Indians Send Strong Contigent To AFL

House among prospects in the desert





CLEVELAND—While most baseball fans were glued to their televisions at the start of the postseason, a handful of minor leaguers were packing their bags in preparation for the Arizona Fall League and winter leagues.

Save for eight players headed to the desert to play in the AFL, a majority of the Indians' 21 minor leaguers were about to begin their second season with teams outside of the United States.

First, those playing in the AFL are all suiting up for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Indians representatives for the AFL's 20th season are righthanders Shawn Armstrong and Trey Haley; lefthander Matt Packer and T.J. House; catcher Alex Monsalve; infielder Ronny Rodriguez; and outfielders Tyler Holt and Carlos Moncrief.

The 23-year-old House, a 16th-round pick in the 2008 draft, credits offseason preparation for his breakthrough season in 2012. House went a combined 10-5, 3.56 in 149 innings between high Class A Carolina and Double-A Akron and said the secret to his success was "taking the offseason more seriously" and "finding and settling into a routine."

Five others were set to participate in the Puerto Rican League, including righthanders Rob Bryson (Caguas), Matt Langwell and Joseph Colon (Carolina), catcher Roberto Perez (Mayaguez), and lefthander Giovanni Soto (Carolina). Players headed to the Venezuelan League included three suiting up for Caracas—righthander Hector Rondon (Caracas) and infielders Gregrio Petit and Jesus Aguilar—and righthander Toru Murata, who will pitch for Magallanes.

WIGWAM WISPS

• The Indians' Dominican League contingent includes outfielder Tim Fedroff (Aguilas), righties Kevin Slowey (Azucaeros) and Fabio Martinez (Toros), and shortstop Juan Diaz (Estrellas).

• Player-development adviser Johnny Goryl, a 31-year organization veteran, received the Mike Coolbaugh Award from Minor League Baseball.