SEE ALSO: 2017 AFL Rosters
|GLENDALE DESERT DOGS|
|Dylan Covey||RHP||8-14-91||R-R||6-2||195||White Sox|
|Matt Foster||RHP||1-27-95||R-R||6-0||195||White Sox|
|Jace Fry||LHP||7-9-93||L-L||6-1||190||White Sox|
|Connor Walsh||RHP||10-18-92||L-R||6-2||180||White Sox|
|Seby Zavala||C||7-28-93||R-R||5-11||205||White Sox|
|Danny Mendick||INF||9-28-93||R-R||5-10||190||White Sox|
|Tito Polo||OF||8-23-94||R-R||5-10||195||White Sox|
|*Indicates taxi squad member
Manager: Shawn Williams (Phillies)
Pitching Coaches: Connor McGuiness (Dodgers), Matt Zaleski (White Sox)
Hitting Coaches: Kevin Howard (Indians), Keoni DeRenne (Pirates)
THE STARS: The best position prospect on the team is Indians C Francisco Mejia. However, Mejia is listed as an infielder on Glendale’s roster, and the plan is for him to play the infield—primarily at third base—in the AFL. Mejia is the No. 18 prospect on our midseason Top 100 and the top-ranked catching prospect in baseball, and while the Indians will continue to keep Mejia behind the plate long-term, the AFL will give him exposure to a new position. The Indians have previously had internal discussions about getting Mejia experience at third base, though he’s only played catcher this year. He’s also a likely September callup . . . . Teams shy away from sending their top pitching prospects to the AFL, but Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (No. 15 on the midseason Top 100) will be there. Keller missed a month in June with a back injury, so the AFL will give him an opportunity to build innings from his 110 this year after throwing 124.1 last year. That gives him a better chance to handle a full season’s workload next year, when he’s likely to open in Triple-A and reach Pittsburgh at some point in 2018.
INTERESTING: Dodgers OF Yusniel Diaz has handled the jump to Double-A Tulsa well since arriving there at the beginning of August. He’s still just 20 years old . . . Managers voted Dodgers C Will Smith the best defensive catcher in the high Class A California League . . . Indians 1B Bobby Bradley has some of the biggest raw power in the minor leagues, and with a hot streak in a league typically thin on pitching, he could easily go on a power tear in the AFL.
REHABBING: Phillies LHP Elniery Garcia wasn’t injured, but he missed nearly all of the 2017 season due to an 80-game suspension when he tested positive for anabolic steroids. He’s returned to make four starts at Double-A Reading this month, so the AFL will help him make up for lost innings during the regular season.