Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
High-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Alumni Update: Arizona Fall League through November 12

Evan Reifert, a Timber Rattler in 2019, was named the Arizona Fall League's Reliever of the Year in 2022.
November 14, 2022

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up on Saturday night with the AFL Championship Game. The Surprise Saguaros beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 7-6 in eleven innings. This was despite the efforts of former Rattlers Zavier Warren and Ryan Middendorf for Glendale.

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up on Saturday night with the AFL Championship Game. The Surprise Saguaros beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 7-6 in eleven innings. This was despite the efforts of former Rattlers Zavier Warren and Ryan Middendorf for Glendale.

First up, here are the final stats of Timber Rattlers Alumni for the AFL regular season.

Glendale Desert Dogs (15-13-2):
Tyler Black: 17 games, .279/.413/.377 with a homer, ten RBI, ten walks, and four stolen bases

Jeferson Quero: 15 games, .222/.345/.333 with three RBI, seven walks, and two stolen bases

Je'Von Ward: 14 games, .231/.400/.385 with a homer, nine RBI, eleven walks, and four stolen bases

Zavier Warren: 23 games, .278/.443/.361 with a homer, fifteen RBI, 22 walks, and two stolen bases

Ryan Middendorf: 9 games, 0-0, 2.92ERA, 12.1IP, 5BB, 16K

Russell Smith: 6 games, 6 starts, 1-3, 5.30ERA, 18.2IP, 14BB, 19K

Defensive Stat:
Quero threw out 11 of 24 opposing runners trying to steal a base on him.

This Jacob Resnick article has this to say about Quero's performance behind the plate.

Quero dominates behind the dish
Luis Matos won the AFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award for his stellar play in center field, but I’m not sure anyone was further ahead of the competition at their position than Jeferson Quero (Brewers No. 7), who impressed at just 20 years old for Glendale.

AFL baserunners stole more bags this year (245) than in any season since 2012, which was at least partially because Quero couldn’t be behind the plate for every single one of them. When he was, though, he was excellent. Quero’s 45.8 percent caught stealing rate was tops among qualified backstops, well ahead of second place finishers Henry Davis and Adam Hackenberg at 26.3 percent. Since 2005, only Gary Sanchez (61.5%, 2015) has faced as many attempts as Quero -- who was 13-for-24 -- and thrown them out at a better rate.

Here’s an additional note: In the one game Quero played in front of the Statcast system in Salt River, he delivered a throw to second base at 86.9 mph (though the runner did advance on what was ruled as a wild pitch). Of the 120 catchers in the Major Leagues this past season, only 14 threw a ball with as much velocity as that Quero toss. Once again, very impressive stuff as one of the youngest players in the Fall League.

Click here for video of Quero throwing out three runners

Mesa Solar Sox (13-15-2):

Evan Reifert: 8 games, 2-0, 0.00ERA, 11.2IP, 4BB, 25K

Reifert finally gave up a hit in his final appearance, but he also struck out three in that game, and was named AFL Reliever of the Year. The same Jacob Resnick article above also has this on Reifert's AFL performance.

Reifert strikes out the world
It might be difficult to declare a reliever as the most dominant pitcher in AFL history, but Evan Reifert (Rays) can make as good of a case as anyone. Across eight appearances for Mesa, the 23-year-old faced 40 batters and struck out an otherworldly 25, allowing just one hit -- a measly single in his final game -- in the process. His Reliever of the Year award seems to almost undersell what he accomplished.

Reifert’s 62.5 percent strikeout rate was the best single-season mark in AFL history, minimum 40 batters faced, surpassing Darwinzon Hernandez in 2018 (49 percent) by a significant margin. Tommy Hanson, the author of arguably the best season by an AFL starting pitcher, “only” collected a 46.7 percent strikeout rate in 2008. Reifert’s .028 opponents' batting average? Also a Fall League record.

A year ago, Reifert was a quiet acquisition in a minor trade with the Brewers. After quelling concerns over his command with his stellar run in Arizona, he’s positioned himself to reach the upper Minors early in 2023.

Peoria Javelinas (14-14-1):

David Fry: 13 games, .286/.347/.429 with a homer, eight RBI, and four walks

Peoria and Glendale met in the Play-In Game on November 11 to face Surprise in the Championship Game on November 12. Glendale won 6-3. Fry was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored for Peoria.

Warren was 0-for-3 with a walk while Brewers prospect Abner Uribe earned the save with two scoreless innings and five strikeouts on Friday.

Middendorf was the starting pitcher for Glendale in the Championship game and allowed a run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 2-1/3 innings for a no decision.

Warren was 3-for-5 with a walk and two RBI in the championship game. He had an RBI single in the sixth inning to put Glendale up 4-2 and another RBI single in the tenth inning to put Glendale up 5-4.

The game story for the the extra-innings win for Surprise is at this link.

The Winter Leagues are in full swing. Alumni updates from Australia and the Caribbean on the way starting next week.