Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Every year the top prospects in all of baseball are shuffled off to Arizona in a sort of a showcase league to see the next young players MLB has. The AFL (Arizona Fall League) rosters were announced, and a few Dodgers were added to the rosters. The list is
LHP Michael Thomas
SS/3b Corey Seager
Michael Thomas who somehow is the only pitcher ever to have that name was on the Desert Dogs last season, appearing in 5 games, striking out 7 and walking 3 for a 4.76 ERA. He repeated AA this season and put up a 3.43 Fielding Independent Pitching. He’s had K/9’s above 9 in every rung of the MILB ladder aside from his brief stint in Arizona, including a, 11.48 K/9 this season, but walked 6.36 per 9.
Everyone knows Corey Seager. Whether it be other organizations for scouting him and unsuccessfully asking for him in trades, whether it be Dodger fans for hoping that he is the best homegrown infield talent since Adrian Beltre, everyone knows him. He appeared last season in the AFL, but was clearly worn out hitting .181/.253/.306 while striking out 31.6% of the time last year (this was particularly concerning because he struggled mightily in his callup to the Cal League prior to his addition to the Desert Dogs). So he gets another crack at the Arizona Fall League and we’ll see if he can continue to beat up on minor league pitching. This season he has bounced back with authority hitting 48 doubles combined from the Cal League and the Southern League. In 32 games he’s hit .326/.350/.488, while you would like to see more balls, he’s crushing the ball as a 20 year old in AA.
One more note about Seager is with all the talent at SS, 2013 first round pick from the White Sox SS Tim Anderson is going to get time at short, we might see Seager get some action at third base which would be interesting as that’s the position he’s been rumored to move to.
Darnell Sweeney, crushing AA pitching without a position. No one really knows where he’s going to play, could possibly be at second base or center field, but everyone knows he’s not a shortstop at this point. But hey, who cares when you’re getting on base 38.4% of the time and slugging .463. The Dodgers will find room if he continues to hit like he always has, or will make a nice trade piece outside of the top 3.
Speaking of nice trade pieces because the top 3 are indispensable, 7th OF Scott Schebler! He made the team, and is leading the Southern League with 27 home runs this season. Add in the 27 he hit last season, and that’s 54 the past two minor league seasons against. His 27 in the Southern League is way impressive and should have him shooting up Dodgers prospect lists. Hopefully he opens some eyes in the AFL because a .930 OPS is nothing to sneeze at in the Southern League.
There will be more because each team has to send 6 players to the League, and each team can use up 1 “foreign slot” which was made for players who aren’t U.S. products, so look for Julio Urias or Erisbel Arruebarrena to make it on the team. Also according to Bill Shaikin the Dodgers might announce the rest later. It’s an exciting time for the farm system.