Albies highlights Braves headed to Fall League

Albies highlights Braves headed to Fall League

ATLANTA -- Headlined by Ozzie Albies, the Braves' No. 2 prospect and the No. 14 overall prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, the Braves will send eight prospects to compete in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Also making the preliminary roster for the Salt River Rafters, which was announced on Wednesday, are Dustin Peterson, Travis Demeritte, Kade Scivicque, Bradley Roney, Evan Phillips, Akeel Morris and Chris Ellis.

Behind Boston's Yoan Moncada and Pittsburgh's Austin Meadows, Albies will be the third-highest ranked prospect playing in the AFL this season, which which begins on Oct. 11 and runs through the championship game on Nov. 19.

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Expected to be Atlanta's Opening Day starter at second base in 2017, playing in the AFL could serve as the final springboard to the big leagues for Albies, who has slashed .292/.358/.414 with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

But even with his participation in the AFL, the 19-year-old could still make an appearance with the Braves this season when rosters expand in September.

Peterson, Albies' Double-A teammate, will be looking to continue the success he's had at the plate this year as he faces some of baseball's best pitching prospects in the AFL. The 21-year-old outfielder, who is Atlanta's No. 18 prospect, caught the attention of scouts while batting .280 with 11 homers, 36 doubles and 85 RBIs this season.

Accompanied by Morris, Phillips and Roney, Ellis headlines the list of four pitchers the Braves are sending to the AFL. Ranked as the team's No. 16 overall prospect, the 23-year-old right-hander posted an 8-2 record and a 2.75 ERA with Mississippi before earning a promotion to Triple-A in June.

Although he hasn't found the same groove in Gwinnett, where he's gone 4-6 with a 6.32 ERA, Ellis has flashed the upside that made him a vital piece in the trade that sent Andrelton Simmons to the Angels this past offseason.

Three of the players participating in the AFL (Demeritte, Morris and Scivicque) didn't even start this year in the Braves organization. Demeritte, who is ranked as the team's No. 9 prospect, leads the group.

The 21-year-old second baseman, who was acquired from the Rangers in exchange for Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez on July 27, has hit .241 with 15 extra-base hits, including three homers, in 30 games since joining Class A Advanced Carolina.

With Albies slated to be the Braves' second baseman of the future, Demeritte could see extensive playing time at third base in the AFL, where he could also work on making more consistent contact at the plate.

Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.