Four members of the 2023 Hudson Valley Renegades have spent the last month competing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, and with the completion of the AFL season next Thursday, let's taka a look at how Ben Cowles, Caleb Durbin, Baron Stuart and Nolberto Henriquez have fared against elite competition
Four members of the 2023 Hudson Valley Renegades have spent the last month competing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, and with the completion of the AFL season next Thursday, let's taka a look at how Ben Cowles, Caleb Durbin, Baron Stuart and Nolberto Henriquez have fared against elite competition so far.
Coming off a strong 2023 season with the Renegades, Cowles has kept the positive vibes going with the Mesa Solar Sox, batting .333/.448/.611 in 16 games. He ranks ninth in the AFL in batting average, fifth in SLG, and sixth in OPS among qualified hitters. Cowles has been particularly hot this week, going 3-for-8 with a double, a triple and a home run in his last two games, and has an RBI in five straight contests. Defensively he has played mostly shortstop, but has also seen time at second base and third base, his primary homes with the Renegades this season. He is currently on a 12-game hitting streak, the longest in the AFL this season.
Durbin has been just as good as Cowles this fall, raking to a .344/.476/.578 line in 18 games, while drawing 14 walks and striking out just six times. He ranks sixth in the league in batting average, seventh in OPS, and his 13 steals are tied for third in the AFL. Since October 13, Durbin has been riding an 11-game hitting streak, the second-longest active streak in the AFL, behind only the 12-game spurt by Cowles.
After spending his time with the Renegades as a starting pitcher, Stuart has made four appearances out of the bullpen with Mesa, posting a 4.50 ERA across 10.0 innings. Stuart posted 2.0 shutout innings with four strikeouts in his AFL debut on October 7 against Scottsdale, and has thrown at least 2.0 innings in every outing. The sinkerballing righty allowed one earned run in 2.0 innings against Peoria while striking out three his last time out on October 28.
Henriquez joined the Renegades for the playoffs, but did not appear. This fall he has made seven appearances for Mesa and sports a 7.94 ERA in 5.2 innings, though that is misleading. He allowed five runs in 0.2 innings in his first appearance on October 2, but has not allowed a run in his last six appearances. In his last outing on November 1, he threw a perfect inning with a strikeout at Scottsdale.
The Solar Sox are 11-14, but are only 4.0 games out of first place with five games left to play. After a break for the Home Run Derby and AFL Fall Stars Game over the weekend, the season concludes on Thursday, November 9, with playoffs on November 10 and 11 to crown an Arizona Fall League Champion.