Scottsdale, Salt River rosters feature Yankees' Torres, Brewers' Phillips and Diaz
By Doug Miller
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The World Series off-day got you down? Don't worry, we have you covered.
Some of the game's top prospects and a familiar face will light up the evening at Salt River Fields, as the Scottsdale Scorpions play the Salt River Rafters in an Arizona Fall League game that can be seen exclusively on MLB.com at 9:35 p.m. ET. Remember, Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber was playing in the AFL earlier this week as he prepared for his dramatic Fall Classic comeback. And the talent on the field tonight will be nothing short of impressive.
The game will also feature Scorpions outfielder Tim Tebow, better known as a former Heisman Trophy- and two-time national championship-winning quarterback for the University of Florida and then for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets in the NFL. Tebow, 29, is embarking on a professional baseball career and is testing the progress of his recent transition alongside many of the game's best prospects.
Tebow has struggled so far in AFL competition, going 3-for-28 with nine strikeouts heading into Thursday's games.
Torres, who at 19 years of age is the youngest player in the league, arrived in the Yankees organization in the Trade Deadline deal with the Cubs for closer Aroldis Chapman. He is the second-highest-ranked prospect playing in the Fall League behind No. 1 overall prospectYoan Moncada (Boston). And he is not disappointing, as he leads the league in OPS (1.256) and is in the top five in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging through his first seven games played.
Also on the Scottsdale roster is Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, who was the 2014 AFL MVP and continues to work on honing his power stroke as he returns from missing the entire 2016 season due to of surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
There will be even more intrigue on the pitcher's mound on Thursday night. The Rafters' starter, right-hander Chris Ellis, is Atlanta's No. 16 prospect after coming over from the Angels in the Andrelton Simmons deal. Ellis had a 2.75 ERA at the Double-A level this past year and pitched six hitless innings in Game 2 of the Governors' Cup finals.
He'll be opposed by Scorpions righty Grayson Long, the Angels' No. 10 prospect. The Texas A&M product and rabid Nolan Ryan fan went 5-5 with a 3.18 ERA in first full professional season.
MLB.com will have all of the action covered from every angle. Mike Ferrin and MLBPipeline's Jonathan Mayo will be on the broadcast, with Daron Sutton as the crew's sideline reporter.
Thursday night's featured game will only be an appetizer for more upcoming Fall League broadcasts on MLB Network and MLB.com. Those games will include the Fall Stars Game on Nov. 5, the Military Appreciation game on Nov. 12 and the championship game on Nov. 19.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.