Miss the White Sox already?
Too preoccupied with what the South Siders will do in the off-season to watch
the playoffs? Well, the Arizona Fall League (AFL), which begins play on
Tuesday (October 12), may be just what you need.
The AFL features six teams,
made up of top minor league prospects from all 30 major league clubs. that play
a 32-game schedule extending through November 18. Since its inception in 1992,
the league has boasted the likes of Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza,
Pujols and Torii Hunter, just to mention a few, who all cut their teeth under
the sun of Arizona. Just last year, promising White Sox third baseman Brent Morel captured the AFL batting title.
This fall, seven White Sox
players will join the Peoria
Saguaros along with prospects from
the Reds, Padres, Twins and Rays. The manager is former big-league star Ted Simmons and the pitching coach is former Sox standout Richard Dotson, who is now tutoring the hurlers at AAA Charlotte.
Other teams in the circuit
Solar Sox: Angels, Phillies, Cubs,
Javelinas: Indians, Mariners, Blue
Jays, Red Sox, Astros
Desert Dogs: Marlins, A’s, Braves,
Scorpions: Rockies, Nationals,
D-backs, Orioles, Giants
Rafters: Cardinals, Tigers, Royals,
For you fans of the Pale
Hose, here’s a glimpse of the Sox prospects who will be playing in the fall
Carter, 24, right-handed pitcher,
6-3, 180, from Decatur, Georgia and Georgia Perimeter CC…Selected by the Sox in
the 26th round of the June 2005 draft…Was 1-4 with a 3.92 ERA and 22
saves for AA Birmingham in 2010.
Leesman, 23, left-handed pitcher,
6-4, 210, from Cincinnati, Ohio and Xavier University…Selected by Sox in the 11th
round of the 2008 draft…Started 28 games in 2010…Was 9-4 with a 5.10 ERA for
Class A Winston-Salem and 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA for AA Birmingham.
Lowe, 25, right-handed pitcher, 6-5,
220, from San Diego, California and Point Loma Nazarene College…Selected by Sox
in 6th round of 2007 draft…Started 24 games in 2010 for AA
Birmingham and was 6-5 with a 3.96 ERA.
Mabee, 25, right-handed pitcher, 6-4,
230, from Surrey, British Columbia and Morehead State University…Selected by
Sox in 19th round in 2007 draft…Was 4-6 with a 3.65 ERA and two
saves in 49 relief appearances for AA Birmingham in 2010.
Phegley, 22, catcher, 5-10, 215, bats
right, throws right, from Terre Haute, Indiana and Indiana University…Selected
in first round of 2009 draft…Batted .292 for both Class A Winston-Salem and AA
Birmingham in limited action this past season.
Escobar, 22, shortstop, 5-10, 150,
switch-hitter, from Aragua, Venezuela…Signed by White Sox in 2006…Batted a
combined .277 with 26 doubles for Class A Winston-Salem and AA Birmingham in
Mitchell (pictured above), 22, centerfielder, 6-0,
205, bats left, throws left, from New Iberia, Louisiana and LSU…Selected by Sox
in first round of 2009 draft…Exciting player who was pegged to be a future star
after a stellar college career and impressive rookie pro season at Class A
Kannapolis, Mitchell was injured in spring training and missed all of the 2010
I will be following the AFL
closely and will update you as the fall season progresses.