Luis Gonzalez has continued to impress out of the bullpen for the Salt River Rafters, while Ryan Mountcastle has picked up steam offensively. These former Keys are currently in their last week of the Arizona Fall League season.
In eight appearances out of the bullpen, Gonzalez has not allowed an earned run. Over 8.2 innings he has surrendered one unearned tally on five hits to go with one walk and six strikeouts. Opponents are batting .161 against Gonzalez (5-for-31). The left-hander has earned a win or save in each of his last three contests, with his most recent coming last Thursday against Scottsdale (W, 1 IP/1H/1R/0ER).
Beginning his career with the Phillies organization, the 25-year-old joined the Orioles organization in 2013. A member of the Keys since 2015, the left-hander went 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA and five saves over 36 appearances with Frederick in 2017. Gonzalez is Rule 5 eligible this offseason and could be added to the Orioles 40-man roster.
Mountcastle enters Monday's action in the middle of a six-game hitting streak. During this time he is batting .292 (7-for-24) with a home run, a double, five RBIs and five runs scored. In the process he has moved his average from .220 to .243. The Floridian claimed the Carolina League batting title this season and finished the year with the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
After pitching well for the Keys in 2016, Ryan Meisinger enjoyed a strong 2017 season in Bowie and is closing out his year in the AFL. In two appearances, the former Radford product is 1-0 and has given up two unearned runs in three innings. This year with the Baysox, Meisinger was 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA (63 IP/21ER/55H) over 41 games.
Making his first AFL start on Saturday, Keegan Akin allowed one run on two hits in three innings. Tying his longest appearance in the desert, the left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA (15.1 IP/8H/3R) in eight contests (one start). Akin has walked four, punched out 12 and is limiting opponents to a .148 average (8-for-54).
Stevie Wilkerson has also remained a consistent presence for Salt River. In 19 games, the utility man is batting .299 (20-for-67) with a home run, eight RBIs, four triples and three doubles. He is tied for the AFL lead in three-baggers. Defensively, Wilkerson has split time between shortstop and second base.
The Rafters are second in the AFL East and sit 2.5 games behind Mesa for first place. Things conclude this upcoming Saturday with the AFL Championship game at Scottsdale Stadium.
Planning for the Frederick Keys 30th anniversary season is already underway, while season ticket plans are currently on sale. Anyone who purchases a plan will have their choice of a Trey Mancini or Austin Hays bobblehead.
For a complete look at this year's home schedule fans can click here. A full promotional schedule will be announced at a later date. To follow the Keys all offseason, fans can visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.