The Arizona Fall League has announced its preliminary rosters, and as usual, this year’s AFL is loaded with high impact talent. Offensive headliners include Byron Buxton, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Jorge Soler. On the pitching side of things, we’ve got Kyle Crick, Alex Meyer, Andrew Heaney, and Marcus Stroman. I’m leaving out plenty of other notable prospects, too. These rosters are always a welcome relief for us prospect enthusiasts who fear the onset of the withdrawal symptoms that inevitably come with the baseball off-season. The AFL should keep the nervous twitching and general malaise at bay, if only for a little while.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13) | 2008 (2)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [69-93] AL East
AAA: [79-65] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [68-73] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [68-69] Carolina League – Salem
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss): [36-40] New York-Penn League — Lowell
Arizona Fall League Players — Surprise Saguaros
Chris Martin (RHP); Pete Ruiz (RHP); Michael Almanzar (3B); Bryce Brentz (OF)
Will Middlebrooks (3B); Ryan Lavarnway (C); Pedro Ciriaco (INF); Felix Doubront (LHP); Junichi Tazawa (RHP)
The Run Down
With impact talent at nearly every level of the farm, this is a deep system, and a good one. Xander Bogaerts, a top-10 overall prospect, headlines the group and will arrive within the next year-and-a-half as a big time fantasy asset. Behind him, Boston features a great mix of high-ceiling guys and high-floor guys, making this system not only high-impact, but rather safe as well. The Red Sox might be another year or so away from contending again in the crazy-competitive AL East, but the club has done a quality job of trimming some fat, and setting itself up for long-term success in the process.
The fantasy baseball world waits impatiently for the arrivals of Anthony Rizzo and Wil Myers. Some owners have been stashing one or the other on their rosters for months now, as folks like me keep spewing lines like “arrival is imminent” — whatever that means. Truth is, these call-ups are utterly unpredictable. They’re based more on opportunity than readiness, and “opportunity”, it seems, is defined differently by every GM in baseball. Both Jed Hoyer and Dayton Moore are claiming patient approaches with their prospects, hinting that we won’t see either player in the majors this year. But who can believe these guys? Rizzo and Myers have combined for 55 homers on the season, and I’d love to see them join Trout and Harper in MLB’s 2012 prospect party. When that might happen, though, is tough to gauge. Until then, arrival is imminent.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Perhaps Bryan LaHair isn’t quite the slob I thought he was. Through 110 PA, LaHair is batting .359/.455/.717 with eight homers and it no longer looks as if he’ll be simply stepping aside to make room for top prospect Anthony Rizzo. If Rizzo is to arrive this season, the Cubs are going to have to find a way to build a lineup that accommodates both players. LaHair made 14 appearances at OF last year, one so far this year, and slotting him permanently at a corner OF post would appear to be the move. With other players (Soriano) complicating the matter, though, it might take another trade from the Cubbies to make space available. Meanwhile, Rizzo’s OPS at Triple-A Iowa sits at 1.077 and with every game that passes, it becomes clearer that he’s too advanced for minor league ball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Barnes | RHP, Red Sox | Born: 6/17/1990
As I’m writing this, Matt Barnes is on the bump for Low-A Greenville versus Delmarva, the Orioles South Atlantic League affiliate. Delmarva is starting Dylan Bundy. It’s a matchup of 2011 first-rounders and one could not handpick a better pitchers duel from SAL rosters. Now, Bundy is the more highly touted prospect of the two, and I’m not disputing that. But while Bundy already registers on fantasy radars, it’s about time we note Matt Barnes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Cubs reportedly have completed a deal with the Red Sox which will send Marlon Byrd and some cash to Boston for RHP Michael Bowden and a player to be named later. Theo and Jed have been firm on their plan to be patient with prospects Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo, but in the aftermath of this deal, one has to speculate if their timetables will be altered. At .242/.342/.484 through 73 PA, Jackson’s performance in the early going at Triple-A Iowa isn’t demanding a call-up, but he could immediately be used to fill the void in center. On the other hand, Rizzo’s numbers (.367/.406/.733) are indicative of a guy who’s ready for the next level. The Cubs could surely shift David DeJesus to center and move LaHair to a corner outfield post. That’d make room for Rizzo at first. Perhaps most likely, though, the Cubs go with Tony Campana as their everyday guy in center – at least until the weather warms in Chicago, at which point I think Rizzo will get the first look, provided he’s still mashing, of course.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Boston Red Sox 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13) | 2008 (2) | 2007 (9) | 2006 (8)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] AL East
AAA: [81-61] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [59-83] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [64-75] Carolina League – Salem
A: [78-62] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss): [29-45] New York Penn League – Lowell
The Run Down
The Red Sox pipeline, as usual, is flush with talent. And although its most exciting prospects (see Middlebrooks & Barnes) are probably a year away from arriving at Fenway, the system features a decent amount of MLB-ready talent. Unfortunately for those ready to make their marks with the big club, Boston’s MLB roster doesn’t seem primed for much turnover: The opening in right field will most certainly be filled with a free agent, and I’m thinking they’ll do the same to round out the rotation.Please, blog, may I have some more?