With the start of the Arizona Fall League this afternoon, we complete our team-by-team preview of which prospects to watch for this fall.
We've previewed the other five teams already, and you can check them out below:
You would expect a team like the Saguaros, featuring prospects from deep farm systems like the Red Sox, Royals and Rangers, to feature a wealth of talent, but such is not the case. The Saguaros do feature some interesting talent, and like most of the AFL, the majority of it comes with a bat.
The Cardinals have had a revolving door of fill-ins and defensive-minded players at second base for the past decade, and while that hasn't stopped them from winning a pair of World Series titles, that strategy could change with the emergence of Wong. The 2011 first round pick didn't tear up the Double-A Texas League is season, but he more than held his own after making the jump from just a half-season of Low-A ball. He doesn't feature much power, but he's good with the bat and could be the true leadoff hitter the Cardinals need.
Bryce Brentz (BOS)
If the Red Sox ever actually hold on to one of their outfield prospects and let him have a shot in the majors, it could be Brentz. The corner outfielder continues to hit at ever level, posting an .833 OPS at Double-A Portland this season. He has good power but needs to refine his aggressive approach at the plate.
Other Notable Hitters
Luis Sardinas is among the best defensive shortstops in the game, and is since hitter too, but with Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar ahead of him in the Rangers organization, he may never get a chance to show it off in Texas. Kellin Deglan struggled again at the plate in a repeat of the Sally League, but he does maintain decent pop for a catcher, so he'll keep getting opportunities.
Arsenal of Arms
J.C. Sulbaran (KC)
The dynamic Sulbaran had always had control issues to go along with his impressive stuff, but the right-hander lost all control after a mid-season trade to the Royals. In six starts after the trade, Sulbaran walked almost a batter-per-inning, rendering him completely ineffective. He still has power stuff, but his lack of command is going to land him in a relief role if he doesn't clean it up quick.
Other Notable Pitchers
Sam Freeman spend time in the Cardinals bullpen this season and figures to be a LOOGY next year. Justin Marks put together a respectable season at Double-A before he was given one Triple-A start, in which he allowed nine runs. Brock Huntzinger had some success pitching in relief for the first time in his career.