We're barely a week into this year's Arizona Fall League, but there are already a couple of players who have exceeded my expectations.
• The Colorado Rockies' Rex Brothers was the 34th overall selection in the 2009 draft, and has been used as a reliever ever since turning pro, finishing this season in the Double-A Texas League. In my preview earlier in the week, I wrote that Brothers "might not profile as a closer candidate going forward." I based that after seeing his stuff in an abbreviated outing in Class A earlier this season, as well as another report I got after his promotion to Double-A Tulsa.
However, Brothers showed some nasty stuff Thursday night in his first outing of the AFL. Although there's some effort in his delivery (one reason he profiled better as a reliever), he put up a lot of 94s and 95s on the gun, with batters not necessarily getting a good look at it. That velocity was a little better than what I saw earlier in the year, and he can get ground balls with his heater, although I'd still like to see a little better fastball command. Brothers also showed a potential wipeout slider in the 86-87 range when he stays on top of it. The pitch has late, hard tilt and is a definite strikeout offering that a late-inning guy will need in the big leagues. It could just use a little more consistency. He is one to track for those looking to stash away potential future closer candidates.