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The Arizona Fall League Preview: Jays players, new rules

The Arizona Fall League gets underway today. Here are the Jays that will be playing and a look at the rules to speed up play.

Tom Szczerbowski

The Arizona Fall League schedule starts up today.

The Blue Jays have 8 prospect playing for the Mesa Solar Sox:

Dalton Pompey: You all know about him. He has a great 2014 season, starting at Dunedin and making stops at New Hampshire and Buffalo, before finishing the season with the Blue Jays. With the Jays he hit .231/.302/.469 with a home run, 2 triples, 4 RBI and a stolen base.

Dwight Smith, Jr: Dwight had a pretty good season of his own, if not as spectacular as Pompey's. He hit .284/.363/.453 with 12 home runs, 8 triples, 60 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He split time between LF and CF with Dunedin. He's moved himself up the prospect list this year.

Jon Berti: Jon spent the season at New Hampshire, hitting .270/.323/.373 with 7 home runs, 50 RBI and 40 stolen bases. He played mostly second base, but also played outfield and had a few games at third and short. He was the Jays Webster award winner for MVP of the Fisher Cats. Jon was our 18th round pick in the 2011 draft. His best chance at a major league job, is to get a utility role.

Sean Ochinko: Sean split time between Buffalo and New Hampshire, hitting .213/.250/.363 in 24 games. He was an 11th round pick in the 2009 draft. He'll be 27 in a couple of weeks, he's not really a prospect.

Blake McFarland: Blake split time between Dunedin and New Hampshire, pitching out of the bullpen for both teams. He had a 2.89 ERA in 35 games, 1 start. In 62.1 innings he walked 23 and stuck out 73.  Getting over 10 strikeouts per 9 innings will get your attention, but he will be 27 before the start of next season.

Sean Nolin: Sean had a good season, going 4-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 17 starts at Buffalo. In 87.1 innings he walked 35 and struck out 74. All that got him was 1 inning of work with the Blue Jays.

Roberto Osuna: Roberto pitched just 23 innings, coming back from Tommy John surgery. He had a 6.26 ERA, with 9 walks and 30 strikeouts. It is good that they are getting him more innings of work.

Arik Sikula: Arik split time between New Hampshire and Dunedin. For Dunedin he had a 1.66 ERA with 31 saves. In 43.1 innings he walked just 8 and struck out 60. In New Hamshire he had a 3.00 ERA. In 15 innings, 4 walks and 20 strikeouts. He will be 26 in December so he's a bit old to be a prospect but, a 6.7 strike to walk ratio is very good.

The Solar Sox season starts today at 2:30 Eastern and they play every day, except Sundays, until November 13th. You can see the schedule here. The league championship game will be November 15th.

The AFL is going to be trying out some new rules to speed up the games. These include:

  • Batters must keep one foot in the box during an at bat.
  • No pitch intentional walks.
  • Between inning breaks will be no more than 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • Teams will only be allowed 3 'timeout meetings' a game. Pitching changes and injuries do not count towards the total.
  • At games a Salt River, they will use a 12 second rule, pitchers will have 12 seconds to throw a pitch after receiving the ball when the bases are empty.
  • Also at Salt River a clock will be displayed in both dugouts, behind home plate and in the outfield. The clock will be operated by an independent operator, who is not a member of the umpire crew. A pitcher shall be allowed 20 seconds to throw each pitch. The batter must be in the box and prepared for the pitch during the entire 20-second period. If the batter steps out of the box during the 20-second period, the pitcher may deliver the pitch and the umpire may call a strike, unless the batter was first granted time by the umpire.