While many well known arms left the organization on Wednesday, including Tyler Anderson and Chad Bettis, the Colorado Rockies have something to look forward to out of the Arizona Fall League. The League’s 28th season just concluded Saturday as the Salt River Rafters defeated the Surprise Saguaros in the championship game. The player to earn that win is right-handed Rockies reliever, Ashton Goudeau. The stellar performance throughout the league earned him All-Arizona Fall League Team Honors.
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Goudeau’s best performance came in that championship game after performing well all Fall League. In the final game, he threw 2 2/3 innings scoreless with three strikeout to earn the W. In fact, he didn’t give up a run in Arizona. He had 18 strikeouts with a .31 WHIP in 13 innings in six games. It doesn’t hurt when he didn’t walk anyone and only gave up four hits. Goudeau is now on the Hartford Yard Goats Double-A affiliate for the Rockies and this performance should fast-track him to at least Triple-A Albuquerque.
This is somewhat of an unexpected performance though as Goudeau has spent eight seasons in the minors and will be 27 going into next season. Originally drafted by the Royals in 2012, he spent 2018 in the Seattle farm system and then signed with Colorado this year. He had a 3-3 record in 16 starts with the Yard Goats but had a 2.07 ERA. He had broken hand and missed six weeks this season so the experience in the Arizona Fall League was invaluable. Goudeau compliments a mid-90s fastball with an above-average change and curveball.
The importance of the Arizona Fall League has become more clear over the past decade. Nearly half of the players in the World Series against the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals played in the AFL. The league has clearly been an early indicator for many Rockies to make the big league level. Matt Holiday and Troy Tulowitzki were named to the AFL’s Top 25 All-Time team. Players on the team today include Nolan Arenado who won the AFL MVP award in 2011, Ryan McMahon played 21 games for the Rafters in 2016, and Sam Hilliard, Josh Fuentes and Jesus Tinoco were part of last seasons team.
While this is no guarantee Goudeau will make the leap to the majors, it is a great sign that he has turned the corner and will have a legitimate shot at making the big leagues for the first time in his career. Great timing for a Rockies club who can always tremendously benefit for more pitching depth.