The Arizona Fall League: MLB’s Future All-Star Games


The Arizona Fall League club names were picked by Major League Baseball to reflect the Southwestern desert traditions of Arizona.  Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and the Surprise Saguaros are the club names that are divided into two divisions: the East and West.  Each Major League Team sends six of their top prospects to the league, totalling 180 players.

The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.  Each August, Major League teams hold a position draft to determine the players slated to go to Arizona.  Most of the players are Double-A and Triple-A players and even one player from their Class A teams.

Over the years, Major League Baseball was concerned that the best minor league players left to play their winter ball outside of the country.  There were problems monitoring them and those leagues lacked the proper care and treatment for injured players.  With the Arizona Fall League, managers, coaches, scouts and officials could participate in the short six week schedule.

The Dodgers have designated top prospect Corey Seager to the Fall League’s Glendale Desert Dogs for the second year in a row.  Last year, Seager slumped batting .181 in 19 games for the Desert Dogs.  In 2014, Seager batted .349 in 118 games between Class A and Double-A.  He led the Minor Leagues in hitting, was named MVP in the California League and shared The Dodger’s Minor League Player of the Year Award with Joc Pederson.

For 2014, Seager shares Glendale’s shortstop job with Tim Anderson of the White Sox, while getting in some extra at-bats as the DH.  Seager has hit .255 in his first 12 games with six doubles and seven extra base hits.  The Dodgers have left Seager at shortstop since his signing in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, however the 6-foot-4, 215 pound left-handed swing may not have the speed and quickness to stay at short.  Many scouts see Seager moving to the hot corner.  It will be quite interesting to see if Seager moves up to the Dodger’s roster or spends another year in AA or AAA.

The Arizona Fall League allows the players to excel and have an opportunity to jump a classification. It also helps managers and even umpires to hone their skills.  With the top prospects playing, every game in the Arizona Fall league is like a future All-Star Game.