The Arizona Fall League was established 23 years ago for a select number of prospects from each team to get a little extra work in competitive play. The season is only six weeks long, with most games played during the early afternoon. There are only six teams in the league, each of which hosts players from five different MLB teams.
This year the players sent by the Indians will be part of the Peoria Javelinas (a creature that always makes me think of Gene Hackman). They will be joined on the roster by prospects from the Braves, Cardinals, Rays, and Royals. Each of those organizations has sent seven players to participate in the league, though some will play for only a portion of the season.
The Indians have sent (Age, Position):
- Francisco Lindor (20, SS)
- Tony Wolters (22, C)
- Jordan Smith (24, OF)
- Dylan Baker (22, RHP)
- Louis Head (24, RHP)
- Nick Maronde (25, LHP)
- Grant Sides (25, RHP)
Lindor is obviously the gem of that group, seeing as though he's been the Tribe's top prospect since being taken in the 1st round of the 2011 draft. The Braves, Cardinals, and Rays opted against sending their top prospects, but the Royals sent many of their best, with shortstop Raul Mondesi, right-hander pitcher Kyle Zimmer (Tribe 2014 1st round pick Bradley Zimmer's brother), third baseman Hunter Dozier, and right-handed pitcher Miguel Almonte all placing in MLB.com's top 100 prospects. (Click here for the full Javelinas roster.)
Elsewhere in the league will be Minnesota's Byron Buxton, the consensus #1 prospect in baseball, plus Addison Russell of the Cubs, Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks, and Corey Seager of the Dodgers, each of whom is among the top 15-20 prospects.
The season kicked off yesterday, with the Javelinas winning 5-4. Lindor hit leadoff and went 1 for 4 with a single and a walk. Smith went 2 for 5 as the DH, while Maronde pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 2 hits but no walks or runs.