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AFL Spotlight: Dave Sappelt

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Starting today, Blog Red Machine will begin a quick spotlight on the seven players the Cincinnati Reds designated to play in the Arizona Fall League.

According to MLB, which operates the league, each MLB team is to allocate seven players for the AFL. The Reds have allocated outfielder Dave Sappelt (today’s subject), infielder Kris Negron, catcher Devin Mesoraco and pitchers James Avery, Jeremy Horst, Daryl Thompson and Philippe Valiquette.

As I stated, we’ll start with Sappelt. The outfielder is coming off one impressive season. He played at three levels in 2010. He started at Lynchburg (High-A) where he played in 19 games and compiled a respectable .282 batting average. His promotion to Carolina (AA) in late April would commence a season to remember for the Reds 2008 ninth round pick.

Sappelt literally blazed Double AA pitching. His power numbers with Carolina may not impress too much (9 HR), but his run production was astounding (62 RBI). 62 RBI in 89 games isn’t too shabby either. All the while, Sappelt managed a .361 batting average, .416 on-base percentage and .548 slugging. All in all, the OPS was a .964. Not too bad for a guy who only had 9 long balls. And let’s not forget the 53 runs he scored.

So impressive that Sappelt was named a member of the Southern League’s mid-season all-star team , post-season all-star team and Southern League MVP.

Sappelt’s season didn’t end there as in mid-August he was promoted to Louisville. And he didn’t disappoint there either. In only 25 games, Sappelt stroked a .324 batting average. His overall season numbers:

And Sappelt isn’t just a bat with a little speed. He isn’t deficient with the glove or arm either.

And Sappelt has continued his success in handling the bat in the AFL. In 21 games, his splits are .292/.316/.319. The power isn’t there and you hope the on-base percentage could go higher, maybe even just a tick more pop (only 2 extra base hits, both doubles) especailly since Sappelt has decent speed. He did leg out 11 triples for his 2010 season.

That’s leads me to the one aspect of Sappelt’s game that could use a little more coaching, stealing bases. He accounted for 25 total, but he was thrown out 18 times (58%). He’s been caught three times in the AFL and has yet to pull off a successful theft there.

And the Reds have their eye on Sappelt. With good reason, too. He wouldn’t be in the AFL if they didn’t.

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