So now that the regular season is over, all these people prospecting players that aren’t on playoff teams can put the boxes up until spring training right? This would be true if it weren’t for leagues like The Arizona Fall League.
It’s the one time a year when you will see a Red Sox fan cheer for another team. That team might be called The Mesa Solar Sox or the Scottsdale Scorpions, but it’s still an odd thing to see.
When a prospect breaks out in this league with the full attention of the scouting community it sometimes turns into a coming out party of sorts. In 2009 it was Chicago Cub short stop Starlin Castro on display as he ate up the league as the youngest player on any AFL roster. One year earlier 2008′s MiLB break out Tommy Hanson was the poster boy of the league as he walked into hitter friendly confines and blew fastballs by hitters.
Who is the break out this year? Seattle’s James Paxton who has already had one really good start? Could it be another Chicago Cub in Javier Baez who is already an established MiLB star looking to turn it up a notch? When it happens, it will probably be mentioned in this Arizona Fall League FCB Thread started by one of the biggest prospect fans I know “Jaypers”. That thread will update daily with news from the AFL.
It’s also probably a bad idea to equate AFL success with sure fire MLB stardom. Sometimes goofy things happen like when 2009 MVP Grant Desme decided that he would rather be a priest. And other times an older and more experienced player gets to feast on young pitching like in 2006 when then 24 year old Chip Cannon won the AFL MVP award. There are normally some big prospect spikes that happen during the AFL season, but you have to be careful if you are using the season to figure out who to buy. When you see a great statistical performance in this league, always do your homework and try to figure out why it happened. The better strategy is to look at who you think could break out during the AFL and be ready to sell.