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Sunday, December 4, 2022

AFL: All Four Pirates Pitchers See Action; Davis Scores Three Runs

Today is the opener of the Arizona Fall League. The Pittsburgh Pirates have eight players in the league this year playing for the Surprise Saguaros, pitchers Quinn Priester, Omar Cruz, Tahnaj Thomas and Colin Selby, catcher Henry Davis, infielders Nick Gonzales and Jacob Gonzalez and outfielder/catcher Blake Sabol. Matt Gorski was originally scheduled to go, but he got hurt two weeks ago in his first game with Indianapolis, so he has been removed from the roster. Teams usually only send seven players, so the Pirates are still ahead of the game.

For the opener today, we decided to have a discussion post. Quinn Priester is the starting pitcher today for the Saguaros. Once the boxscore goes live, it will be added below, and then any relevant information for the Pirates players in the game will be added as we go along. First pitch is set for 3:35 PM ET. For future AFL articles, we will only be posting a game recap once the game has been completed.

These games can be followed on Gameday from the AFL site. Very few games are broadcast, but if there are any Surprise games on the MLB Network schedule, we will have a Live Discussion post for those games as well. The league schedule is 30 games and runs through November 10th. There’s also a Fall-Stars (All-Star) game on November 6th, a semi-final playoff game on November 11th and a championship game on November 12th

Boxscore

Henry Davis is catching Priester and batting fifth. He’s the only Pirates player in the lineup today.

Quinn Priester went three innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, three walks and three strikeouts. He allowed a single, stolen base, single and walk in the first, leading to one run. In the second he retired the side in order on 15 pitches. The third inning saw him give up a lead-off homer, followed by a walk, steal, error, walk and sacrifice fly, leading to two total runs for the inning. Priester threw 60 pitches total, with just 31 going for strikes. His fastball topped out at 94.5 MPH.

Omar Cruz followed Priester in the fourth. Cruz issued a six-pitch walk, then erased the runner on one pitch with a double play. Two pitches later, the inning ended with a ground out. He threw a scoreless fifth inning, giving up a single and a walk with two outs, before getting an inning-ending ground out. His night was done with two shutout frames. He threw 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes. He topped out at 91.1 MPH. He also picked up the win.

Tahnaj Thomas came out for the sixth and retired the side in order, topping out at 96.5 MPH. He walked the first two batters of the seventh and it came back to hurt him. He served up a three-run homer to Jordan Lawlar with one out in the frame.  Thomas got another out before being removed. He threw 33 pitches with 18 strikes. Thomas had a 1.98 ERA after May this season and didn’t give up more than one run in any of his final 24 outings.

Colin Selby tossed the ninth and allowed one hit while recording two strikeouts. He threw 16 pitches, with ten strikes. He threw eight fastballs between 97.5 and 98.9 MPH.

Henry Davis started his AFL action by getting plunked, which was appropriate because he was hit 20 times in 59 games during the year. He grounded out in his second plate appearance, then hit a ground rule double. He walked in his fourth trip to the plate. Davis struck out in the eighth. He scored a run each time he reached base, finishing 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, BB, 3 Runs.

Surprise won 11-6. They play tomorrow at 9:35 PM ET.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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waitwhat

Henry Davis in his first AFL AB: HBP — the circle is complete.

AdministrativeSky236

Anddddd tanks wears a pitch in first AB, whos surprised?

AdministrativeSky236

QP cant find the plate it seems

Catch_22

I went to one of Erie’s playoff games and Parker Meadows was killing it. He looks like the real deal.

skliesen

He had a really good 2nd half of the season. Won’t be surprised if he makes an appearance for Tigers next summer. Good speed and good power. If he keeps his SO% in the 20-25% range, he’ll be a productive MLB starting CF.

AdministrativeSky236

Priester’s got a pretty lethal lineup to navigate today

ArkyWags

In five years, this will be the battery for Game 1 of the World Series.

Shultzie31

Dodgers Yankees?

joebaseball

John Can we get an update on the Bradenton facility after the storm has passed? Want to know conditions of field and facility.
Thanks

joebaseball

Thanks for the update, please keep them coming as you can

emjayinTN

Thanks for asking the question. I was wondering if the storm would impact Fall Instructs.

mpg43952

Go get ’em, giant cacti!

Wilbur Miller

There be baseball here!!!

john_fluharty

Mow ’em down Quinn!

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