AFL Wrap-up, Alumni Updates, & More…

Welcome back to the Knight Fever blog.

While most people were watching college football on Saturday (okay, I did watch my Nittany Lions), I spent the day with my eyes on the Arizona Fall League championship game. What can I say, I love baseball — even in November!

I enjoyed watching some of the stars of tomorrow, including a couple of 2012 Charlotte Knights. Let’s take a look back at the AFL season and more today:

Carlos Sanchez Sanchez, who was recently ranked by Baseball America as the third-best prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, had a remarkable year and contined that into the AFL.

Sanchez, 20, hit .299 with four doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases for the Salt River Rafters. His 11 steals led the AFL.

On Saturday, the Venezuelan native went 2-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base in the championship game, which was broadcast live on MLB Network.

Here is more on Sanchez and the rest of the White Sox Top 10 prospects in my story:

Santos Rodriguez – Rodriguez was the second 2012 Charlotte Knights player to appear in the AFL championship game. Hewas the first pitcher out of the Salt River bullpen on Saturday and he allowed two hits and a walk over 1.1 innings pitched. For the AFL season, Rodriguez appeared in 11 games and went 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA. He fanned 13 batters over 11.1 innings pitched.

Andre Rienzo — Rienzo, who made one regular season start for the Knights and one playoff appearance in 2012, led the AFL in innings pitched (24.2) and finished second in strikeouts (24). In all, he posted a 1-1 mark with a 4.74 ERA in six starts for Salt River.

Last week Rienzo left the AFL for his native Brazil and the World Baseball Classic. On Thursday, Nov. 15, Rienzo started for Brazil and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over 3.2 innings pitched. He also walked five batters and fanned one in a no-decision. Brazil went on to beat Panama 3-2.

Other Winter League News:

Manny Ramirez — Ramirez, who hit .317 with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs for the Knights in 1993, made his Dominican Winter League debut for Aguilas and homered on the first pitch he saw in a 3-2 loss to Escogido on 11/15. I guess it was Manny being Manny.

Ray Olmedo – Olmedo is playing for Tiburones de La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League. Olmedo, who spent the majority of the 2012 season with the Knights before a promotion to the White Sox on July 29, had a hit in five straight games from Oct. 31 to Nov. 14. He is hitting .200 through 17 games this winter.

Free Agent Signings:

Scott OlsenSigned as a free agent by the Texas Rangers

Olsen began the 2012 season on the Charlotte Knights disabled list recovering from shoulder issues, which kept him out of the 2011 season. On June 29, Olsen made a rehab start for Bristol (A) and allowed one run on one hit over one inning of work. Three days later, Olsen was activated off of Charlotte’s DL and assigned to the club’s active roster.

On July 2, Olsen made his first of two starts for the Knights and allowed one run on two hits over two innings against Gwinnett. Three days later he was back on the mound and started against Gwinnett again. This time he tossed two scoreless frames and struck out two batters (July 5). On July 7 after two games and four innings pitched for the Knights, Olsen was released by the White Sox.

In all, the Michigan native posted a 0-0 mark with a 2.25 ERA for Charlotte. The former sixth round pick of the Marlins (2002), was recently signed by the Texas Rangers on November 12.

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