Arizona Fall League rosters have been slowly revealed one prospect at a time over the last few weeks, but full rosters were revealed on Wednesday. As always, the Rockies will send seven of their top prospects to Scottsdale to join prospects from the Rays, Twins, Marlins, and Diamondbacks. Here is everything you need to know about the Arizona Fall League, 2019 edition.
Big Changes to the AFL in 2019
This year, there are some changes to the structure of the AFL. For starters, the schedule is pushed up a few weeks. Last year, the AFL started on October 9 and this year, it starts on September 18. The Fall Stars Game will be on October 26 and the Championship Game will be on October 12. Also, there will only be four stadiums in use this year. There are still six teams — the Salt River Rafters, Mesa Solar Sox, Scottsdale Scorpions, Peoria Javelinas, Glendale Desert Dogs, and Surprise Saguaros — but the Rafters and Scorpions will share Salt River Fields due to renovations being done to Scottsdale Stadium and the Javelinas and Saguaros will share Peoria Sports Complex, also due to renovations to Surprise Stadium. The Fall Stars and Championship games will also be played at Salt River Fields due to construction at the other venues.
Other changes include game times and opponents. There are more night contests this year, 69 in total including all 36 in September. Night games start at 6:30 p.m. and day games begin at 12:30 p.m. Also, ten of those games will be against teams from the Mexican Pacific League. The Mesa Solar Sox will also play two games in the Mexican Baseball Fiesta. The Salt River Rafters in particular play three games against the Mexican Pacific League and those stats will count towards players’ official AFL stats. Read about all of the changes here.
Who’s on the Rockies prospect roster?
Colton Welker leads the crew of three PuRPs to play in the AFL. Ryan Castellani will return after spending the majority of 2019 on the Injured List with an elbow issue in Triple-A. Roberto Ramos, who represented the Albuquerque Isotopes in the Triple-A Home Run Derby, rounds out the PuRP representatives. Here is the full lineup of Rockies prospects who will play at Salt River Fields:
Colton Welker (no. 4 PuRP): 3B/1B, Hartford Yard Goats
Ryan Castellani (no. 16 PuRP): RHP, Albuquerque Isotopes
Roberto Ramos (no. 23 PuRP): 1B, Albuquerque Isotopes
Bret Boswell: 3B/OF, Hartford Yard Goats
Ashton Goudeau: RHP, Hartford Yard Goats
Alexander Guillen: RHP, Hartford Yard Goats
Brian Serven: C, Hartford Yard Goats
It’s interesting to note that only two Isotopes were named this year, and one is a repeat. It’s also interesting to note that there aren’t any lower level prospects. Formerly, teams were limited to only being able to name two prospects below Double-A. This year, any player under contract is eligible. Considering what kinds of prospects they have at lower levels (Ryan Rolison, Terrin Vavra, etc.), it’s surprising that this is the year that the Rockies load up on Yard Goats.
If you’re planning to go
As mentioned earlier, games are either played at 12:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted on the schedule, and all September games are night games due to the earlier start date. You can find the full schedule here. The four stadiums in play this year are Salt River Fields (Scottsdale), Sloan Park (Mesa), Peoria Sports Complex (Peoria), and Camelback Ranch (Glendale). Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for seniors 55+. Kids 15 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. This is a fantastic way to see some of the Spring Training stadiums and top prospects without breaking the bank. There usually aren’t a ton of people there, so it’s just a great way to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sounds of baseball in the beautiful Arizona desert.