Arizona Fall League Rosters – American League East

Red Sox News

Bryce Brentz batted .298 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI and a .833 OPS at Double-A Portland

Commemorating its 20th anniversary, the Arizona Fall League will begin play on Oct. 9.

Each Major League organization is required to provide seven players. Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, as long as they were placed on a Double-A roster no later than Aug. 15.

Each Major League club can send two advanced Single-A Class A players along with two “A exempt” players who are under contract by Aug. 15.

In many cases, the AFL gives teams a chance to get a prolonged look at prospects they are considering placing on the 40-man roster. Many players who compete in the AFL graduate to the majors within a year or two.

Baseball News Source is providing a glimpse of AFL participants by each division. Here is a look at players sent to the AFL from American League East clubs:

Baltimore Orioles

Jonathan Schoop – A 20-year-old second baseman from Curacao, Schoop was signed as a shortstop but moved to second base because of the presence of top prospect Manny Machado. Schoop hit .245 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI at Double-A Bowie this season.

L.J. Hoes – A third round pick out of nearby Washington D.C. in 2008, the 22-year-old Hoes hits for average and plays solid defense as a corner outfielder. He hit .287 with five home runs, 54 RBI and 20 stolen bases between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this season.

Clayton Schrader – A 10th round pick out of San Jacinto College in 2010, the 22-year-old Schrader is a potential closer who posted a 1.86 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 58 innings between advanced Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie this season.

Mike Belfiore – The 23-year-old left-hander was a supplemental first round pick of Arizona out of Boston College in 2010. He was 5-1 with a 2.71 ERAin 40 games between advanced Single-A and Double-A in 2012.

Mike Wright – A third round pick out of East Carolina in 2011, the 22-year-old Wright was 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 20 starts between Frederick and Bowie this year.

Brian Ward – The 26-year-old catcher hit .217 in 161 at-bats at Bowie in 2012 and has a .231 average over four minor league seasons. He is better known for his defensive abilities behind the plate.

Chris Petrini – The 25-year-old left-hander has battled injuries, including Tommy John surgery, but he posted a 2.49 ERA in 32 games between Frederick and Bowie this season.

Boston Red Sox

Bryce Brentz – Rated as Boston’s fourth-best prospect by, Brentz was a supplemental first round pick out of Middle Tennessee State in 2010. In 2012, the 23-year-old Brentz was an Eastern League All-Star and batted .298 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI and a .833 OPS at Double-A Portland before getting a cup of coffee at Triple-A Pawtucket and then playing a part in leading the PawSox to a three-game sweep of Charlotte (White Sox) in the Governor’s Cup, which is the International League’s championship series.

Pete Ruiz – A 10th round pick in 2008, the 25-year-old Ruiz was converted into a full-time reliever this season and responded with a 5-2 record, a 3.14 ERA and four saves in 27 games at Salem. He had 51 strikeouts in 48.2 innings and a .250 opponent’s batting average.

Chris Martin – The 26-year-old Martin is an interesting minor leaguer, having signed with the Red Sox out of an independent league last year. He was 3-6 with a 4.48 ERA in 23 games for the Sea Dogs this season.

Ryan Pressly – An 11th round pick out of high school in 2007, the 23-year-old Pressly posted a 6.28 in 20 games at advanced Single-A Salem but received a promotion to Double-A Portland, where he impressed with a 2.93 ERA in 14 games.

Christian Vazquez – The 22-year-old Vazquez split time between Salem and Portland this season, and the Red Sox will need to place him on the 40-man roster if they want to protect him from December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Brock Huntzinger – The 24-year-old Huntzinger was converted into a reliever this year and logged a 4-5 record with a 3.93 ERA in 24 games at Portland. He appeared in the AFL last season with the Scottsdale Scorpions and, like Vazquez, will need to be placed on Boston’s 40-man roster or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft this winter.

New York Yankees

Dellin Betances – Ranked as a top 100 prospect by Baseball America for three consecutive years, the 24-year-old Betances has regressed the last two seasons because of command problems and injuries. He lugged a gaudy 6.44 ERA in 27 games between Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

Dan Burawa – A 12th round pick out of St. John’s University in 2010, the 23-year-old right-hander did not pitch this season because of injuries.

Mark Montgomery – An 11th round pick out of Longwood University in 2011, the 22-year-old right-hander is considered a future late-inning reliever for the Yankees. He was 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 46 games and 64.1 innings between Tampa and Double-A Trenton this season.

Zach Nuding – A 30th round pick out of Weatherford College in 2010, the 22-year-old right-hander has a mid-90s fast ball and recorded a 3.51 ERA between rookie league ball and advanced Single-A Tampa this season.

Austin Romine – A second round pick in 2007, the 23-year-old Romine has faded out of the Baseball America top 100 list. He hit .243 at three levels in the Yankees system this season.

David Adams – A third round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2008, the 25-year-old Adams is an infielder who hit .306 in 383 plate appearances at Double-A Trenton.

Slade Heathcott – A first round pick out of high school in 2009, the 21-year-old Heathcott still has yet to advance past Single-A. He did show promise this season with a .307 average at advanced Single-A Tampa.

Tampa Bay Rays

Lenny Linsky – A second round pick out of the University of Hawaii in 2011, the 22-year-old Linsky logged a 3.07 ERA in 18 games at advanced Single-A Charlotte in 2012.

Chris Rearick – A 41st round pick in 2010, the 24-year-old lefty had a 2.70 ERA in 49 games between advanced Single-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery this season

C.J. Riefenhauser – A 20th round pick in 2010, the 22-year-old lefty had a 4.55 ERA in 32 games between Charlotte and Montgomery in 2012.

Kirby Yates – The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 2.65 ERA in 50 games at Montgomery this year.

Tim Beckham – Hit in May with a 50-game suspension related to his second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft batted .256 in 285 at-bats this season at Triple-A Durham.

Hak-Ju Lee – A key part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Chicago Cubs, the 21-year-old Lee was Baseball America’s No. 44 prospect entering the 2012 season. Known for his exceptional defense, Lee hit .261 with 37 stolen bases at Double-A Montgomery in 2012.

Richie Shaffer – A first round pick out of Clemson University this summer, the 21-year-old Shaffer hit .308 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 117 at-bats at Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League. He is a third baseman whose limited range might eventually lead to a move across the diamond to first base.

Kevin Kiermaier – A 31st round pick in 2010, the 22-year-old outfielder hit .260 between three minor league stops this season with most of the at-bats coming at advanced Single-A Charlotte (where he batted .260).

Toronto Blue Jays

Jake Marisnick – A third round pick in 2009, the 21-year-old Marisnick is rated as Toronto’s second-best prospect by and is highly regarded for his athleticism in the outfield. He batted .263 with a .800 OPS at advanced Single-A Dunedin before hitting .233 in 223 at-bats at Double-A New Hampshire.

Sam Dyson – Drafted three times – the last in the fourth round out of the University of South Carolina in 2010 – the 24-year-old Dyson spent most of 2012 at New Hampshire where he recorded a 2.38 ERA in 33 games.

Deck McGuire – A first round pick out of Georgia Tech in 2010, the 23-year-old right-hander struggled in 2012 with a 5-15 record and a 5.88 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 28 starts at Double-A New Hampshire.

John Stilson – A third round pick out of Texas A&M in 2011, the 22-year-old Stilson was 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 13 starts at Dunedin before logging a 5.04 ERA in 17 games (including nine starts) at New Hampshire.

Ryan Tepera – A 19th round pick out of Sam Houston State University in 2009, the 24-year-old right-hander was 8-6 with a 5.48 ERA in 21 starts between Dunedin and New Hampshire this season.

Ryan Goins – A fourth round pick out of Dallas Baptist in 2009, the 24-year-old shortstop hit .289 with seven home runs, 61 RBI and 15 stolen bases at New Hampshire in 2012.

Kevin Pillar – A 32nd round pick in 2011, the 23-year-old outfielder had 51 stolen bases and a .323 average between low Single-A Lansing and Dunedin this season.

About the Author

Jeff Louderback
A former sports writer for a daily newspaper in Ohio, Jeff Louderback is a professional freelance writer, author and editor who lives in the midst of Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. He writes baseball features for several publications, including prospect profiles for Baseball America. He served as the founder, editor and columnist for Sox and Pinstripes, a blog that covered the Red Sox and Yankees; and BoSox Banter, a site that covered the Red Sox, the Red Sox farm system and baseball-themed travel. Jeff is also the co-author of the life story of former Major League pitcher Brian Tollberg, whose inspirational story saw him rise from the University of North Florida and the independent Frontier League’s Chillicothe Paints to a climb up the minors in the Brewers and Padres systems before tasting success in the majors with the Padres. The book will be released in 2016.