Every year, several of MLB’s top prospects head to the greater Phoenix area to participate in the Arizona Fall League. The league features 6 teams on which the prospects from several MLB organizations are combined to form a 35-man roster. The 6 teams and their MLB affiliates are as follows:
- Glendale Desert Dogs - CWS, HOU, LAD, STL, WSH
- Peoria Javelinas - BAL, CIN, SD, SEA, TB
- Salt River Rafters - ARI, ATL, COL, DET, MIL
- Surprise Saguaros - BOS, KC, MIN, PIT, TEX
- Scottsdale Scorpions - LAA, NYM, NYY, PHI, SF
- Mesa Solar Sox - CHC, CLE, MIA, OAK, TOR
The 30-game AFL season runs from Oct 11 - Nov 17 culminating with the championship game following on Nov 19. For what it is worth, the Scottsdale Scorpions are your defending AFL champions.
The Blue Jays are sending 6 players to the Solar Sox. Let’s take a look at who is heading to Mesa in October:
Anthony Alford (OF): Currently the 3rd ranked prospect (on MLB.com) in the organization, those that follow the Jays closely will know Alford well. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft but would have gone higher had he not decided to pursue a football career. This season, the 22-year old outfielder started very slowly in Advanced-A Dunedin before catching fire after returning from a concussion in June. He has slowed recently, batting only .171 over his past ten games. For the year, he’s hitting .240/.344/.383 for a .727 OPS in 90 games, all in Dunedin.
Conner Greene (RHP): 21-year old Conner Greene is our 10th ranked prospect, drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 amateur draft. He started the year in Dunedin, posting a 4-4 record and 2.90 ERA in 15 starts. In those 77.2 innings, he walked 38 and struck out 51. This earned him a promotion to AA New Hampshire where he’s made 11 starts. He’s been fairly inconsistent for the Fisher Cats with a 5-5 record, 4.23 ERA, 31 BB and 45 K in 61.2 innings pitched.
Matt Dermody (LHP): We will see Dermody in Toronto this September. He is a 26-year old LHP drafted in the 28th round of the 2013 amateur draft that has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year. He has pitched a total of 54.1 innings across three levels this year (Advanced-A, AA, AAA) and has accumulated an impressive line. For the season, he is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA while striking out 47 and allowing only 8 walks.
Tim Mayza (LHP): 24-year old Tim Mayza was a 12th round pick in the 2013 draft. Another left-handed reliever, Tim started the year in Advanced-A where he put up a 1.52 ERA over 47.1 innings before moving up to AA on August 4. In AA, he has a 4.11 ERA in just 15.1 innings. For the season he has a 2.15 ERA with 29 walks and 63 strikeouts in a combined 62.2 innings.
Danny Jansen (C): Drafted in the 16th round of the 2013 draft the 21-year old Jansen is the Jays’ 30th ranked prospect on MLB.com. He’s spent the majority of his season in Advanced-A Dunedin (he’s played three games for the GCL Blue Jays). For the year, he is batting a pretty uninspiring .223/.324/.277 for a .601 OPS.
Ryan McBroom (1B): 24-year old Ryan McBroom was drafted in the 15th round of the 2014 amateur draft and is currently our 28th ranked prospect on MLB.com. He started the year in Advanced-A before moving to AA New Hampshire on
August 3 July 22 as an injury replacement. We was then returned to Dunedin on August 3 (thanks to hpatton for the corrections). For the year, McBroom’s posted a 133 wRC+ in 117 games for Dunedin and 34 wRC+ in his 9 games in AA. He’s hitting a combined .270/.323/.463 for a .786 OPS with 26 22 home runs on the season.
Best of luck to these guys in Mesa. I especially hope to see Anthony Alford have a nice showing after a pretty up-and-down 2016 season.