Colorado Rockies Prospects Miss AFL Postseason on Final Day

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

It came down to the final day, but the Colorado Rockies will not be represented in the championship game of the 2016 Arizona Fall League.

The Surprise Saguaros scored three times in the fifth inning on their way to a 4-2 win over the Salt River Rafters on Thursday afternoon. The win, on the last day of the Arizona Fall League regular season, gave the Mesa Solar Sox the East division crown over the Rafters.

Colorado is one of five Major League Baseball teams represented on the Rafters, joining the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers.

Salt River (15-15-1) took a 2-0 lead after two innings but couldn’t hold thanks in part to Surprise’s fifth-inning uprising. Shane Carle, one of Colorado’s pitching prospects, gave up a run to Surprise in the sixth inning as part of his 1.2 frames of work. He allowed two hits and struck out two.

Carle entered the contest with a 1-0 record and 4.08 ERA in nine appearances this season.

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Ryan McMahon, playing first base for the Rafters, went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts to finish AFL play with a .247 average. Pat Valaika, starting at shortstop and batting second, went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts and also had a third-inning throwing error. His hitless day at the plate dropped his AFL average to .263, still the highest of any Rockies prospect.

Noel Cuevas, the third Rockies non-pitcher prospect playing for the Rafters, finished with a .196 average.

On the mound, Rayan Gonzalez had statistically the best spring of any Rockies pitching prospect. He pieced together an 0-0 mark in 11 outings, with a 2.31 ERA and one save.

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Other Rockies prospects on the mound included Zach Jemiola (1-3, 5.64 ERA in seven starts) and Jerry Vasto (0-0, 8.31 ERA in nine appearances).