DURHAM, NC – Next Tuesday, most baseball fans will have their eyes squarely on the Major League Baseball playoffs. But, for those interested in baseball’s future stars, the real action will be in Arizona, where the game’s best prospects will meet to begin the Arizona Fall League season. Among those prospects will be a couple of American Association alumni in Grand Prairie’s Bo Schultz and Sioux City’s Cody Satterwhite.
Schultz, who pitched for the AirHogs in 2011, will join the Salt River Rafters this fall. The right-hander has pitched the last two seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, beginning in High-A Visalia and working his way up to Triple-A Reno. Schultz had his highest level of success pitching for the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears this year. The Northwestern University product was 5-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 16 starts and four relief appearances.
Satterwhite was dominant for the Explorers at the beginning of this season, earning himself a chance with the New York Mets. After posting a 0.65 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Sioux City, the 6’4” righty turned in a 2.78 ERA for the High-A St. Lucie Mets in 16 outings. Satterwhite finished his Florida State League campaign on a high note, as well. Satterwhite did not allow an earned run in six of his last eight relief appearances. That success earned the 26-year old a roster spot with the Scottsdale Scorpions this fall.
About the Arizona Fall League
Courtesy of MLB.com
There are six teams in the Arizona Fall League: the Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. These club names were picked by Major League Baseball as reflective of the Southwestern desert traditions in the state.
The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, 180 players in all. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.
How good are the players in the Arizona Fall League? The 2013 All-Star Game in New York featured 36 AFL alums, including five starting position players on each team and the American League’s starting pitcher, Max Scherzer.
Each August, Major League clubs hold a position draft to determine the players who will go to Arizona. Most are Double-A and Triple-A Minor League players. Each club can opt to send one player considered a Class A player.
Schultz’s River Rafters are made up of invitees from the Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Scorpions, Satterwhite’s team, feature players drawn from the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and New York Mets.