The Dodgers sent eight players to the Arizona Fall League last year, including Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. Pederson struggled mightily and Puig didn’t play due to a staph infection.
This year, the Dodgers will again send eight players, led by 2012 first-round draft pick Corey Seager. Joining him -- for now -- are catchers Pratt Maynard and Chris O’Brien, as well as outfielder BrianCavazos-Galvez. There should be four pitchers joining that quartet, which will be announced later. I can confirm Rob Rasmussen will be one of the four.
My initial prediction had Onelki Garcia, Yimi Garcia and Jarret Martin joining Rasmussen. I’m pretty sure Martin will go (hat tip to Deejaydezz, via Twitter). The other two are unknown. Chris Reed went last season and could go again. I’d like to see the Garcias get in, though.
Seager’s inclusion comes as a surprise to me, as I didn’t think he’d be eligible for the AFL.
Before last year, players had to be on the Double-A roster before Aug. 1. But now, two Low-A players or first-year draftees (signed by July 13), two High-A players and as many as three Double-A, Triple-A or young major leaguers are eligible.
Dodger prospects will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs. They’ll play their home games at Camelback Ranch, home of Dodgers’ (and White Sox’s) spring training.
The best of the best usually attend the AFL. For example, Byron Buxton will be on the Desert Dogs’ roster. Buxton is baseball’s top prospect.
However, performance isn’t always the best indicator of how these players will do going forward. Pederson had a miserable 2012 AFL season (.096/.161/.154) -- so much so that it caused some prospectors (hi, Keith Law) to rank Pederson lower in offseason lists than he should have been.
It’ll be interesting to see how Seager does against some of the game’s best. He should see ample time at shortstop. Marcus Semien is the only other true shortstop on the roster, and third base is likely to be occupied by Marlins’ 2013 first-round draft pick Colin Moran. Scouts from all over will get a look at Seager and we should have a more accurate representation of the future star.
Those in the organization think he can stick at shortstop. Those outside don’t. Perhaps some scuttlebutt from Arizona could reaffirm one opinion or the other.
Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin’ Kinda Blue