The MLB released rosters for the Arizona Fall League today. Games will begin on October 9th, and as usual, some top prospects will be heading to the desert for some extra seasoning this fall. Here are some of the more notable prospects that will be attending. For the full rosters, check out the list on MLB.com.
Mesa Solar Sox: Jarred Cosart (Astros), Javier Baez (Cubs), Nick Castellanos (Tigers), Jiovanni Mier (Astros), Jonathan Schoop (Orioles), Jonathan Singleton (Astros), Bobby Borchering (Astros), LJ Hoes (Orioles), Yasiel Puig (Dodgers), George Springer (Astros), Matt Szczur (Cubs)
Peoria Javelinas: Robbie Erlin (Padres), Kyle Gibson (Twins), Casey Kelly (Padres), James Paxton (Mariners), Tommy Joseph (Phillies), Mike Zunino (Mariners), Nick Franlkin (Mariners), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Cory Spangenberg (Padres), Rymer Liriano (Padres)
Phoenix Desert Dogs: Zeke Spruill (Braves), Max Stassi (A's), Tim Beckham (Rays), Miles Head (A's), Hak-Ju Lee (Rays), Edward Salcedo (Braves), Richie Shaffer (Rays), Grant Green (A's), Christian Yelich (Marlins)
Salt River Rafters: Matt Davidson (Diamondbacks), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), Brian Goodwin (Nationals), Jake Marsinick (Blue Jays), Kyle Parker (Rockies), Trayce Thompson (White Sox)
Scottsdale Scorpions: (NOTE: Scottsdale's roster doesn't appear to be complete) Nick Maronde (Angels), Austin Romine (Yankees), Kaleb Cowart (Angels), Joe Panik (Giants), Gary Brown (Giants), Randal Grichuk (Angels), Slade Heathcott (Yankees)
Surprise Saguaros: Kolten Wong (Cardinals), Bryce Brentz (Red Sox)
Just on paper, the team in Mesa looks completely and utterly loaded. The Astros are sending some legit players to Arizona, and they'll team with guys like the highly touted Puig, potential Cubs savior Baez, and Tigers wunderkind Castellanos. The worst roster? Well, the team in Surprise looks like pretty much a dude. Most of the pitchers on that team are older and lack the ceilings of some of the other teams.
The only picks from the 2012 draft heading to Arizona are Zunino and Shaffer. In terms of overall ceiling, just one of the top 20 players in MLB.com's Top 100 midseason prospects is making the trip: the injury-plagued Rendon of the Nationals.The list starts to fill out past the top 20, but there aren't any mega-prospects going to Arizona.
At any rate, it's worth taking a look at some of the games if you're in the area. The games weren't televised at all last seaosn on MLB.tv or MiLB.tv, and if that holds true again this year, you're only going to be able to see these games if you're in Arizona. The AFL tends to overly inflate offensive statistics, so don't go crazy if a bitter is having a great fall...and by the same token, don't panic if a pitcher is getting shelled.
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