Many Top Prospects Expected To Play In 2023 Arizona Fall League

As minor-league play winds down, many of baseball’s top prospects are anticipating another six weeks of play in the upcoming Arizona Fall League.

The 2023 season starts on October 2, and every MLB team will soon announce which players from their organization will be participating. There will be six teams playing at spring-training sites in the Phoenix area. Each club takes six players from five different MLB clubs for a 30-man squad.

Here are the teams, with the MLB clubs sending players to them:

GLENDALE DESERT DOGS: Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox.

MESA SOLAR SOX: Astros, Athletics, Cubs, Orioles, Yankees.

PEORIA JAVELINAS: Guardians, Mariners, Marlins, Padres, Rays.

SALT RIVER RAFTERS: Braves, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Rockies, Tigers.

SCOTTSDALE SCORPIONS: Angels, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals, Phillies.

SURPRISE SAGUAROS: Blue Jays, Brewers, Rangers, Reds, Royals.

Big-league teams often send some of their brightest young stars to play against other top-flight prospects and hopefully advance quicker to the majors. Sometimes, an MLB club will send a player that missed time because of injury and needs to get back on track. Occasionally, they send a player switching positions and get him started on the new spot. They sometimes use the league to get a longer look at a prospect they may have picked up at the trading deadline.

Go West, Young Men!

Prospects who are candidates for more work this year include Ricky Tiedemann, Chase DeLauter, Kyle Manzardo, Eric Brown and Alexander Canario.

Tiedemann, a 20-year-old lefty in Toronto’s system, has pitched only 40 innings this year due to a biceps injury in May. A year ago, he struck out 117, walked only 29 and gave up a measly 39 hits over 78.2 innings across three levels.

DeLauter didn’t play for more than a year. The Cleveland Guardians’ first-round pick in 2022 twice broke bones in his right foot. He hit.355 with 39 RBI in 52 games this summer after being activated in June. Cleveland acquired Manzardo from Tampa Bay at the trading deadline. The first baseman missed six weeks in July and August with a shoulder injury. In 2022, he batted .327 with 22 homers in the Rays’ system.

The Detroit Tigers may want to see a few more innings from right-hander Jackson Jobe, a first-round pick in 2021. In 64 innings across four levels, he has walked only six and fanned 84 at age 20.

Brown had 37 stolen bases in only 63 games in the Brewers’ system this summer. The 27th overall pick in 2022 missed several weeks with a broken scapula and Milwaukee has announced the shortstop will play in the AFL.

So will Canario, who hit 37 homers a year ago in the Chicago Cubs’ system. The outfielder had ankle and shoulder surgery last winter and played only 53 games this summer, batting .273 with nine homers.

Tampa Bay is sending catcher Dom Keegan, who hit .287 with 13 homers in 106 games this summer. The Rays picked him in 2022 out of Vanderbilt, where he played mostly first base. They want him to gain experience behind the plate.

Team rosters for the 2023 season will be announced soon. The AFL playoff semifinals will be on November 10, with the championship game the next day.

A Long List Of Stars

Since 1992, thousands of top prospects have played in the league. A year ago, Heston Kjerstad made quite a mark. The Baltimore Orioles’ prospect batted ,357 with five homers and 17 RBI in 22 games. This summer, he hit .303 with 21 homers in the minors and last week got his first MLB hit — a home run — with the Orioles.

In 2016, the New York Mets sent Tim Tebow to the AFL to start his hopeful transition from NFL quarterback to outfielder. Tebow helped the Denver Broncos to a playoff win in 2011. In three years in the minors, he batted only .223.

Here’s a list of just some of the AFL players and managers who went on to very successful MLB careers:


Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Braves, 2017

Pete Alonso, 1B , Mets, 2018

Yordan Alvarez, OF, Astros, 2017

Garrett Anderson, OF, Angels, 1993, 94

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies, 2011

Jake Arrieta, SP, Orioles, 2007

Cody Bellinger, OF, Dodgers, 2016

Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox, 2013

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs, 2013

Sean Casey, 1B, Indians, 1997

Aroldis Chapman, RP, Reds, 2011

Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates , 2011

Carl Crawford, OF, Devil Rays, 2001

Nomar Garciaparra, SS, Red Sox, 1994

Jason Giambi, INF, Athletics, 1994

Brian Giles, OF, Indians, 1994

Curtis Granderson, OF, Tigers, 2004, 2005

Shawn Green, OF, Blue Jays, 1993

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. , 3B, Blue Jays, 2018

*-Roy Halladay, SP, Blue Jays, 1998

Bryce Harper,. OF, Nationals, 2000, 11

Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies, 1996

Torii Hunter, OF, Twins, 1998

Kenley Jansen, RP , Dodgers, 2009

*-Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees, 1994

Charles Johnson, C, Marlins, 1993, 94

Adam Jones, OF, Mariners, 2005

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees, 2014

Craig Kimbrel, RP, Braves, 2009

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians, 2014

Nick Markakis, OF, Orioles, 2005

Joe Mauer C, Twins, 2003

Andrew McCutcheon, OF, Pirates, 2007

Charlie Morton, SP, Braves, 2007

Sean Murphy, C, Athletics, 2017

Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics, 2014

*-Mike Piazza, C, Dodgers, 1992

Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals, 2000

Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles, 2000, 01

Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners, 2019

Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies, 2000

Anthony Santander, OF, Orioles, 2017

Max Scherzer, SP, Diamondbacks, 2007, 08

Tanner Scott, RP, Orioles, 2015, 16, 17

Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers, 2013, 14

Richie Sexson, 1B, Indians, 1997

Grady Sizemore, OF, Indians, 2003

Alfonso Soriano, 2B, Yankees, 1998

George Springer, OF, Astros, 2012

Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals, 2009

Mike Trout, OF, Angels, 2011

Chase Utley, 2B, Phillies, 2002

Framber Valdez, SP, Astros, 2017

Joey Votto, 1B, Reds, 2005

Adam Wainwright, SP, Braves, 2003, 04

Rondell White, OF, Expos, 1992

David Wright, 3B, Mets, 2003

Michael Young, INF, Rangers, 2000

Ryan Zimmerman, INF, Nationals, 2005

*-Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame


Dusty Baker, Giants, 1992

Terry Francona, White Sox, 1994

Bob Melvin, Brewers, 1999

Tony Pena, Astros, 2000

Mike Scioscia, Dodgers, 1997

Eric Wedge, Rockies, 1993

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