Phil Hughes’ AFL season is now in the books. Let’s compare his stats from out west versus what he’s done, career-wise, at every pro-level to date:
Level IP ERA WHIP 2008 AFL 30.0 3.00 1.16 Career Rk Lge 5.0 0.00 0.80 Career A-Ball 75.3 1.80 0.89 Career High-A 49.6 2.18 0.71 Career AA 123.0 2.20 0.91 Career AAA 57.6 4.06 1.16 Career MLB 106.6 5.15 1.42
To me, Hughes’ 2008 AFL numbers are right around what he’s done at the Double-A/Triple-A level, so far, in his minor league career. And, this makes sense – considering that the AFL talent level, this year, overall, was guys who were very talented Double-A players who could have been pressed into Triple-A duty.
So, what we saw from Hughes in the AFL was no different than what we’ve seen from Hughes pitching at AA/AAA.
And, the question for Hughes still remains: When will Phil be able to translate that minor league success into something at the major league level that comes close to it? Will it be this season? The next? The one after that? Ever?
Anyone who says they know, for sure, is only guessing. In the end, with this one, the proof will be in the pudding – and not in some Arizona Fall League stats.