Prospects of the Week: Arizona Fall League – Week 5

Tyler Hardman, Mesa Solar Sox, Arizona Fall League, November 4, 2022. Photo credit Gail Verderico, @1baseball_gail on Twitter and @baseball_gail on Instagram

Each week during the Arizona Fall League season we pick the hitting and pitching prospects who, in our opinion, had the best week. The team awards the Prospects of the Week hitters and pitchers, while also presenting other names that are just as deserving of POTW honors. Feel free to reply in the comments with any player who deserves to be mentioned that may not have made our cut. Several of our Prospects1500 staff were on hand at several AFL games this week and got to see some of these players in action.

Any issues with this week’s POTW? Did we miss anyone deserving? Hit us up and set us straight! As always, tweet us @Prospects1500 when you see a great performance that warrants consideration for Prospect of the Week. Enjoy, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for these prospects in your dynasty leagues.

HITTER: Tyler Hardman, 1B (Yankees #44)
Mesa Solar Sox (3 G, .429/.429/1.143/1.572, 6 H, 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)
Hardman, the Yankees 5th round pick in 2021, has continued to hit for power in the AFL after hitting 22 home runs and 16 doubles in the 2022 regular season. Hardman has 5 home runs in 18 AFL games. He smacked two homers and drove in three runs Friday in Mesa’s 14-7 loss to Peoria. Overall on the week in 3 games (14 at bats) he hit .429 with 1 double, 3 home runs, while having 4 RBI and 5 runs. Hardman also has a hitting streak of 10 games, making it the longest active streak in the AFL and the second-longest in the league all season. The right-hander sits 2nd in the Fall League in homers (5), extra-base hits (12) and total bases (47) while ranking 5th in both slugging percentage (.653) and OPS (1.030). Hardman will easily be in my upcoming top 50 Yankees prospects. (@PaulWoodin1)

Honorable Mentions:
Will Wagner, 2B (Astros NR)
Surprise Saguaros (3 G, .417/.500/1.000/1.500, 5 H, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB)

Mike Antico, OF (Cardinals #28)
Salt River Rafters (3 G, .500/.625/1.167/1.792, 3 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 SB)

Jordan Walker, 3B/OF (Cardinals #1)
Salt River Rafters (3 G, .364/.462/.818/1.280, 4 H, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, SB)

Niko Kavadas, 1B (Red Sox #10)
Scottsdale Scorpions (2 G, .300/.364/1.000/1.364, 3 H, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB)

Carlos De La Cruz, OF (Phillies #41)
Surprise Saguaros (2 G, .667/.667/1.222/1.889, 6 H, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

Heston Kjerstad, OF (Orioles #8)
Scottsdale Scorpions (3 G, .500/.500/.857/1.357, 7 H, 3 2B, 3B, R)
Kjerstad led the shortened week in hits (7) and is dominating the AFL. He leads the league in hits (33), is tied for second in HR (5), and is third in slugging (.663), RBI (17), and OPS (1.063).

PITCHER: Emmet Sheehan, RHP (Dodgers #47)
Glendale Desert Dogs (1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K)
Tall, talented, and all grown-up in LAD’s impeccable pitching factory, Sheehan’s latest start looks far more like the stud who mowed through two levels (A+ and AA) in 2022. 5 IP, only 2 hits, 1 BB, 0 R, and 4 K’s, Sheehan’s found his groove in Arizona. (@GQ__82)

Honorable Mentions:
Mason Miller, RHP (Athletics #25)
Mesa Solar Sox (1 GS, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

Rhett Kouba, RHP (Astros NR)
Surprise Saguaros (1 GS, 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K)

Connor Thomas, LHP (Cardinals #22)
Salt River Rafters (1 GS, 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

Kumar Rocker, RHP (Rangers NR)
Surprise Saguaros (1 GS, 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

Colton Gordon, LHP (Astros NR)
Surprise Saguaros (1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K)

Jeremy covers the Oakland organization and contributes on Prospects of the Week for Prospects1500. Born and raised in the Midwest, as a lifelong baseball fan he is passionate about the game from Little League to the Big Leagues. You can follow him on Twitter @JMahyfam for more baseball content.

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too." -Yogi Berra

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