AFL Recap: Blake Sabol Helps Saguaros to Victory

The Surprise Saguaros came into Tuesday night’s action with an 11-7 record after a 2-1 loss on Monday. The first place Saguaros went into this game with a 1.5 game lead in the Arizona Fall League standings. There are 11 games left on the schedule after this game. Blake Sabol was the only Pittsburgh Pirates prospect in the lineup. Tahnaj Thomas came into the game late. Here’s a brief game recap.

Sabol batted fifth and he was the catcher. He singled and scored a run in the six-run first inning. He struck out swinging in the second inning. Sabol was hit by a pitch in the fourth and scored a run. He grounded out in the fifth. He singled on what was called a pop up to shortstop in the seventh. He finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs and a HBP.

Thomas allowed a home run to the first batter he faced. He struck out the next guy on four pitches, then got a fly ball to right field and a grounder back to the mound to end the game and give Surprise a 9-3 victory. Thomas, who has a 10.80 ERA this fall, threw nine of his 12 pitches for strikes.

Here’s the boxscore

Surprise plays Wednesday afternoon at 3:35 PM ET. You can view the live stream of the game here.

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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b mcferren

I really hope Sabol gets all the starts at catcher next April and May


Thanks for the article.

My outstanding question is “How do the Bucs scout themselves?” My guess is it’s a mix of coaching reports, analytics, and pro scouting, but I don’t know.


Encouraged by the fact that Sabol is getting most of his reps behind the plate, would like to see him get reps at 1b as well.


Rule 5- They should because they need him or they shouldn’t beacause he is not a
BC guy

IMO, If a team has been following him, knows he close and might be available, i doubt they would let a small sample size of AFL weigh their decision


This is a very transactional FO. Who traded for Thomas probably won’t even be mentioned.


Are Pirates going to protect Thomas by putting him on 40-man before Rule 5 draft? Does his high ERA during AFL make it a safer bet he’s not selected if Pirates leave him exposed?


There is so much dreck out of the ‘pen I’d hate to let a live arm get away. He has not
been pitching that long


I think he becomes middle relief depth this year at AAA, after being passed over in the Rule 5.


My gut is that they wont protect him, but that is nothing other than a feeling and a guess

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