Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arizona Fall League Preview: Glendale vs. Mesa; Links to this year's top prospects

The Fall League can mean many things to many people.  It is one of the last times we can follow the organization's players on the field.As someone who has written about the Cubs for the past 4 years, that normally starts in October.

Some organizations use the league for different reasons: to get a player reps he missed during the season, to bring them a step closer to being MLB ready, to get further evaluation on players who may be Rule 5 eligible, and more.

I'll be covering all the games played here in Mesa's Sloan Park and that coverage will include players from visiting teams and from all organizations.  We'll report on at least 5 players at a time --- the plan is 2 pitchers, 2 position players, plus at least one player or pitcher who stood out that day.  When possible, we'll interview players and coaches to add some insight.

We'll include links to box scores -- but  it will be about the individual players here.

With that said, we'll hit the ground running on the first day as some of the game's best prospects come to Mesa tomorrow...

10/14 Preview

Glendale Desert Dogs

  • JP Crawford, SS, Phillies: One of the top prospects in all of baseball, the young shorstop will visit Mesa tomorrow and we'll be sure to watch  him
  • Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates:  The Pirates top position player prospect is a genuine 4 tool player with only his arm being below average.  His hit tool, speed, and defense rate as potential plus tool and most scouts think he can develop at least above average power.
  • A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros:  Perhaps the most productive hitter who spent a full season in the minors, the Astros keep churning out talent.  Their good now, but they appear to be just getting started.
Mesa Solar Sox
  • Sean Manaea, LHP, Athletics:  The A's took down their MLB team this year and replenished their farm system.  The hard-throwing Manaea was their top acquisition.  We covered him a lot when he seemed a potential top choice early in the draft, so it will interesting to see how he's progressed since then.
  • Pierce Johnson, RHP, Cubs:  The Cubs are more known for their position player prospects but Johnson has good stuff across the board.  Injuries and command have slowed his ascent, but he showed promise once he was healthy late this season.
  • Trey Michalczewski, 3B, White Sox: Another player we liked before the draft, Michalczewski was a guy we talked about as a possible Cubs pick but he was instead taken by the crosstown White Sox.
  • Jim Callis of MLB.com has an extensive preview that includes the site's top 100 prospects that will be participating as well as the top prospect for each team.
  • John Manuel does two separate videos highlighting the top players to watch for each fall league team.  You can find them here and here.
  • Former MLB scout Bernie Pleskoff list his top 10 prospects to watch.
  • Bill Mitchell of Baseball America features two prospects, Jharel Cotton and J.D. Davis, in his preview.

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