his last two outings have been scoreless, it was a good sign to see that he has started to settle into a groove with the Desert Dogs.

Again, his first two seasons in the Yankees organization have been impressive. His early struggles in the Arizona Fall League are not indicative of the pitcher he is.

Steven Sensley

As the fall league has progressed, the thump in Sensley’s bat has quieted a bit. He was 1-for-10 at-this week, and he also struck out twice.

He has five hits in his last 37 at-bats over his last 10 games, which rounds out to a mere .135 average.

As an established slugger in the organization, Sensley has yet to hit a home run this fall. While the results have not been there, he told me a couple of weeks ago he is learning to become a “wiser hitter.”

Matt Wivinis

Matt Wivinis has been, as I have said all fall long, the best Yankees arm this fall.

He made two appearances this week, totaling two innings, one earned run, and two strikeouts. The run he allowed on November 5 was the first in nearly one month. His ERA with Glendale is a cool 1.59.

What has been most impressive to me is his ability to learn from his early mistakes with command. His first 3.1 innings with the Desert Dogs, he walked five batters. Since October 16, he has walked just one batter.

He has now thrown five innings without issuing a free pass.

Hobie Harris

Like Wivinis, Hobie Harris also made two appearances this week on the same days. He threw three innings this week, surrendering an earned run while striking out six.

Harris has enjoyed some success this fall coming out of the bullpen with Glendale. His last three outings, he’s logged five innings of two-run ball while punching out seven hitters.

His last three seasons with the Yankees organization have been imposing. It is another great sign to see he is able to dispatch some of these polished hitting prospects in Arizona.

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