Arizona Fall League Rosters

Rosters for the Arizona Fall League have been announced. To get you ready for the Fall League, we’ve singled out some players who are using their trip as a last tune-up for the big leagues, others who are trying to put bad 2008 seasons behind them, and some who may be emerging onto the prospect scene.

MESA SOLAR SOX
Pitchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Justin Berg CHC R R 6-5 216 06/07/84 Antigo, WI Iowa (AAA)
Joe Bisenius PHI R R 6-5 210 09/18/82 Sioux City, AL Lehigh Valley (AAA)
Andrew Carpenter PHI R R 6-3 230 05/18/85 Fairfield, CA Reading (AA)
Rudy Darrow DET R R 5-10 180 02/11/84 Stillwater, OK Erie (AA)
Todd Doolittle FLA R R 5-10 175 11/01/82 Meridian, MS Carolina (AA)
Sergio Escalona PHI L L 6-0 178 08/03/84 El Tocuyo, VZ Reading (AA)
Casey Fien DET R R 6-2 195 10/21/83 Santa Rosa, CA Toledo (AAA)
Deunte Heath ATL R R 6-4 215 08/28/85 Atlanta, GA Mississippi (AA)
Tommy Hanson ATL R R 6-6 220 08/28/96 Tulsa, OK Mississippi (AA)
Stephen Marek ATL R R 6-2 200 09/03/83 Houston, TX Mississippi (AA)
Luis Marte DET R R 5-11 170 08/26/86 San Cristobal, DR Erie (AA)
Kris Medlen ATL S R 5-10 185 10/07/85 Artesia, CA Mississippi (AA)
Patrick Overholt PHI R R 6-0 190 02/08/84 Salt Lake City, UT Reading (AA)
Rocky Roquet CHC R R 6-2 210 11/06/82 San Luis Obispo, CA Tennessee (AA)
Zach Simons DET L R 6-2 187 05/23/85 Glenns Ferry, ID Lakeland (HiA)
Aaron Thompson FLA L L 6-3 195 02/28/87 Santa Fe, NM Carolina (AA)
Donald Veal CHC L L 6-4 231 09/18/84 Jackson, MS Tennessee (AA)
Tim Wood FLA R R 6-1 185 11/16/82 Tucson, AZ Carolina (AA)
TBA FLA

Catchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Lou Marson PHI R R 6-1 195 06/26/86 Scottsdale, AZ Reading (AA)
Tyler Flowers ATL R R 6-4 245 01/24/86 Roswell, GA Myrtle Beach (HiA)
Infielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Darwin Barney CHC R R 5-10 175 11/08/85 Portland, OR Daytona (HiA)
Jason Donald PHI R R 6-1 195 09/04/84 Fresno, CA Reading (AA)
Jeff Larish DET L R 6-2 200 10/11/82 Iowa City, IA Toledo (AAA)
Logan Morrison FLA L L 6-2 215 08/25/87 Kansas City, MO Jupiter (HiA)
Van Pope ATL R R 6-0 210 02/26/84 Jackson, MS Mississippi (AA)
Nate Spears CHC L R 5-11 174 05/03/85 Fort Myers, FL Tennessee (AA)
TBA DET

Outfielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Quintin Berry* PHI L L 6-0 170 11/21/84 San Diego, CA Clearwater (HiA)
Tyler Colvin CHC L L 6-3 190 09/05/85 Augusta, FA Tennessee (AA)
Scott Cousins FLA L L 6-2 190 01/22/85 Sparks, NV Carolina (AA)
Brandon Jones ATL L R 6-1 210 12/10/83 Panama City, FL Atlanta (MLB)
John Raynor FLA R R 6-2 185 01/04/84 Memphis, TN Carolina (AA)
Jeremy Slayden PHI L R 6-0 185 07/28/82 Paducah, KY Reading (AA)
Clete Thomas DET L R 5-11 195 11/14/83 Jacksonville, FL Toledo (AAA)
Manager: Rocket Wheeler (Braves). Pitching coach: Ray Burris (Tigers). Coach: Ryne Sandberg (Cubs).

* Taxi Squad

Major League Tune-Up:  Braves righthander Tommy Hanson coasted through high Class A Myrtle Beach, and then continued his success upon a promotion to Double-A Mississippi. With 105 strikeouts in 93 innings at Mississippi, a low-90s fastball, a plus curve and the ability to command the strike zone, Hanson could find himself in the mix for a spot in Atlanta’s rotation at some point in 2009 . . . After a nice season with Double-A Reading and after playing in Beijing for Team USA, Phillies catcher Lou Marson will get more at-bats behind the plate in the AFL. He’s still growing into his power and learning to get more loft in his swing, but Marson has good plate discipline and puts the ball in play.

Forget The Regular Season: Marlins lefthander Aaron Thompson had his control escape him this season with Double-A Carolina, which has resulted in a 6.03 ERA in 15 starts. When Thompson shut out Mobile earlier this month for seven innings with no walks and eight strikeouts, the more than half a dozen scouts in attendance were impressed. He then proceeded to allow 12 runs in 7 2/3 innings over his next two starts. The stuff is still there for Thompson, who still has a clean delivery and the ability to induce plenty of ground balls. His slider is a plus pitch and he has a good changeup that he could mix in more frequently to complement his tailing 88-91 mph fastball . . . Outfielder Brandon Jones looked like he could be a solid big leaguer this year for the Braves. Instead, Jones started the year with Triple-A Richmond after a rough spring training. After hitting .278/.316/.463 with one unintentional walk and 16 strikeouts in a June big league stint, Jones found himself back in the minors, where he hit .260/.343/.405 in 346 at-bats. Jones, 24, finds himself jockeying for position in the Braves system with outfielders Jason Heyward, Jordan Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez breathing down his neck.

Keep An Eye On: The Rockies traded righthanded reliever Zach Simons to the Tigers earlier this season for Jason Grilli, and the Tigers like what they have seen so far. In 52 2/3 innings for high Class A Lakeland, Simons has a 2.22 ERA and 61 strikeouts thanks to a 92-95 mph fastball that touches 97. At 23, Simons’ control still lags behind the curve, as he’s also walked 28 batters in the Florida State League . . . Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins was having a nice season with high Class A Jupiter before he hit a wall at Carolina. The 2006 third-round pick will look to get back on track in the AFL, while Jupiter first baseman Logan Morrison will try to continue his rapid ascent. Morrison, who just turned 21 on Monday, has established himself as a top first base prospect, hitting .334/.404/.500 with a good approach at the plate and a sound swing.

X-Factor: Braves catcher Tyler Flowers might be the high Class A Carolina League MVP. Flowers, 22, hit .285/.427/.485 while playing his home games a difficult park for hitters at Myrtle Beach, showing power and the patience to draw walks, with 96 of them to go with 98 strikeouts. It looks like Flowers’ bat would play at any position, but the Braves want him to stick at catcher. Of course, with Brian McCann under contract through 2012 with a club option for 2013, they certainly have the luxury to be patient with Flowers.

PEORIA SAGUAROS
Pitchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Greg Burke SDP R R 6-4 204 09/21/82 Bellmawr, NJ San Antonio (AA)
Cesar Carillo SDP R R 6-3 177 04/29/84 Chicago, IL Lake Elsinore (HiA)
Adam Carr WAS R R 6-1 185 04/01/84 Felton, CA Harrisburg (AA)
Mike Ekstrom SDP R R 6-0 185 08/30/83 Portland, OR San Antonio (AA)
Justin Fiske STL L L 5-11 185 09/03/84 Columbus, GA Springfield (AA)
Brad Furnish STL S L 6-1 185 01/19/85 Wichita Falls, TX Springfield (AA)
Lucas Harrell CWS S R 6-2 200 06/03/85 Springfield, MO Birmingham (AA)
Wilton Lopez SDP R R 6-0 160 07/19/83 Leon, Nicaragua Lake Elsinore (HiA)
Tyler Norrick STL L L 6-3 210 09/17/83 Festus, MO Springfield (AA)
Adam Ottavino STL R R 6-5 215 11/22/85 New York, NY Springfield (AA)
Aaron Poreda CWS L L 6-6 240 10/01/86 Walnut Creek, CA Birmingham (AA)
Derek Rodriguez CWS R R 5-10 190 05/17/83 Apple Valley, CA Charlotte (AAA)
Tobi Stoner NYM S R 6-2 190 12/03/84 Landstuhl, GER Binghamton (AA)
Carlos Torres CWS R R 6-2 180 08/22/82 Santa Cruz, CA Birmingham (AA)
Cory Van Allen WAS L L 6-3 180 12/24/84 Bakersfield, CA Harrisburg (AA)
Jason Vargas NYM L L 6-0 215 02/02/83 Apple Valley, CA New York Mets (MLB)
Zech Zinicola WAS R R 6-1 220 03/02/85 San Bernardino, CA Columbus (AAA)
TBA NYM

TBA NYM

TBA WAS

Catchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Cole Armstrong CWS L R 6-3 220 08/24/83 Surrey, CN Charlotte (AAA)
Steven Hill* STL R R 5-11 190 03/14/85 Nacogdoches, TX Palm Beach (HiA)
Josh Thole NYM L R 6-1 190 10/28/86 Breese, IL St. Lucie (HiA)
Infielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Gordon Beckham CWS R R 6-0 190 09/16/86 Atlanta, GA Kannapolis (LoA)
Kyle Blanks SDP R R 6-6 270 09/11/86 Sellersville, PA San Antonio (AA)
Shawn Bowman NYM R R 6-2 190 12/09/84 New Westminster, CN Binghampton (AA)
Ian Desmond WAS R R 6-2 185 09/20/85 Sarasota, FL Harrisburg (AA)
Tyler Green STL R R 6-2 185 08/17/83 Raleigh, NC Memphis (AAA)
Dan Murphy NYM L R 6-1 210 01/01/85 Jacksonville, CA New York Mets (MLB)
Bill Rhinehart WAS L L 6-0 202 09/11/86 Roseville, CA Harrisburg (AA)
Brett Wallace STL L R 6-2 235 08/26/86 Sonoma, CA Springfield (AA)
Outfielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Mike Baxter* SDP L R 6-0 190 12/07/84 Queens, NY San Antonio (AA)
Leonard Davis WAS L R 5-10 195 12/24/83 Los Banos, CA Columbus (AAA)
Stefan Gartrell CWS R R 6-2 220 01/14/84 San Francisco, CA Birmingham (AA)
Sean Kazmar SDP R R 5-9 160 08/05/84 Valdosta, GA San Diego (MLB)
Chad Huffman SDP R R 6-1 205 04/29/85 Missouri City, TX San Antonio (AA)
Shane Robinson STL R R 6-2 185 08/17/83 Raleigh, NC Memphis (AAA)
Manager: Ron Warner (Cardinals). Pitching Coach: Wally Whitehurst (Padres). Coach: Rick Eckstein (Nationals).
* Taxi Squad

Major League Tune-Up: Daniel Murphy already has reached the majors and has contributed for the Mets. He’s not likely to dislodge franchise cornerstone David Wright from third base but looks to get reps at second base with the Saguaros; he played 17 games at second in Double-A this season . . . Lefthander Aaron Poreda, a 2007 first-round pick, was considered for a big league start or two this summer by the parent White Sox, thanks to a fastball that sits around 96 mph, even as a starter. He’s 7-9, 3.19 overall this season between high Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, with 113 strikeouts and just 39 walks in 155 innings. He’s yielded just six home runs.

Forget The Regular Season: Righthanders Cesar Carrillo (Padres) and Adam Ottavino (Cardinals) both were first-round picks (in ’05 and ’06, respectively) out of college, but neither has progressed as planned. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Carrillo has struggled at high Class A Lake Elsinore, posting a 6.46 ERA, .306 opponent’s average and 28-31 walk-strikeout numbers, which would be OK if he were a hitter, but since he’s not, it’s kind of a problem. Ottavino, whose fastball still reaches 96 mph, has struggled with his mechanics this season while going 2-7, 5.48 for Double-A Springfield. Texas Leaguers are hitting .298 against him.

Keep An Eye On: First baseman Kyle Blanks has hit since Yavapai (Ariz.) JC and through A-ball, but now that he’s doing it in Double-A, he’s gaining more converts. The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder moves well for his size and makes consistent hard contact, leading to his .320/.399/.503 line at Double-A San Antonio. If he learns to hit lefthanded pitching (.687 OPS), the Padres will have to find a spot for him in their offense-starved lineup. Listed as an outfielder, the Nationals’ Leonard Davis has played third base, left field and second base since a promotion to Triple-A Columbus. The 24-year-old started this year in high Class A and has hit .311/.369/.561 with 23 homers between three stops. LHP Justin Fiske, a former indy leaguer, has vexed lefthanded hitters in Organized Baseball and has 90 strikeouts in 73 innings while pitching in the 86-88 mph range with his fastball. He has moved into the rotation at Double-A Springfield of late but profiles better as a lefty reliever.

X-Factor: Peoria’s roster has a pair of 2008 first-round picks in White Sox shortstop Gordon Beckham and Cardinals third baseman Brett Wallace. Beckham was off to a fast start (11-for-36, one home run) at low Class A Kannapolis after signing earlier this month, but Wallace’s start has been beyond any expectations. The former Arizona State All-American hit eight homers in his first 48 games (including three in seven Double-A games) and was hitting .339/.428/.550 through 180 at-bats.

PEORIA JAVELINAS
Pitchers Team B T

Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Omar Aguilar MIL R R 5-11 236 03/31/85 Merced, CA Huntsville (AA)
Charles Fisher CIN R R 6-4 220 02/22/83 West Covina, CA Louisville (AAA)
Gabriel Hernandez SEA R R 6-3 215 05/21/86 Miami, FL West Tennessee (AA)
James Houser TB L L 6-4 185 12/15/84 Sarasota, FL Montgomery (AA)
Jeremy Jeffress MIL R R 6-0 190 09/21/87 South Boston, VA Huntsville (AA)
Robert Manuel CIN R R 6-3 190 07/09/83 Houston, TX Chattanooga (AA)
Chris Mason TB R R 6-1 190 07/01/84 Gastonia, NC Durham (AAA)
Alex Periard MIL L R 6-1 205 06/15/87 Montreal, CN Huntsville (AA)
Ryan Reid TB R R 6-0 210 04/24/85 Portland, ME Montgomery (AA)
Justin Thomas SEA L L 6-3 220 01/18/84 Toledo, OH Tacoma (AAA)
Pedro Viola CIN R L 6-1 185 06/29/83 San Juan de la Maguna, DR Chattanooga (AA)
Sean Watson CIN R R 6-2 215 07/24/85 Miami, Fl Chattanooga (AA)
David Welch MIL R L 6-4 215 06/02/83 Sydney, AU Huntsville (AA)
Mike Wlodarczyk TB L L 6-5 230 12/02/82 Marlton, NJ Vero Beach (HiA)
Joe Woerman SEA R R 6-3 200 12/12/82 Edmonds, WA West Tennessee (AA)
Brae Wright* MIL L L 6-4 205 11/01/83 Laurel, MS Huntsville (AA)
TBA NYY

TBA NYY

TBA NYY

TBA NYY

TBA SEA

Catchers Team B T

Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Adam Moore SEA R R 6-3 220 05/08/84 Longview, TX West Tennessee (AA)
Angel Salome MIL R R 5-7 200 06/08/86 Santo Domingo, DR Huntsville (AA)
Matt Spring TB R R 6-2 215 11/07/84 Phoenix, AZ Montgomery (AA)
Infielders Team B T

Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Mat Gamel MIL L R 6-0 205 07/26/85 Jacksonville, FL Huntsville (AA)
Sean Henry* CIN R R 5-10 154 08/18/85 San Francisco, CA Chattanooga (AA)
Rhyne Hughes TB L L 6-2 175 09/09/83 Picayune, MS Montgomery (AA)
Kevin Russo NYY R R 5-11 190 07/08/84 West Babylon, NY Trenton (AA)
Justin Turner CIN R R 5-11 180 11/23/84 Long Beach, CA Chattanooga (AA)
Chris Valaika CIN R R 6-1 180 08/13/85 Santa Monica, CA Chattanooga (AA)
TBA NYY

TBA SEA

Outfielders Team B T

Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
J.T. Hall TB L R 6-3 225 05/19/84 Port Gibson, MS Montgomery (AA)
Greg Halman SEA R R 6-4 192 08/26/87 Haarlem, NL West Tennessee (AA)
Austin Jackson NYY R R 6-1 185 02/01/87 Denton, TX Trenton (AA)
Drew Stubbs CIN R R 6-4 200 10/04/84 Texarkana, TX Louisville (AAA)
Manager: Darren Brown (Mariners). Pitching coaches: Scott Aldred (Yankees), Ted Power (Reds). Coach: Ozzie Timmons (Rays).
* Taxi Squad

Major League Tune-Up: While Mat Gamel’s future big league position may be in question, his bat is big league ready. He’ll get a chance to continue working on his defense at the hot corner. Gamel’s Brewers’ teammate Angel Salome has nearly matched him hit for hit at Double-A Huntsville. Brewers starting catcher Jason Kendall just reached a games provision that ensures his 2009 option will be picked up, but Salome, who has made some defensive improvements this year, isn’t far away.

Forget The Regular Season: OK, so making it to St. Petersburg as a starting pitcher these days is a trial of survival of the fittest, but righthander Chris Mason has gone from Double-A star to Triple-A bullpen filler in just one year. Mason’s savvy was always his best attribute, but he needs to show in the AFL that his stuff plays up in the bullpen, something it hasn’t done in Durham. Righthander Gaby Hernandez‘ performance has gone backward as he’s progressed through the minors. A trade to the Mariners gave him a second chance, but he’s struggled in Double-A since joining West Tenn (1-1, 5.53). He needs to give his new team something to be get excited about.

Keep An Eye On: Javelinas’ pitchers won’t have to worry about doubles to the gaps, as Austin Jackson, Greg Halman and Drew Stubbs will give them an outfield manned by three center fielders. Stubbs struck out far too much in low Class A last year—a true sign of trouble for a first-round pick out of college. But after offseason surgery to fix a toe problem, Stubbs has shown improved plate coverage this year as he’s climbed from high Class A to Triple-A. He still has the 3.7 speed to first base and plus arm that makes him a potential Gold Glover in center field. Halman was demoted to short-season ball last year after hitting .182 at low Class A Wisconsin. He proceeded to demolish the Northwest League in 2007 and he’s kept right on hitting this season. Halman has shown the speed and power that the Mariners were hoping for when they signed him out of the Netherlands. With a week to go in the season, Halman is only one home run short of a 30-30 season (29 home runs, 31 stolen bases).

X-Factor: The Brewers promoted hard-throwing righthander Jeremy Jeffress to Double-A specifically because they wanted to send him to the Arizona Fall League. He’s responded by going 2-0, 1.93 in three starts with Huntsville. No starting pitcher in the minors throws harder than Jeffress, who’s been clocked at 100-102 mph this year depending on which radar gun you’re reading. Adam Moore is facing a logjam at catcher, but the Mariners prospect has established himself as one of the minors’ best backstops with a .313/.393/.494 season at Double-A West Tenn.

PHOENIX DESERT
DOGS
Pitchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008
Club
Hector
Ambriz
ARI L R 6-1 210 05/24/84 Orange,
CA
Mobile (AA)
Andrew
Bailey
OAK R R 6-3 230 05/31/84 Voorhees,
NJ
Midland
(AA)
Tony
Barnette
ARI R R 6-1 192 11/09/83 Anchorage,
AK
Mobile (AA)
Brooks Brown ARI L R 6-3 212 06/20/85 Statesboro,
GA
Mobile
(AA)
Andrew
Carignan
OAK R R 6-0 220 07/23/86 New
London, CT
Midland (AA)
Rob
Delaney
MIN L R 6-3 231 09/08/84 Westwood,
NJ
New Britain
(AA)
Zach
Dials
TOR R R 6-1 210 07/22/85 Wabash,
IN
New Hampshire (AA)
Kyle
Ginley
TOR R R 6-2 195 09/01/86 St.
Petersburg, FL
Dunedin
(HiA)
Daryl
Harang
TOR L L 6-2 215 11/19/82 San
Diego, CA
New Hampshire
(AA)
Tim
Lahey
MIN R R 6-4 267 02/07/82 Worcester,
MA
Rochester
(AAA)
Shane
Lindsay
COL R R 6-1 212 01/25/85 Melbourne,
AU
Asheville (LoA)
Mike
MacDonald
TOR R R 6-1 185 10/29/81 Camden,
ME
New Hampshire
(AA)
Reid
Mahon
ARI R R 6-3 215 06/01/83 St.
Paul, MN
Tucson (AAA)
Jeff
Manship
MIN R R 6-2 204 01/16/85 San
Antonio, TX
New
Britain
Ryan
Mattheus
COL R R 6-2 220 11/10/83 Elk
Grove, CA
Tulsa (AA)
Chaz
Roe
COL R R 6-4 175 10/09/86 Lexington,
KY
Tulsa
(AA)
Anthony
Slama
MIN R R 6-3 201 01/06/84 Orange,
CA
Ft. Myers (HiA)
Casey
Weathers
COL R R 6-1 205 06/10/85 Elk
Grove, CA
Tulsa
(AA)
TBA OAK

TBA OAK

Catchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008
Club
J.P.
Arencibia
TOR R R 6/01/08 210 01/05/86 Miami,
FL
New Hampshire (AA)
John Hester ARI R R 6-4 210 09/14/83 Atlanta,
GA
Mobile
(AA)
Mike
McKenry
COL R R 5-10 200 03/04/85 Knoxville,
TN
Modesto (HiA)
Infielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008
Club
Scott
Campbell
TOR L R 6-0 190 09/25/84 Auckland,
NZ
New Hampshire (AA)
Adrian
Cardenas
OAK L R 6-0 185 10/10/87 Miami,
FL
Midland
(AA)
Josh
Donaldson
OAK R R 6-0 211 12/08/85 Pensacola,
FL
Stockton (HiA)
Chris
Nelson
COL R R 5-11 176 09/03/85 Escondido,
CA
Tulsa
(AA)
Rusty
Ryal
ARI R R 6-2 200 03/16/83 Ponca
City, OK
Mobile (AA)
Steve
Tolleson
MIN R R 5-10 172 11/01/83 Spartanburg,
SC
New Britain
(AA)
Danny
Valencia
MIN R R 6-2 205 09/19/84 Boca
Raton, FL
New Britain
(AA)
Outfielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008
Club
Sean
Doolittle
OAK L L 6-3 208 09/26/86 Rapid
City, SD
Midland (AA)
Evan Frey ARI L L 5-11 166 06/0/86 Edwardsville,
IL
Visalia
(HiA)
Dustin
Martin
MIN L L 6-2 210 04/04/84 Burnet,
TX
New Britain (AA)
Travis
Snider
TOR L L 6-0 230 02/02/88 Kirkland,
WA
Syracuse
(AAA)
Eric
Young
COL S R 5-9 187 05/25/85 New
Brunswick, NJ
Tulsa
(AA)
Manager: Stan
Cliburn (Twins). Pitching coach: Doug Linton (Rockies). Coach: Charles
Poe (Blue Jays).
* Taxi
Squad

Major League Tune-Up: The Blue Jays aggressively promoted several of their top prospects this season, with two of them landing on the Desert Dogs’ roster—perhaps in advance of making the big league club next spring. Double-A New Hampshire catcher J.P. Arencibia’s year may be overshadowed by the exploits of Matt Wieters, but the 22-year-old Toronto farmhand has hit an aggregate .300/.322/.535 with 27 home runs and 102 RBIs in 493 at-bats this season. The 2007 first-round pick spent half the year at high Class A Dunedin. Though Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider may be just 20, he’ll be making his second AFL appearance. The youngest regular in the International League, he’s been anything but overmatched there, batting .328/.365/.466 through his first 16 games. The fact that Toronto has pushed Snider to Triple-A already suggests he may not be far from getting a big league look . . . Rockies righthander Casey Weathers may use the AFL to put the finishing touches on his minor league resume. After all, the 2007 first-rounder was expected to move quickly, and after striking out 48 batters in 40 innings for Double-A Tulsa, and then pitching out of Team USA’s bullpen in the Olympics, the 23-year-old may not be far off from Denver.

Forget The Regular Season: Rockies shortstop Chris Nelson’s 2007 campaign (.289/.358/.503 in the Cal League) offered a glimmer of hope that the 2004 first-round pick had figured things out. The success didn’t take, though, as the soon-to-be 23-year-old scuffled through an injury-riddle campaign in Double-A. Nelson batted .228/.319/.336 in 259 at-bats for Tulsa.

Keep An Eye On: A pair of Twins righthanded relievers could make names for themselves with strong AFL campaigns. Rob Delaney, 24 this fall, has top-of-the-line command of an 89-93 mph fastball and a solid-average slider. He struck out a combined 10.13 batters per nine innings at high Class A and Double-A, while walking a miniscule 1.27 per nine. Anthony Slama, 24, has used an aggressive demeanor and an average to slightly above fastball/slider combo.

X-Factor: The Athletics will have to get creative in deploying their prospects in the AFL. Catcher Josh Donaldson, who came over in the Rich Harden trade, is listed as an infielder on the Phoenix roster. The 2007 supplemental first-rounder found the Cal League to his liking after the trade, but his first-half struggles in the Midwest League have kept his season line at .268/.330/.443 through 400 at-bats. Sean Doollittle, an elite defensive first baseman, will ply his trade as an outfielder this fall. Improved power production has increased the 22-year-old’s visibility—he’s batting an aggregate .287/.359/.506 with 22 homers through 512 at-bats—and he spent the season’s second half in Double-A. Lefty-hitting Adrian Cardenas, who turns 21 this fall, has spent all his time for Double-A Midland at shortstop since coming over in the Joe Blanton deal. With shortstops Chris Nelson and Steve Tolleson (part-time anyway) also on the roster, Cardenas figures to see time at both middle infield positions—which is fine because his bat is well ahead of his glove at this point.

SCOTTSDALE SCORPIONS
Pitchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Ryan Aldridge LAA R R 6-2 210 09/10/83 Jessup, GA Arkansas (AA)
Jimmy Barthmaier PIT R R 6-5 220 01/06/84 Atlanta, GA Indianapolis (AAA)
Chris Blazek HOU L L 6-0 195 03/02/84 Littlefield, CT Corpus Christi (AA)
Barret Browning LAA L L 6-1 170 12/28/84 Brunswick, GA Arkansas (AA)
Nick Green LAA R R 6-4 180 08/20/84 Tifton, GA Salt Lake (AAA)
David Herndon LAA R R 6-5 200 09/04/85 Panama City, FL Rancho Cucamonga (HiA)
Jared Hughes PIT R R 6-7 230 07/04/85 Stanford, CT Altoona (AA)
Brad James HOU R R 6-2 200 06/19/84 Prosper, TX Corpus Christi (AA)
T.J.Large BOS R R 6-4 185 05/28/83 Clearwater, FL Portland (AA)
Ryne Lawson BOS L R 6-2 180 06/21/85 Scottsboro, AL Portland (AA)
Bud Norris HOU R R 6-0 195 03/02/85 Greenbrae, CA Corpus Christi (AA)
Sergio Perez HOU R R 6-3 230 12/05/84 Tampa, FL Corpus Christi (AA)
Jeff Sues PIT R R 6-4 228 06/08/83 Edison, NJ Altoona (AA)
Beau Vaughan BOS S R 6-4 230 06/04/81 Phoenix, AZ Pawtucket (AAA)
Michael Crotta PIT R R 6-7 225 09/25/84 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Lynchburg (HiA)
TBA BOS

TBA SF

TBA SF

Catchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Tim Duff LAA R R 6-2 210 06/26/81 Coatsville, PA Arkansas (AA)
Steve Lerud PIT L R 6-1 205 10/13/84 Reno, NV Altoona (AA)
Mark Wagner BOS R R 6-1 205 06/11/84 Long Beach, CA Portland (AA)
Infielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Shelby Ford PIT S R 6-3 190 12/15/84 Fort Worth, TX Altoona (AA)
Chris Johnson HOU R R 6-3 180 10/01/84 Naples, FL Round Rock (AAA)
Mark Ori* HOU L R 6-4 225 12/16/83 Chicago, IL Salem (HiA)
Drew Sutton HOU S R 6-3 185 06/03/83 Nashville, TN Corpus Christi (AA)
Mark Trumbo LAA R R 6-4 220 01/16/86 Orange, CA Arkansas (AA)
TBA BOS

TBA SF

TBA SF

Outfielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Brian Bogusevic HOU L L 6-3 215 02/15/84 Palos Heights, IL Corpus Christi (AA)
Chris Pettit LAA R R 6-0 193 08/15/84 Pasadena, CA Arkansas (AA)
TBA BOS

TBA PIT

TBA SF

Manager: Shane Turner (Giants). Pitching Coach: Ray Searage (Pirates). Coach: Eric Owens (Pirates)
* Taxi Squad

Major League Tune-Up: Third baseman Chris Johnson has established himself as one of the Astros’ top prospects again after hitting .324/.364/.506 at Double-A Corpus Christi. The former Stetson infielder has struggled since a promotion to Triple-A (16-for-83, 21 strikeouts), but Houston’s big league options at third are all similar (Ty Wigginton) or on the down side of their careers (Mark Loretta, Geoff Blum).

Forget The Regular Season: Righthander Nick Green, just 24, has had a harsh welcome to Triple-A. While his changeup is supposed to be his best pitch, he’s struggled to command it and his fastball with Salt Lake this season, as lefthanded hitters are raking him at a .310/.355/.529 clip. He was 8-7, 5.13 overall this season . . . Catcher Mark Wagner got off to a fast start, trying to establish himself as Jason Varitek’s heir in Boston. He’s hit just .169 since the all-star break with three extra-base hits, however, while still getting the job done defensively. He leads the Eastern League’s catcher with a .997 fielding percentage (just two errors) and has thrown out 42 percent of opposing basestealers (33 of 79), second in the league.

Keep An Eye On: First baseman Mark Trumbo was a two-way prospect in high school whom the Angels signed for a $1.425 million bonus, a record for the 18th round. Trumbo struggled as a full-time hitter until this season, as he entered this season as a career .254 hitter with 37 home runs and 264 strikeouts as a pro, mostly at low Class A. This season, he’s hit 32 homers to go with 35 doubles, a .282 average and a reasonable 93 strikeouts in 517 at-bats. Just 22, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Trumbo was maintaining his performance in his first trip to Double-A . . . Pirates second baseman Shelby Ford missed most of the season’s first two months due to a hip injury, but he’s hit since returning, including a .327/.370/.604 finishing kick in August for Altoona. Eastern League managers also noted his improvement defensively at second base, and he’s strong baserunner (16-for-21 on stolen bases).

X-Factor: Outfielder Brian Bogusevic hit .330 in three seasons at Tulane while also pitching. The Astros, like most teams, liked him better on the mound and took him as a first-rounder in 2005, but he’s thrived much more since being switched to hitting midway through the 2008 season. After a 5-for-23 start at high Class A Salem, he was tearing up Double-A Corpus Christi, hitting .369/.453/.550 through 111 at-bats. He was a plus runner in college and seems to have retained his speed while showing remarkable plate discipline (20 walks, 22 strikeouts) for a player who essentially took three years off from hitting . . . The Scorpions had nine TBA spots on their roster, including three outfielders, three infielders and three pitchers. The TBAs include four Giants and likely will include several players already with major league time, such as third baseman Ryan Rohlinger, shortstop Emmanuel Burriss and outfielder/first baseman John Bowker.

SURPRISE RAFTERS
Pitchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
John Bannister TEX R R 6-4 198 01/20/84 Tucson, AZ Frisco (AA)
Daniel Cortes KC R R 6-5 210 03/04/87 Pomono, CA Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Scott Elbert LAD L L 6-2 205 08/13/85 Joplin, MO Jacksonville (AA)
Willie Eyre TEX R R 6-4 207 07/21/78 Fountain Valley, CA Oklahoma (AAA)
Rowdy Hardy KC L L 6-4 170 10/26/82 Dallas, TX Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Chris Hayes KC R R 6-1 195 02/05/83 Arlington Heights, IL Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Beau Jones TEX L L 6-1 215 08/25/86 Metairie, LA Frisco (AA)
Andrew Laughter TEX R R 6-4 227 02/24/85 Longwood, FL Frisco (AA)
Brent Leach LAD L L 6-5 223 11/18/82 Flowood, MS Jacksonville (AA)
Chuck Lofgren CLE L L 6-3 190 01/29/86 Redwood, CA Akron (AA)
Chris Nicoll KC R R 6-3 190 10/30/83 Whittier, CA Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Justin Orenduff LAD R R 6-4 207 05/27/83 Portsmouth, VA Las Vegas (AAA)
Travis Schlichting LAD R R 6-4 188 10/19/84 Denver, CO Jacksonville (AA)
Tony Sipp CLE L L 6-0 185 07/12/83 Pascagoula, MS Akron (AA)
Erik Stiller CLE R R 6-5 200 07/10/84 Bryan, TX Akron (AA)
Neil Wagner CLE R R 6-0 195 01/01/84 Minneapolis, MN Akron (AA)
TBA BAL

TBA BAL

TBA BAL

TBA BAL

Catchers Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Lucas May LAD R R 6-0 200 10/24/84 Las Vegas, NV Jacksonville (AA)
Russ Mitchell* LAD R R 6-1 202 02/15/84 Rome, GA Jacksonville (AA)
Matt Wieters BAL S R 6-4 230 05/21/86 Charleston, SC Bowie (AA)
Infielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Blake Davis BAL L R 5-11 170 12/22/83 Newport Beach, CA Bowie (AA)
Ivan De Jesus, Jr. LAD R R 5-11 193 05/01/87 Guaynabo, PR Jacksonville (AA)
Wes Hodges CLE R R 6-1 205 09/14/84 Chattanooga, TN Akron (AA)
Chris McConnell KC R R 5-9 169 12/18/85 Philadelphia, PA Wilmington (HiA)
Beau Mills CLE L R 6-3 220 08/15/86 Visalia, CA Kinston (HiA)
Josh Rodriguez CLE R R 6-0 185 12/18/84 Houston, TX Akron (AA)
Brandon Snyder BAL R R 6-2 215 11/23/86 Las Vegas, NV Frederick (HiA)
Chad Tracy TEX R R 6-3 200 07/04/85 Arlington Heights, IL Frisco (AA)
John Whittleman TEX L R 6-2 195 02/11/87 Houston, TX Bakersfield (HiA)
Outfielders Team B T Ht. Wt. DOB Birthplace 2008 Club
Julio Borbon TEX L L 6-1 180 02/20/86 Santo Domingo, DR Frisco (AA)
Joe Dickerson KC L L 6-1 190 10/03/86 Yorba Linda, CA Wilmington (HiA)
Stephen Head* CLE L L 6-3 200 01/13/84 Jackson, MO Akron (AA)
Jaime Hoffmann* LAD R R 6-3 228 08/20/84 New Ulm, MN Jacksonville (AA)
Andrew Lambo LAD L L 6-3 190 08/01/88 Beverly Hills, CA Great Lakes (LoA)
Brian McFall KC R R 6-2 217 03/17/84 Flagstaff, AZ Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Nolan Reimold BAL R R 6-4 210 10/12/83 Greeneville, PA Bowie (AA)
Manager: Gary Alleson (Orioles). Pitching coaches: Danny Clark (Rangers), Ruben Niebla (Indians) . Coach: Terry Bradshaw (Royals).
* Taxi Squad

Major League Tune-Up: Matt Wieters probably doesn’t need a tune-up, but the AFL should give him the opportunity to annihilate another group of pitchers. Wieters should be in the mix to be the Orioles starting catcher in 2009. When he does join the big league squad, whether it’s April or June, he should immediately become one of the best catchers in the majors . . . The contracts of Rafael Furcal and Jeff Kent expire after this season, while Nomar Garciaparra and Casey Blake also will be free agents. There’s plenty of room for a young infielder to step into the Dodgers infield, but whether second baseman/shortstop Ivan DeJesus will be ready is unclear. He controls the strike zone well and has good bat speed, but he’s mostly a singles hitter who may get exploited by more advanced pitchers. At 21, DeJesus still has time to gain strength and mature physically, but a spot on the big league roster in 2009 looks to be within his grasp.

Forget The Regular Season: Indians lefthander Chuck Lofgren has struggled to make adjustments to Double-A competition. His command, which has never been his strength, spiraled backwards this season, when Lofgren walked 42 batters in 58 2/3 innings as a starter for Akron and posted a 6.29 ERA. Lofgren moved to the bullpen in July, where he’s been better: a 2.66 ERA with a 17-5 K-BB mark in 23 2/3 innings . . . Dodgers catcher Lucas May started the year with one of the best performances in the Southern League, hitting .323/.403/.631 in April for Jacksonville. His performance has declined precipitously since then, as he’s now hitting .224/.290/.388 and struggling with his receiving skills. May, 23, has shown some power, but he’ll try to get his hitting back on track and refine his defensive skills with Surprise.

Keep An Eye On: Outfielder Andrew Lambo, a fourth-round pick in 2007, went out and demolished the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his debut, and he didn’t skip a beat this year in the low Class A Midwest League. Lambo batted .288/.346/.462 in 123 games for Great Lakes, before earning a late-August promotion to Double-A, skipping high Class A completely. Keep in mind that dominating the MWL is not always the easiest thing for a 19-year-old California kid to do in his first full season. Lambo has an advanced feel for hitting and is still growing into his 6-foot-3, 195-pound power-hitting frame . . . Royals righthander Dan Cortes will work on his command in the AFL after a solid season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The 21-year-old struck out nearly a batter per inning this season, using a lively low-to-mid 90s fastball and a sharp curveball. He also walked 53 and struggled against lefties (.869 OPS vs. .667 to righties), which isn’t too surprising at this point considering his changeup isn’t up to par with the rest of his offerings.

X-Factor: When lefthander Scott Elbert smoked through high Class A Vero Beach and Jacksonville in 2006 as a 21-year-old, his future looked almost as bright as any pitching prospect’s. Then Elbert went down early last season and had scar tissue removed from the labrum of his left shoulder. He returned this year in June, though he has worked as a reliever. Elbert still is striking out batters—46 in 41 1/3 innings—but his control (20 walks) was a problem before the injury, so he will try to make progress in that area in the AFL.

Minors | #2008 #Arizona Fall League #Winter Baseball

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