Chafin assumes Minors lead in K's

D-backs prospect fans 11, allows one run over eight frames

By Sam Dykstra / Special to | May 27, 2012 6:49 PM ET

Andrew Chafin needed a career-high 11 strikeouts to pass Triple-A Reno pitcher and fellow D-backs prospect Trevor Bauer for the Minor League lead in that category.

But Arizona's No. 12 prospect didn't know about the fact, and frankly, he didn't care either.

"I try to not pay attention to that stuff," he said. "I'm just focusing on what I did tonight and then moving on to my next start. That's about it."

Well care as he might not, Chafin achieved the feat by striking out 11 while scattering a run on three hits and a walk over a career-high eight innings in Class A Advanced Visalia's 2-1 win over San Jose in 10 innings.

The 21-year-old southpaw struck out at least one Giant in each of his eight frames. He allowed just one hit -- a single by Andrew Susac in the second -- over the game's first five innings before surrendering a run on a walk, a single and a wild pitch in the sixth. Chafin rebounded to fan two apiece in both the seventh and eighth.

However, he gave all of the credit to his strong pitching line to his work out of the gate.

"I was able to spot the fastball better early on, and that gave me a better opportunity with some of my offspeed stuff," Chafin said. "I thought I took pretty good advantage of my slider too, and I was able to get some quick outs with my changeup, which I was nice because I' m just starting to use that."

The work with the changeup has been particularly useful for the D-backs' first-round pick (43rd overall) in last year's Draft. Chafin, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, claims he did not utilize the pitch very much in his two years at Kent State University, instead relying on just the fastball-slider to combo to post a 1.80 ERA and 160 strikeouts in his collegiate career.

That success with just the two pitches, though, won't stop him from continuing to experiment with the change.

"This is the first season I've really implement it as a pitch," he said. "I've always had it with me, but there was never really a reason for me to use a third pitch. As I continue on though and move up to the higher levels, it'll be a nice pitch to have."

Despite earning a no-decision Sunday, Chafin stands at 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA and the 77 strikeouts after 10 starts. He claims he didn't see those types of quality numbers coming, but like always, he'll continue to focus on what he believes to be important, and that has nothing to do with numbers.

"I didn't know what to expect," he said. It's a whole new world. I've always thought I was capable of doing this. But I didn't have much in the way of expectations. Just approach it like I have everything else: try to get guys out and win ballgames."

Eric Groff's homer to left field in the top of the 10th proved to be the game winner for the Rawhide.

Giants starter Jack Snodgrass received a no-decision after allowing one earned run on three hits over six innings. The lefty began the game by tossing four no-hit innings before giving up a single to Garrett Weber in the fifth.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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