Young prospects flash talent in Arizona Fall League

Several top minor league players will prepare for the show this fall


Courtesy of Clintus McGintus (Flickr)

The six-team Arizona Fall League, with games at Salt River Fields, runs through the Nov. 19 championship game.

Louis Baker and Nicholas Tirella

The Arizona Fall League began Oct. 11 as elite minor leaguers around the country assembled to showcase their talents and prepare for the 2017 Major and Minor League Baseball seasons.

For 24 years, the Arizona Fall League has hosted the very best in minor league talent as they polish their skill sets in preparation for the call to Major League Baseball. The six teams in the Fall League will compete head to head through October and the beginning of November.

Many big-name prospects will be headlining this year’s Fall League. Young stars such as Eloy Jimenez, Austin Meadows, Gleyber Torres, Bradley Zimmer and many more will be present in Arizona this fall. For teenagers Jimenez and Torres, it will be their first time at the Fall League and this duo has impressed the baseball world since they came stateside after being signed to contracts in the 2013 Major League Baseball July 2 signing period.

Ronald Anderson, an SCC student and Diamondbacks fan, explained how Major League teams could benefit from the minor league players hoping to make the step up.

“The Minor League is where you scout out potential Major League players and it gives players an opportunity to gain experience and actually playing in a league bigger then a city league or something and gives players an opportunity to join a Major League,” Anderson said.

Meadows has returned to the AFL this year after spending much of the 2016 season with both the AA and AAA minor league affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The 2013 MLB Draft first round selection has lived up to expectations since the day he signed out of Loganville High School in Georgia. Widely considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball, MLB Pipeline wrote about Meadows’ progression through the Minor Leagues in the past three years.

“Given how much more polished he is than people initially thought, a year of upper-level at-bats should have him knocking on the door,” the prospect website said.

Local talent is also present in the Fall League this year for the Scottsdale Scorpions as Scott Kingery from Mountain Pointe High School and the University of Arizona will be suiting up at second base. Kingery, a second round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2015 MLB Draft, spent the 2016 season between the AA and A (Advanced) affiliates of the Phillies organization. Currently, he is ranked as the Phillies’ 13th-best prospect and the fifth-ranked second base prospect in all of the Minor Leagues this year.

“Kingery is the type of advanced college bat who might not take that much time to be big league ready,” MLB Pipeline said.

The 2016 Arizona Fall League will definitely be an exciting time for many fans to watch the stars of tomorrow compete and polish their skill sets as they ready themselves for the call to the Major Leagues one day.