2018 Arizona Fall League Rays Pitching Preview

Arizona Fall League Rays Pitching Preview

The Tampa Rays have elected Matt Krook and Phoenix Sanders to send out west for the AFL. Both pitchers have shown potential on the mound but both have areas in which they need to show improvement. Therefore, the Rays organization feels the AFL will give them the extra innings of work against quality players to see if they clean up the areas of weakness. Krook and Sanders could potentially become multi inning relief arms for the Rays or another big league club, given they both polish some things out on the mound.

Matt Krook: 23-years-old, L/L, 6’4, 225, AA-Montgomery

Video Cred via @connerpenfold of sfgiantpotential.net

Phoenix Sanders: 23-years-old, R/R, 5’10, 184, Class A (Adv & Full) Bowling Green/Charlotte

Video cred via @JheremyBrown_PG

Sanders is a little different story than Krook. Sanders also has high strikeout numbers. He rung up 89 batters in his 64.1 innings of work during his 2018 season. He throws a fastball that ranges from 91-93 that has some late life. He has a slider that he looks to use when he gets ahead in the count. However, even with the K numbers, Sanders can improve in getting hitters to chase pitches out of the zone with his slider. He put up better reverse split numbers over the season. Obviously that is with fewer total left hand batters faced than right hand batters. I am looking for Sanders to show more consistency in getting righties out during his time in the AFL.

Fantasy Value

Both pitchers can carry value in a points league because of their high strikeout numbers. Krook will have to cut down on his walks in order to be worth rostering. I would give the edge to Sanders right now in any type of points league. In a roto league I would only give consideration to Sanders. He has better numbers across all categories. As for Krook, there needs to be improvement in most categories. With all of that being said, Krook is a guy to take a chance on that could possibly be worth the risk if he displays better control over the next year.


Featured image of Phoenix Sanders – via Marshall Dunlap on Flickr

I'm Aaron Schuck, covering all things about the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system. I currently live in Monticello, GA where I teach high school and coach basketball. Even though I coach basketball, please do not let that fool you that I'm only a basketball guy. My love for baseball is very strong. I will watch or attend a baseball game over a basketball game any day of the week. My goal is to provide our readers with interesting and informative information that involves everything in the Rays minor league system. Give me a follow on Twitter @bbbaseball101 and don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or ideas on the Rays.

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