The Arizona Fall League is set to kick off its 20th season today, as the first games are scheduled to begin this afternoon. The AFL continues its tradition as the premier stepping stone for Major League Baseball’s best and brightest young stars. This year’s Arizona Fall League rosters include notables Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
The two budding stars will not only share the stage of the Arizona Fall League but also the same outfield. Harper and Trout are both on the Scottsdale Scorpions, and are joined in the outfield by another top prospect, Gary Brown of the San Francisco Giants.
Other young up-and-comers set to continue their march toward the Majors in Arizona include Wil Myers of the Kansas City Royals, Nick Franklin of the Seattle Mariners, Aaron Hicks of the Minnesota Twins and Matt Dominguez of the Florida Marlins.
While the Arizona Fall League is for those players who have already shown their ability in the Minor Leagues, it’s also become a starting point for some of the game’s top amateurs. Stephen Strasburg and Harper made their professional debuts in Arizona, and this year’s number one overall pick will do the same.
During the last week of September, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that first overall pick Gerrit Cole would be assigned to the Arizona Fall League. Cole will join five other 2011 first round draft picks in Arizona, including: Danny Hultzen of the Mariners, Jed Bradley of the Milwaukee Brewers, Sean Gilmartin of the Atlanta Braves, Joe Panik of the Giants and Mikie Mahtook of the Tampa Bay Rays.
These current youngsters hope to follow the paths of previous Arizona Fall Leaguer’s. Just last season, the AFL included players who went on to make an impact in the Majors in 2011: Dustin Ackley, Eric Hosmer, Jason Kipnis and Brandon Belt.
For more on the Minor Leagues, be sure to check out Seedlings to Stars.
Tags: Aaron Hicks Brandon Belt Bryce Harper Danny Hultzen Dustin Ackley Eric Hosmer Jason Kipnis Jed Bradley Joe Panik Matt Dominguez Mike Trout Mikie Mahtook Nick Franklin Sean Gilmartin Stephen Strasburg Wil Myers