For those of you who think baseball ends in October for the Pirates and their prospects, think again. The Arizona Fall League runs each year starting in early October, with this year’s competition starting on October 13th.
The league is comprised of six teams: the Grand Canyon Rafters, the Mesa Solar Sox, the Peoria Javelinas, the Peoria Saguaros, the Phoenix Desert Dogs, and the team Pirates fans should be interested in, the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Each Major League team is required to provide six players to the Arizona Fall League, under the following requirements:
-All AAA and AA players are eligible, as long as the players are on at least a AA level roster no later than August 1st.
-One player below the AA level is allowed per Major League Team
-One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball
-No players with more than one year of credited Major League service time, as of August 31st, are eligible. The exception is a player who was picked in the most recently concluded Rule 5 draft.
-Players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.
The Pirates send their players to the Scottsdale Scorpions. This year’s players will be:
d’Arnaud is the Pirates’ selection from below the AA level. The selection of Watson is interesting, as he has been injured all season, but is currently listed as active. Watson hasn’t pitched since May 2nd, after putting up an impressive 2008 season in Lynchburg with a 3.56 ERA, and a 104:36 K/BB ratio in 151.2 innings pitched.
The extra work will be good for Veal, as he’s been limited this season due to his Rule 5 status. A few trips to the DL have gotten him some minor league innings, but he could use the additional innings.
Towards the end of the MLB regular season I’ll be uploading a Winter League Tracker, which will keep track of all of these players, plus any other Pirates player playing in Winter Ball, along with daily updates for each player.