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AFL Update

November 4, 2008
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The Surprise Rafters continue to struggle in the AFL, as they sit in last place in the league with a record of 6-17. The Rafters team ERA of 7.81 is the highest in the league, as are the 195 strikeouts the pitching staff has recorded. Maybe the Rafters need to take a page from Crash Davis...stop trying to strike everyone out. Strikeouts are boring, and besides that, they're facist. Throw some more ground balls, they're more democratic.

While the Rafters are at the bottom of the league, there is an Indians prospect who is at or near the top of the league in most offensive categories. Wes Hodges leads the AFL with 20 RBI, is 3rd in HR with 5 and is tied for 5th in total bases with 45. His .677 SLG is 6th, and his 1.065 OPS is good for 10th in the league. Hodges is has 13 hits in his last 32 AB's and has been very consistent througout the AFL campaign. It will be tough for Hodges to push himself on to the Indians roster out of Spring Training, but his bat is setting him up for a call-up to Cleveland if he can continue his fall success next year in Columbus.

Beau Mills has been scuffling of late, and his batting average is down to .220...Its still better than the .136 line that Josh Rodriguez is sporting...Stephen Head is hitting .333 in his 15 AB's...Chuck Lofgren's struggles continue; Lofgren has an ERA of 34.94 and a WHIP of 5.29...the Indians have a decision to make as to whether they want to roster Lofgren; his performance the past year has been poor, but the talent is there and if he can put it together again, he could rejoin the ranks of top LHP prospects...Erik Stiller has given up 14 ER in 9 IP, while striking out 8...Neil Wagner has the lowest ERA of any Indians prospect in the AFL...his ERA is 7.36...Josh Tomlin has 15 K's in his 14 IP.

Also in Arizona, Diamondbacks players Eric Byrnes and Orlando Hudson, both AFL alumni, hosted the second annual Pat Tillman Foundation benefit on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium. All 30 MLB teams donated items that were sold to fans via a silent auction to benefit the foundation set up after the former Arizona Cardinal player was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2004 while serving in the U.S. Army. A nice gesture by those players and MLB.

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