The Weekly – James Farris Continues to Roll in the AFL

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By Todd Johnson

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Arizona Fall League News

Eloy hit a home run on Tuesday and that was about all the excitement for the week for him until Friday when he went 3 for 4 and raised his average from .198 to .250. Although Eloy has shown some flashes of his massive talent, the longer the fall league continues, I think the better he gets. In turn, this experience is going to affect his development for 2017 in a positive way. I am thinking that Eloy could be at AA Tennessee by the middle of June.

Ian Happ had a nice day on Wednesday going 3 for 3 but then laid a goose egg on Friday going 0 for 4. Happ, too, is hitting .250 while Victor Caratini still stagnates around .182.

Image result for james farris arizona fall leagueThe story of Cub prospects in the AFL continues to be the dominance of James Farris. The young right-handed reliever has yet to allow a run this fall in 6 appearances. I think this year has been a good year as far as his development is concerned. He has learned to make adjustments at Myrtle Beach and Tennessee. I think Tennessee was a rougher go for him, but he was able to figure it out the last two months and has carried over into the Fall League.

Farris has pitched at the highest level of the NCAA, but that was as a starter. As a reliever, I think he’s just beginning to find his footing. He came out like gangbusters this past April and was quickly promoted to Tennessee where he struggled in May and June. It’s interesting to watch him attack hitters now rather than attack the zone. This fall, he’s seems to have accelerated his plan a bit. He should not be back at Tennessee to begin 2017. He should be at AAA Iowa.

After two seasons of development, Farris now uses a low 90’s fastball with outstanding late movement and a biting 1 to 7 slider/curve. Farris seems to have benefited from two years of coaching and strength development that has seen his fastball slowly improve over the last two summers. I’m excited to see where it goes in 2017.

Duane Underwood has not pitched for over a week. Stephen Perakslis continues to be like Farris, but in a smaller role. Perakslis has yet to allow a run either in a scant 2.1 IP.

After I’m done with posts I wish to be about the Cubs winning the World Series next week, I’ll be back with a look at Baseball America’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects list. Hopefully, it will be out by then as they are doing the AL East this week.


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