Arizona Fall League – Day 1

Tuesday marked the first day of the 2012 Arizona Fall League season. There are four 2012 Charlotte Knights playing for the Salt River Rafters — the team comprised of White Sox, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Blue Jays and Nationals prospects.

Let’s take a look at day one:

Carlos Sanchez — Sanchez, who is just 20 years old, appeared in 11 games for the Knights and hit .256 while playing stellar defense for the club. The Venezuelan native had a great 2012 campaign. Beginning with Single-A Winston Salem, Sanchez hit .315 over 92 games for the Dash. He had six triples, and swiped 19 bases. He was promoted to Birmingham (AA) where he exploded offensively.

Playing for the Barons, Sanchez hit .370 over 30 games and quickly moved up the ranks in the system. His impressive offensive showing, combined with his one-of-a-kind defensive skills made him a household name in the organization. He earned a promotion to the Knights and finished the season with Charlotte. At just 20 years old, the future for this young shortstop is a bright one.

This offseason, Sanchez will hone his skills in the Arizona Fall League. On Tuesday, in the opener, he went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI for the Salt River Rafters. It will be interesting to see him continue to develop this offseason.

Trayce Thompson – Thompson began the season ranked by Baseball America as the White Sox fourth-best prospect. In 2011 he hit 24 home runs for Single-A Kannapolis and drove home 87 runs. He started the 2012 season with Winston-Salem and played the majority of the season with the Dash. In 116 games he hit .254 with 22 home runs, 90 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He was later promoted to Birmingham where he launched three home runs and hit .280 in just 14 games.

Thompson was rewarded with a promotion to Charlotte where he then appeared in six games for the Knights. While he hit just .167 the 21-year-old Thompson showed signs of his talent.

This offseason, Thompson will also hone his skills in the AFL and in the opener on Tuesday, the California native went 1-2 with two RBIs, two walks and one run scored.

Santos Rodriguez – Rodriguez allowed two runs on two hits over 0.2 innings pitched on Tuesday in his AFL debut. Earlier this year, the 24-year-old lefty appeared in five games for the Knights and posted a 3.68 ERA. He began the season with the Barons and was the club’s Pitcher of the Year at the end of the season. He appeared in 37 games for Birmingham and posted a 2-4 mark with a 2.81 ERA.

Andre Rienzo – Rienzo has yet to make his 2012 AFL debut. A native of Brazil, Rienzo made one regular season start for the Knights this season and was sharp. He fanned 10 batters over 6.1 scoreless innings, but did not factor in the decision. Rienzo started the season going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts for the Dash. He then went 4-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 13 starts for the Barons.

Stay tuned for more updates on each of these four prospects and more this offseason.

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