The offseason lull may have made its way to us Reds fans a few weeks ago (actually, a few months ago), but for most Reds minor leaguers, there's not much of an offseason. Reds farmhands will be playing in 5 different leagues, the most prestigious one of which starts today. Here's what you need to know about the Arizona Fall League.
Q: What the hell is it?
A: The AFL is a place where many organizations send their top prospects from the US, from the AA and AAA levels (although one "class-A" player is allowed and one international player is allowed from each team). Among the big names competing this year, the Marlins' Mike Stanton, the Braves' Jason Heyward, the Mariners' Dustin Ackley, the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg, the Giants' Buster Posey, the Rangers' Tanner Scheppers, as well as our own Yonder Alonso.
Q: How many players are sent from each team?
A: Each roster is filled by 5 teams who send 7 players each, giving the league 6 teams of 35 players.
Q: Who's participating from the Reds?
A: The Reds sent 4 pitchers to Arizona, a class headed by 2009 first round pick RHP Mike Leake. Joining him will be supplemental pick RHP Brad Boxberger, AA reliever RHP Sean Watson, and AAA closer RHP Logan Ondrusek. Rounding out the players sent are 1B Yonder Alonso, AA SS Zachary Cozart, and AAA outfielder Chris Heisey.
Q: Are they all on the same team?
They kick off their year tonight at 8:35 ET against the Scottsdale Scorpions, with former Vanderbilt standout Mike Minor on the hill. We'll have occasional updates all season long of this league, plus the Mexican and Venezuelan leagues (which have already kicked off) and the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues (which are set to start soon).