SEATTLE -- Right-hander Matt West, whose transition from infielder to pitcher was disrupted by Tommy John surgery, is one of seven players from the Rangers' farm system selected to play in the Arizona Fall League.
West underwent surgery on Aug. 22, 2012, and has not yet pitched in a game this season. But he has been throwing the ball well in Arizona and is starting a rehab assignment with the Rookie League Rangers on Tuesday night. The Rangers expect him to be ready for the AFL.
West was selected in the second round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft as an infielder out of Houston Bellaire High but switched to pitching in 2011. He has been on the Rangers' 40-man roster for most of the season but was recently switched to the 60-day disabled list.
West will be joined on the Surprise Saguaros by pitchers Will Lamb, Nick McBride and Randy Harvey. Also on the team are catcher Jorge Alfaro and infielders Ryan Rua and Brett Nicholas. This will be a big challenge for Alfaro, who is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rangers' system by MLB.com. Alfaro, 20, spent most of the season at Class A Hickory, hitting .265 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs in 100 games. He had a .343 on-base percentage and a .457 slugging percentage.
Rua and Nicholas have had two of the best seasons among position players in the Rangers' system. Nicholas, a sixth-round pick out of Missouri in 2010, is hitting .299 with 21 home runs and 89 RBIs in 129 games at Double-A Frisco. Rua, a 17th-round pick in 2011 out of Lake Erie College, has played in 104 games at Class A Hickory and 16 at Double-A, hitting a combined .243 with 30 home runs and 84 RBIs.
Lamb, McBride and Harvey are three pitchers who could use a strong showing in Arizona to enhance their standing within the farm system.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.