The Off-Season is Here. Let’s Talk Arizona Fall League

So I am basically back. I don’t post as much during the season as everyone does that and gives their opinions on the games. I don’t see the sense in everyone doing that. What a boring blog post that would be. I like to keep abreast of what is going on in the Winter Leagues and Arizona Fall League.

We can hash out all we want about who should be traded and who should be kept. We will do that at some point in time. For now, we just follow the landscape and see where it takes us.

  • Before I begin the Cardinals have announced that Adam Wainwright will have elbow surgery on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. He is expected to have a full recovery and will be ready for Spring Training.


Arizona Fall League

Let’s talk a bit about the Arizona Fall League for 2017. The Cardinals are part of the Surprise Saguaros team. There are prospects from Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins.

The Field management consists of Spike Owen as the Manager. Jobel Jimenez is the Hitting Coach, Mitch Stetter and Steve Watson are the Pitching Coaches for Surprise.

The Cardinal organization has decided to send eight prospects to the AFL. They are Oscar Mercado, Edmundo Sosa, John Nogowski, Andrew Knizner, Arturo Reyes, Josh Lucas, Jordan Hicks and Sandy Alcantara.

Cardinal Players in AFL


Sandy Alcantara- He is a 22 yr old righthanded pitcher for the Cardinals. He has been known to be erratic with the balls and strikes. He can goose his fastball to over 100 mph and his change-up is his second best pitch. He will start in Memphis (AAA) and likely get a call-up during the 2018 season.

Jordan Hicks- Another righthanded pitcher that can hit in the low 90’s with his fastball and can reach 97-98 mph on occasion. He combined for an 8-3 record with Peoria and Palm Beach. Also, he walked 45 and fanned 95 batters and opponents hit .238 against him. He will start in Springfield (AA) and with some success move on to AAA Memphis before the season ends.

Josh Lucas- Lucas is not on the Top 30 prospects list for the Cardinals. The right-hander was used in relief where he pitched in 47 games and had an 8-1 record and a 3.15 ERA with 17 saves for the season.He walked 12 and struck out 65 for the season.

Arturo Reyes- This righty pitcher is not listed in the Top 30 prospects of the Cardinals. He is a pitcher that was 5-5 on the year with a 4.41 ERA with 9 games saved in 63 innings pitched. He walked 17 and fanned 41 on the year.

Andrew Knizner- He is ranked #27 in the Cardinals organization and is listed as a catcher. He played 95 games combined between Peoria and Springfield. He hit .302 for the season. There is a bit of talk about him moving to third base since he is directly behind Carson Kelly as a catcher.

John Nogowski- He will be used on the Surprise roster as an alternate if needed. He played first base in 59 games for AA-Springfield. He batted .295 with 21 runs batted in and had 207 at-bats.

Edmundo Sosa- Sosa is a 21-year-old shortstop and the #12 prospect for the Cardinals. He played primarily at High-A Palm Beach where he hit .288 in 58 games. He lacks power at the plate but has soft hands in the field.

Oscar Mercado- He is a 22-year-old outfielder that was drafted as a shortstop and the #18 prospect in the organization. The Cardinals like his speed on the bases and in the outfield. HE will go to the AFL to prove his worth since the major league club is loaded with outfielders. He is a possible trade candidate in the off-season. He hit .287 in AA-Springfield in 120 games with 13 homers and 38 stolen bases.


  • Before I move on I must also let you know that I will be following a young left-handed pitcher from the Rays that will be playing for the Suprise Saguaros. Dalton Moats is a relative of mine and I am keenly interested in his development.

Dalton Moats- Moats pitched for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs this past season and had a 6-1 record with a 2.21 ERA. He was in 25 games and had 11 saves for the year. He walked 10 and struck out 26 with a 0.86 WHIP.

Want to Go?

A day or night at a game is affordable: $8 for an adult and $6 for kids (3-17) and seniors (55+), and you can sit anywhere you want. Group tickets for 20 or more are available for just $4 apiece. The AFL sells individual season passes ($75 for seniors, $85 for adults) and a family pass (for up to six people, $120). That means you can go to as many games as you’d like.



A bit of the History of the Arizona Fall League:

The roots of the Arizona Fall League go back several years, when the Major Leagues wanted to create an easily accessed offseason league. A concern was that some of the best ballplayers left to play winter ball out of the country, such as in the Caribbean and there was no way to monitor them.

If Major League Baseball created a league that it could govern and monitor, it would be better organized. If a player was injured, proper care and treatment would be on hand. With the Arizona Fall League, managers, coaches, scouts and league officials could participate.

“That was the beauty of this,” says Steve Cobb, AFL executive vice president, “and that seemed to be one of the unifying factors for all the clubs. They created a Fall League where all of their personnel would be involved, with reduced travel and immediate accessibility on the part of scouting.”


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