A few days ago I wrote a post on the success of Nolan Arenado in the Arizona Fall League and the possibility that he will find himself in a Rockies uniform in the near future.
This past Saturday, four players in the Rockies farm system, Nolan Arenado, Ben Paulsen, Tim Wheeler, and Casey Weathers, got a chance to show what they were made of on a national stage, in the AFL Rising Stars Game. I personally got my first glimpse of all four in this game. Unfortunately, none of them were especially star-like.
At least, not offensively. The only one to contribute a hit was Wheeler, while Arenado and Paulsen’s bats were silent. However, they did encouraging things on defense, avoiding dumb mistakes that befell other players and participating in two double plays each.
Weathers was only allowed to face two batters, but don’t let that alarm you. The AFL East used 11 pitchers in 8 innings, none going longer than 1 1/3 innings. Weathers had trouble finding any kind of strike zone, hitting the first batter he faced and later getting charged with a run because of it. He threw 10 pitches, 5 for strikes.
It’s hard to make any kind of assessment based on this very limited look, so I won’t try. Arenado is owning the AFL, so I don’t think his hitlessness on Saturday means anything. Likewise, Paulsen, Wheeler, and Weathers are all showing great promise. Not until we learn which of them will receive a spring training invitation will we know how close a look we’ll get at these young rising stars next season.