moethedog accidentally put his AFL article under the "ALL" domain, as Dr. D also accidentally does, about twice a week. We moved it to the baseball subdomain here, so the "byline" unfortunately appears as jemanji. Keith wrote it.
Farmhand Eric Filia is still leading the Arizona Fall League in hitting. His .410-.500-.641 line means he is leading in OBP and OPS, as well.
So I got to thinking: What does it mean to win the batting title in the AFL? Well, as it turns out, it is decently meaningful.
The AFL batting champion in '16 was Gleyber Torres. He's now ranked as the #3 prospect, in all of baseball, by Baseball America. He just hit .309 in AAA and will be up by June of '18. Oh, Cody Bellinger hit .314-.424-.557 in the AFL in '16.
In '15, the champion was Adam Engel. He made it to the bigs with the White Sox this season, hitting .166 in an extended trial. Oh, Gary Sanchez hit .295-.357-.625 that fall.
In '14, it was Jesse Winkler. Winkler made it to the Reds roster this season, hitting .298-.375-.539 in 137 PA's. That '14 fall, Mallex Smith hit .305-.339-.408
In '13, it was CJ Cron who was the AFL batting champion. He was up in '14. CJ has a carrer line of .262-.307-.449. BTW, Kris Bryant hit .364-.457-.727 that fall.
In '12, the champion batter was Nate Roberts. Roberts had been a .310-.440 guy prior to that, down in the low minors. He played in just one game in '13 (injury, I suppose) and was out of the game by '15.
In '11, Jedd Gyorko was the AFL batting title holder. He has a career .245-.305-.479 line and was up full-time by by '13. That fall Bryce Harper hit .333-.400-.634.
And in '11 the champion was Dustin Ackley. He was up full-time by '12. Brandon Belt (perhaps a Filia template) hit .372-.427-.616 that autumn.
Of the past 7 batting AFL batting champions, all but 1 were up to the bigs within 2 seasons. That one player, Nate Roberts, evidently suffered a career ending injury.
Prior to '10, you had guys like Eric Young Jr. and Yunel Escobar who won the batting title.
None of this guarantees that Filia can hit MLB throwers (and I will admit that at age 25 he is older than the other guys) but it does indicate that winning the title in the desert likely shows MLB ability with the bat.
Reminder: There is quite a bit of AFL season to be played. Filia could slump.
All the same: Eric Filia: Don't forget the name.