There will be no outfield consisting of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, as there was last fall, but plenty of top-notch prospects are ready to get rolling in the 21st season of the Arizona Fall League, including seven Red Sox farmhands.
This season the Red Sox players have been assigned to the Surprise Saguaros along with prospects from the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.
Headlining the Sox caravan is outfielder Bryce Brentz who had a solid season in Double-A Portland (17 HRs, 76 RBI, .296/.355/.478) before getting a late season call-up to Pawtucket where he helped the PawSox capture their first Governors Cup since 1984.
Pitchers Brock Huntzinger, Chris Martin, Ryan Pressly and Pete Ruiz along with catcher Christian Vazquez and first baseman Michael Almanzar, round out the Sox participants.
The Saguaros roster also includes Cardinals 2011 first-round pick Kolten Wong, former Lowell Spinners first baseman Chris McGuinness (now with Texas) and the 22nd overall selection in the 2010 draft, catcher Kellin Deglan (Phoenix Desert Dogs) of the Rangers.
Some big names that will dot the AFL landscape this fall include Minor League stolen-base record holder Billy Hamilton (Reds, Peoria Javelinas), Nationals third-baseman Anthony Rendon (Salt River Rafters) and Marlins top-prospect, outfielder Christian Yelich.
The 36-game season commences on Tuesday, with Surprise visiting Peoria, and we will be sure to keep you abreast on how the Sox prospects fare, as well as any other notable news out of Arizona.
It is a large cactus that can be found in Mexico, California and, of course Arizona. They can live for up to 75 years and can grow to 40-60 feet high. The saguaro blossom is the state flower of Arizona and harming a saguaro cactus in Arizona is illegal...although brush-back pitches are welcome.
The following are the player eligibility rules, taken from MLB.com:
Roster size is established at 35 players per team.
Each Major League organization is required to provide seven players, subject to the following eligibility requirements:
All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided they are on Double-A rosters no later than Aug. 15. Each organization is permitted to send two Class A Advanced-level players in addition to the current allowance of two "A exempt" players (who are under contract as of Aug. 15). Foreign players are allowed as long as the player is not on his native country's primary protected-player list.
No players with more than one year active or two years total of credited Major League service as of Aug. 31 (including Major League disabled-list time) are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
Each team is allotted 20 pitchers, but only 15 are designated "eligible" each gameday.
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