Now entering its 23rd season of play, the Arizona Fall League is a six-week season of baseball used by big league clubs to get some of their prized prospects extra playing time after the minor league season is finished. The Mets just announced the six players they will be sending to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions this October.
Mets prospects Brandon Nimmo, Matt Reynolds, Cory Mazzoni, Paul Sewald, Rob Whalen and Julian Hilario named to Arizona Fall League squad.— New York Mets (@Mets) August 26, 2014
Nimmo's .906 OPS at High-A St. Lucie this season and subsequent success at Double-A Binghamton make the first-round draft pick the most hyped prospect of the six, but Reynolds is probably the closest to the majors. The Arkansas alumnus has risen through New York's system quickly and is currently banging on the door of the big leagues with a .430 on-base percentage at Triple-A Las Vegas.
The rest of the Fall League guys are all pitchers. Mazzoni is having a rough go of it in Vegas this season, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is greater than 3:1 and he still projects has a useful right arm either out of the bullpen or in the back of the rotation. Meanwhile, Sewald has dominated the Florida State League in 2014 with 62 strikeouts and a 1.73 ERA in 52 relief innings. It will be interesting to see how he does against the stud hitters of the AFL.
Finally, Whalen is having great success as a 20-year-old starter at Single-A Savannah, while Hilario is still a work in progress at St. Lucie. With the minor league seasons winding down, the AFL is the best chance that selected prospects have to put their skills on display prior to spring training. The Mets have been unwilling or unable to spend much in the free agent market lately, making such offseason performances more important than ever.