Arizona Fall League rosters were announced on Tuesday, and the Dodgers are sending some notable prospects, headlined by top prospect Corey Seager.
Seager will return for his second AFL stint. He went last season, and, to put it lightly, had a rough time: .181/.253/.306. He was clearly fatigued, yet some were concerned about his late-season performance at Rancho Cucamonga and his AFL performance. Well, Seager fired back with the California League MVP, a promotion to Double-A and is on the verge of a 20-home run, 50-double season.
Joining Seager is Scott Schebler, Darnell Sweeney and Michael Thomas. That’s it — for now. The Dodgers will assuredly send some more pitchers. Rosters don’t have to be finalized just yet. Schebler and Sweeney could be going to showcase for potential offseason trades, while Thomas is going because the team needed a left-handed pitcher, probably.
They’ll play with prospects from the Brewers, Orioles, Tigers and White Sox as part of the Glendale Desert Dogs. Their games will be played at Camelback Ranch — familiar territory for the Dodgers and White Sox, as they share the facility in spring training.
Last year, the Dodgers also sent Pedro Baez, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Onelki Garcia, Yimi Garcia, Jarret Martin, Pratt Maynard, Chris O’Brien and Thomas. The league isn’t designated for just top prospects, hence the inclusion of some non-prospects and really deep sleepers throughout the league. Here’s a breakdown of the players.
SS/3B Corey Seager (20 years old)
Dodgers’ top prospect, could get some looks at third base with White Sox’s prospect Tim Anderson — a shortstop — also making the team.
2B/CF Darnell Sweeney (23 years old)
Had a breakout 2014 season, could see some time at second base and center field, but definitely not at shortstop.
OF Scott Schebler (23 years old)
The Dodgers’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2013 has been impressive in the Southern League, leading in home runs (27, thanks to Kris Bryant‘s promotion to Triple-A), triples (14) and total bases (264).
LHP Michael Thomas (25 years old)
Played in the AFL last season, only threw 5 2/3 innings. Posted 11.5 K/9 in Double-A, but also a 6.4 BB/9.
I thought Julio Urias had an outside shot to make it, seeing as the Dodgers have been stretching him out in Rancho for the last few outings (at least 80 pitches in his last three appearances). But, it’s probably best not to push the 18-year-old. He’ll get some additional work in the instructional league before a well-deserved break in the offseason. Another guy I thought would get consideration is Erisbel Arruebarrena (he still might), but since he has a chance to make the postseason roster, it wouldn’t make sense to send him. He can play winter ball for some additional work.
Each team has to send at least six players, so expect three more names to trickle in during the next few weeks to give the Dodgers seven representatives in the AFL.