Tentative rosters for the Arizona Fall League were released on Aug. 29. The fall developmental league is designed to help prospects received extra seasoning and coaching at the conclusion of the minor league season. Each organization contributes players to the six-team league. The league typically shifts in favor of the hitters because teams are generally reluctant to assign top arms to the league – unless they’re attempting to make up for lost innings due to injuries.
The Surprise Saguaros club consists of players from five organizations – St. Louis, Kansas City, Boston, Texas and New York (NL). Below are some interesting names set to appear on the roster. Full rosters can be found here.
Seth Blair, RHP, St. Louis: I was a pretty big fan of St. Louis’ selection of Blair during the 2010 amateur draft as he had a successful college career at Arizona State. However, injuries, inconsistency and control issues have derailed his pro career to this point. A starter in college, Blair’s route to the Majors will likely come from the bullpen and a trip to the AFL will help him catch up on much needed innings; he appeared in just seven games in 2012.
Bryce Brentz, OF, Boston: Brentz is one of those fringe prospects for me. I have yet to buy into him as a future full-time player at the big league level and he doesn’t really offer enough defense (although he has a strong arm) to be an ideal fourth outfielder. His best hope is likely a platoon job. Brentz hit almost .300 in double-A in 2012 but was aided by a .370 BABIP. If he continues to strikeout at rates between 24- 26% he’s more likely to hit around .240-.260 with 55-60 power (20-80 scale).
Edwin Carl, RHP, Kansas City: An out-of-nowhere, pop-up prospect in 2011, Carl’s improbable success continued through the 2012 season and two minor league levels (A and A+). The right-hander’s stuff is average across the board but it plays up because of above-average control, solid command and deception. The undrafted prospect, who signed with KC in 2010, made 11 starts in low-A this year, but is definitely a future reliever who his overall ceiling to be determined – but middle reliever at the big league level is probably the best-case scenario.
Kellin Deglan, C, Texas: A first round draft pick from 2010 (22nd overall), Deglan was a late riser in the amateur ranks but his bat has been a disappointment in pro ball. Still just 20, the young Canadian will be given plenty of chances to develop. He’s behind the eight ball as a cold weather prospect and flashes intriguing left-handed power. After two straight years in low-A ball, he should move up to high-A despite his league-average offensive output in ’12.
Leury Garcia, IF, Texas: The Rangers system is flush with up-the-middle infield talent with the likes of Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas – as well as Garcia, who often gets overlooked. The 5’7” infielder is possibly the least physical of the group but he makes consistent contact, swings from both sides of the plate and has some speed. He may top out as a utility player but the 21 year old could be a very useful big league player.
Tim Melville, RHP, Kansas City: In early 2012, I identified Melville as a potential buy-low candidate for big league teams looking for a sleeper prospect to acquire. Unfortunately injuries wiped out his season and he pitched just 34.1 innings. Melville is a former top amateur pitcher who is still just 22 years old so he should continue to receive opportunities to realize his potential – and hopefully that will begin with a trip to the Arizona this fall.
Danny Muno, IF, New York (NL): A former eighth round draft pick out of Fresno State, Muno spent the 2012 season in high-A ball and could reach the Majors by the end of 2013 — depending on the big league club’s needs. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling but he has a decent floor and could carve out a solid big league career as a back-up infielder. Muno – a switch-hitter – has a good eye at the plate, walking almost as much as he strikes out, and flashes some gap power.
Mike O’Neill, OF, St. Louis: A late round draft pick originally signed for organizational depth, O’Neill has hit well everywhere that he’s played and reached double-A in his first full pro season (His first two seasons were spent mostly in short-season ball). Jumped to the Florida State League (A+) this past season, O’Neill hit .342 with 70 walks and just 24 strikeouts. Those are impressive numbers and he gets on base a ton, but his speed is average and he possesses below-average power. A diminutive 5’9”, he could eventually spend some time at the big league level as a left-handed pinch hitter and fourth or fifth outfielder. He received a late-season promotion to double-A and hit .563 in 13 games, earning player-of-the-week honors in the Texas League so he may not be far off from The Show.