Prospects in the Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) has historically attracted some of baseball’s best prospects, and this year once again has a number of notable prospects playing on each of the six teams—the Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Javelinas, Phoenix Desert Dogs, Salt City Rafters, Scottsdale Scorpions and Surprise Saguaros.

Each team has prospects from five Major League organizations. In all, 18 players who appeared on the Top-100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect List that I recently compiled are playing in the AFL. Of those, 16 are hitters, while the two pitchers are the first two picks in this year’s Rule IV (Amateur) Draft.

The team featuring the most players from our fantasy top 100 is the Scorpions with six. No team has played in more than eight games, so I’ll hold off on referencing player stats until next week, when I’ll begin highlighting the top performers. Below is a list of the Top-100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects participating in the AFL.

Rank| Player| Team| Position| Organization
1| Bryce Harper| Scottsdale Scorpions| OF|Washington Nationals
2| Mike Trout| Scottsdale Scorpions| OF| Los Angeles Angels
20| Nolan Arenado| Salt River Rafters| 3B| Colorado Rockies
21| Jean Segura| Scottsdale Scorpions| SS| Los Angeles Angels
28| Gerrit Cole| Mesa Solar Sox| SP| Pittsburgh Pirates
33| Michael Choice| Phoenix Desert Dogs| OF| Oakland A’s
35| Jedd Gyorko| Peoria Javelinas| 3B| San Diego Padres
36| Nick Franklin| Peoria Javelinas| SS| Seattle Mariners
39| Wil Myers| Surprise Saguaros| OF| Kansas City Royals
41| Yasmani Grandal| Phoenix Desert Dogs| C| Cincinnati Reds
44| Gary Brown| Scottsdale Scorpions| OF| San Francisco Giants
47| Oscar Taveras| Peoria Javelinas| OF| St. Louis Cardinals
49| Anthony Gose| Phoenix Desert Dogs| OF| Toronto Blue Jays
52| Danny Hultzen| Peoria Javelinas| SP| Seattle Mariners
64| Mike Olt| Surprise Saguaros| 3B| Texas Rangers
78| Will Middlebrooks| Scottsdale Scorpions| 3B| Boston Red Sox
90| Joe Panik| Scottsdale Scorpions| SS| San Francisco Giants
97| Tim Beckham| Surprise Saguaros| SS| Tampa Bay Rays

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Gary Brown:  “Projected 25-30 steals with good contact but few walks and a handful of homers.” Why do people still persist with this misconception that he doesn’t take walks?  All the “experts” focused on his last college season’s walk rate without considering that when you hit that well, it is better to swing for a hit than take a walk, he was that good. Also, nobody bothered to look at his first years in college, where when he wasn’t as good a hitter, he did what all good lead-off men does, he took a lot of walks, pushing his OBP… Read more »
Josh Shepardson
Josh Shepardson


Try not to get his projection confused with what I necessarily believe.  The projection is what his MLE future forecast suggests based on his college stats and professional experience to date.  Reading most scouting reports, such as Kevin Goldstein’s which glow about him, lead me to believe he’s better than most projected when he was drafted.

Rich Beltoya
Rich Beltoya

Hi Josh,

I’m going down to Arizona to watch some of the fall ball games. Thanks for the list you posted of the top prospects. Are there any other guys I moght want keep an eye on as I’m bringing my son and he wants to get their autographs.
Thanks for your time.


Josh Shepardson
Josh Shepardson
@ Rich Thanks for reading Rich.  A few other interesting guys worth watching are former first round picks Josh Vitters and Aaron Hicks.  I’m not sure if Matt Purke is supposed to throw in games, but I know the reports I’ve read are that he’s throwing well in bullpen sessions and side sessions.  The Nationals selected him in this year’s amateur draft, taking a chance on his shoulder being in good health.  He was a first round pick in 2009 of the Texas Rangers but opted to attend TCU.  If he’s completely healthy, and throwing as well as he was… Read more »