AFL tilt features teams with over 20 players on their clubs' Top 30 Prospects lists
By Jonathan Mayo
Last Saturday, baseball fans everywhere got to see the best the Arizona Fall League had to offer in the annual Fall Stars Game. Tuesday's Mesa-Surprise game affords the opportunity to see many of those Fall Stars again, as well as many other teams' top prospects in action.
MLB.com will carry the game live, beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET at Salt River Fields, and it will be called by MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis along with MLB Network's Paul Severino.
Left-handed pitching prospect Ian Clarkin (No. 7 on the Yankees' Top 30 list) continues to work his way back from an elbow injury that cost him all of the 2015 season. Clarkin, who before the AFL began last threw a competitive pitch on Aug. 7, 2014, will make his fifth start of the Fall League season for the home Surprise Saguaros. Angels right-hander Harrison Cooney will be making his first start for Mesa after seven previous relief appearances.
Cooney could have to contend with Fall Stars Bowman Star of the Game winner Gary Sanchez. The Yankees' No. 5 prospect hit a two-run home run in Saturday's exhibition and leads the AFL with six long balls in the regular season. He also tops the league with 17 RBIs and 44 total bases. Prospect Yadiel Rivera (No. 18 on Brewers' Top 30), among the league leaders in hitting (.327), also helps lead a first-place offense that leads the AFL in runs scored.
While Mesa (5-17) has struggled overall, that doesn't mean Clarkin's outing will be a walk in the park. Cubs' No. 20 prospect Jeimer Candelario and Marlins' No. 6 prospect Austin Dean, both Fall Stars participants, have been among the top hitters in the league. Candelario is second only to Sanchez in homers (four) and total bases (37), while Dean's average hasn't dipped under .300 since Day 1 of the Fall League.
The following are position players positioned in their respective MLB team's list of Top 30 prospects: