Chase D'Arnaud Gets Hot in Arizona Fall League

Chase D'Arnaud went 3-for-4 for Scottsdale today, raising his Arizona Fall League average to .286. He got off to a slow start, but he's come on very strong recently, hitting .393 in his last seven games. Given his lack of experience in the high minors, his line so far (.286/.370/.397, with eight steals and only one CS) is solid.

One strange thing I just noticed, and normally I think these Player A / Player B games are a bit silly, but this one's interesting:

Chase D'Arnaud, SS, age 22

Class A 213 AB .291/.394/.427 14 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 30 BB, 31 K, 17 SB, 3 CS
Class A+ 210 AB .295/.402/.481 19 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 30 BB, 41 K, 14 SB, 5 CS

Player B, SS, age 22

Class A 274 AB .299/.414/.522 18 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 51 BB, 61 K, 29 SB, 8 CS
Class A+ 201 AB .308/.422/.418 10 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 36 BB, 43 K, 24 SB, 5 CS

Can you guess who Player B is (without hunting)? The answer is after the jump.

The two players have very similar skillsets: average, plate discipline, a bit of power, and speed. They also played at the same levels, at roughly the same ages. They also put up these seasons one year after being drafted in the fourth round by the Pirates.

Player B is Brent Lillibridge, so I predict that PECOTA will have a huge crush on D'Arnaud, and we'll all get more excited about him in around March.

A couple points about this:

1) Lillibridge obviously hasn't worked out, but there are a couple reasons to hope that D'Arnaud won't suffer the same fate. First, D'Arnaud was about five months younger than Lillibridge when they put up those numbers; that's not much, but it's something. Second, and much more importantly, D'Arnaud's lower strikeout rate bodes well. It's not like Lillibridge was Mark Reynolds, but it's hard, even for a fast guy like Lillibridge, to keep putting up good batting averages while striking out as much as Lillibridge did in the low minors. Strikeouts were a big issue for Lillibridge in college as well. D'Arnaud doesn't have that problem.

2) It's telling that after Lillibridge's 2006 season, he was probably the fourth-best prospect in the organization, behind Andrew McCutchen, Brad Lincoln and Neil Walker. Now, D'Arnaud's very similar season places him somewhere around #10.

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