- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

AFL Preview: Scottsdale Scorpions

The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced by Major League Baseball last week. The league allows up-and-coming prospects (usually from high-A and double-A levels, as well as recent high draft picks) to continue honing their skills away from the fall instructional leagues held by each organization. Play will begin in early October and run until late November with the six teams – each one made up of five organizations’ players – continually facing each other.

Over the next week, we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting names on each team. The rosters that were recently released are preliminary rosters and some players will be added, while others could be removed. Yesterday, we took a look at the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Today, we’ll have a peek at the Scottsdale Scorpions roster.

The Scottsdale Scorpions (Click HERE for the entire roster)
Arizona, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Colorado

Daniel Moskos | LHP | Pittsburgh
The Scottsdale squad does not feature many truly interesting pitching names, although Moskos does stand out as a former No. 1 draft pick of the Pirates. The left-hander has had a disappointing pro career to this point, although you may enjoy the 3.84 ERA in double-A… but the ground-ball rate of 54.3% is more impressive. Moskos has been too hittable but with a better defense behind him, he should have a little better luck. The strikeout rate in the past three years has plummeted, which is troubling (9.24 to 6.36 to 4.20 K/9).

Buster Posey | C | San Francisco
Teams have become very conscious of service time, so it would not be a surprise to see Posey begin 2010 in triple-A. With that said, the bat and glove are both ready for the Majors. If possible, the best scenario would be for San Francisco to resign veteran Bengie Molina to split the catching duties with Posey next year. Whether Molina would accept that type of playing time remains to be seen. The Giants prospect should eventually become a very real (and much-needed) threat in the heart of the club’s lineup.

Wilin Rosario | C | Colorado
The Rockies organization was extremely aggressive with Rosario after his breakout 2008 season in short-season ball. He was jumped over low-A ball and the 20 year old spent the season in high-A. Not surprisingly, Rosario struggles in April and May before finding his footing over the next two months. Injuries then wiped out August so the Dominican native will be fresher than most of the catchers in the league.

Brandon Allen | 1B | Arizona
A busy year for Allen is only going to get busier. The first-base prospect has played for four teams already this year – including making his MLB debut with Arizona – and he’ll join his fifth club in the AFL. Currently in the Majors, Allen is holding his own and the 23 year old has a shot at being the Diamondbacks’ opening day first baseman in 2010.

Hector Gomez | SS | Colorado
Gomez is a very promising prospect, but the Rockies organization would no doubt like to see him spend a little more time on the field. After missing all but one game in 2008, the shortstop missed significant time in April and June of this year. Gomez is a good defensive player but he needs a lot more work on his approach at the plate, including his walk rate which was at 4.3% this year at high-A ball.

Domonic Brown | OF | Philadelphia
A two-sport prep star, Brown has quickly become quite the baseball player ever since he began focusing on the sport on a full-time basis. He has made himself into a five-tool player with the increase in power this season; his ISO increased from .126 in 2008 to .212 in ’09. Brown also has the ability to hit .300 and steal 20-30 bases in a full season.

Jose Tabata | OF | Pittsburgh
On the plus side, Tabata has shown the ability to hit for a consistently-high average despite playing at double-A and triple-A in 2009. On the downside, his power has yet to develop and he’s had trouble staying on the field due to injuries. His off-the-field lifestyle is also questionable, as is his actual age. Tabata, though, is showing signs of being ready to contribute in Pittsburgh by mid-2010 at the latest.