The great thing about watching and following Minor League Baseball is that you can watch the players grow. From when they were drafted, as either high school seniors or out of college, you can keep up with them for three to four years.
What's even better about Triple-A baseball is that one day, you can see Christian Walker going 4-for-4 in Reno, and then hitting monster home runs off of future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. It's a wonderful thing, and you begin to feel like you know them.
At the beginning of September, Major League rosters expand, which allows them to call up some youngsters to see what they can do against Major League pitching. Let's take a look at how our 2018 Aces did in September.
The headliner is 2017 PCL MVP Christian Walker. He saw some action earlier in the year, and things didn't look up in September. His power numbers were great, like always, as he slugged .455 in 14 games, two of which he started. His two home runs and a double were his bright spot in an otherwise troublesome September. He hit .136, with eight strikeouts and zero walks.
The star of the Aces 2018 season, Socrates Brito, had a pretty dismal September as well. In 16 games, Brito hit .217 with a .296 on-base percentage. His power numbers weren't great, with just one home run, and he certainly didn't look like himself in Arizona.
Ildemaro Vargas, another Aces stud, also struggled a bit in his limited plate appearances in Arizona. In his 14 attempts, he hit .211 with a home run. Not too bad for someone who hit just seven home runs in 124 games in Reno.
Jimmie Sherfy, the owner of the most saves in Aces history, had a fantastic September. In 12.1 innings over 11 games, Sherfy put up a 1.46 ERA along with 14 strikeouts. He had six walks, which is a bit high, but an overall terrific month for Sherfy.
Jake Barrett, who pitched in 42 games for Reno this year, struggled in his only two appearances with the Diamondbacks. He gave up one earned run in his 1.2 innings of work and struck out one batter.
Clay Buchholz pitched well in his starts throughout the year in Arizona, and he was really good again in Septermber. In 11.1 innings over two starts, he had a 1.59 ERA, just two earned runs while striking out 10 and walking four.
Silvino Bracho pitched in 13.1 innings in Ariozna, allowing seven earned runs for a 4.73 ERA while strikingout 11 and walking seven.
Of course, there were players who got a lot of work on the Aces in 2018 but ended up on other teams in September.
Reno fan favorite Kristopher Negron played his September ball with the Seattle Mariners. In 29 at-bats, Negron hit .207 with a solo home run.
Another fan favorite, Jack Reinheimer, played in New York with the Mets, but only had one hit in 16 at-bats. He struck out four times, but also walked four times.
The big leagues are hard, and even an Aces team that had some players see some fantastic seasons, saw them struggle in Arizona. Now with the Major League regular season over, it's time for the minor league players to focus on the Arizona Fall League.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.