New Logos, Playing Sites, Expanded Schedule Highlight Arizona Fall League’s 20th Anniversary Season

by Chuck

“As we complete our second decade of service to Major League Baseball, our league’s re-branding adds a contemporary look to recognize our growth and impact on the baseball industry in addition to capturing the feel of our ideal location in Arizona.”

With that statement, Executive Director Steve Cobb announced changes to the upcoming Arizona Fall League season, changes which includes not only an updated League logo, but new logos for each team as well.

Among other changes announced by Media Director Paul Jensen, the season would extend from six to seven weeks total, thanks to the early ending of the MLB regular season.

Additionally, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, the new Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, will play host for the first time.

With two teams now in Scottsdale, (which leaves just one in Peoria), the two divisions have also been realigned, with Mesa, Salt River and Scottsdale in the East and Peoria, Phoenix and Surprise in the West.

The league plays six days a week (no Sundays), with both day (12:35) and night (6:35) on the schedule.

The annual Rising Stars game is one again scheduled to be played at the Surprise Recreation Campus, on November fifth, with the Championship Game being played at Scottsdale Stadium on November 19th.

The Fall League, founded in 1992 by long time Major League Executive and recent, stands at the top of all Instructional and Developmental Leagues in baseball.

From it’s first season, which produced the likes of Jeromy Burnitz, Rico Brogna, Ryan Klesko, Troy Percival and future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, to the most recent, which gave us Dustin Ackley, Brandon Belt, Eric Hosmer and Josh Collmenter, the league has consistently produced quality major league talent.

Over 1,900 Alumni haver reached the Major Leagues, with 169 combined All-Star game appearances, nine MVP winners, three Cy Young winners, and, most importantly, twenty Rookie of the Year winners.

The League isn’t just a player development league either, as 28 staff members have gone on to manage in the majors, 37 umpires have reached the show, and over 80 front office administrators and interns have found their way to major league employment.

While we’re still early in the game for roster announcements, the respective field staffs and team assignments have been released.

Below is each team, home stadium, major league host, team assignments, manager, hitting and pitching coach.

Mesa Solar Sox: HoHoKam Stadium (Cubs), Orioles, Pirates, Cubs, Twins, White Sox, Joe McEwing, Jeff Branson, Steve Mirtz.

Salt River Rafters: Salt River Fields (Dbacks, Rockies), Tigers, Rockies, Dodgers, Dbacks, Astros, Stu Cole, Chris Cron, Dan Carlson.

Scottsdale Scorpions: Scottsdale Stadium (Giants), Angels, Nationals, Giants, Phillies, Red Sox.

Peoria Javelinas: Peoria Sports Complex (Padres, Mariners), Brewers, Cardinals, Mariners, Padres, Mets, Pedro Lopez, Alonso Powell, Arthur Adams.

Phoenix Desert Dogs: Phoenix Municipal Stadium, (A’s), Blue Jays, Yankees, Indians, A’s, Reds, Todd Steverson, Tom Slater, Jim Czajkowksi.

Surprise Saguaros: Surprise Recreation Campus (Rangers, Royals), Braves, Royals, Marlins, Rangers, Rays, Billy Gardner Jr, Corey Hart, Derrick Lewis.

Opening Day is Monday, October 4th, with day games scheduled in Peoria and Phoenix, and a nightcapper in Scottsdale.

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23 Responses to “New Logos, Playing Sites, Expanded Schedule Highlight Arizona Fall League’s 20th Anniversary Season”

  1. Raul Says:

    Gonna try to make it this season, although it’ll be tough getting days off from work. Money is also tight.

    I wonder which, if any, recently-signed draft picks will be there.

  2. Chuck Says:

    I’ve heard Gerrit Cole will probably be here, only 2011 signee so far.

  3. brautigan Says:

    They should be announcing rosters any day now. Will be interesting to see who goes to Arizona.

  4. Chuck Says:

    Way early, rosters usually aren’t announced until minor league seasons have concluded, which is around Labor Day.

    We’ll start getting some names leaked (Harper, Cole) between now and mid-September, but rosters usually aren’t finalized until the week before the season starts.

    It really is a long, drawn out process.

  5. brautigan Says:

    It must vary. I remember running into Mark Brandenburg in Seattle in late August (1995)when he was with Texas. I told him I saw that he was announced to go to AFL (and he hadn’t even heard that he was going yet). I also recall talking to some guys at the end of the AAA season when they had been chosen to go, like Hank Conger.

  6. Chuck Says:

    It does, Braut.

    Some teams, (Yankees being one of them, surprise, surprise) don’t even release the names of their players.

    Never once, in all the time I’ve been involved in the league, have the pre-season rosters matched the opening day rosters.

    You should see us in the press box when the lineups are announced the first few games, “Who the fuck is that guy”, “anyone know him”

    I swear, I think we’ve shut down MiLB.com a couple of times with everyone going on at once trying to find some kid.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Remember JR Phillips, Braut?

    One year, he was still playing here for the Firebirds, season’s over and he’s at Scottsdale Stadium cleaning out his locker.

    Jumps in his car and starts driving home to California when they decide to place him in the league.

    So, they had some intern chase him 200 miles before he tracks him down in a roadside diner/gas station somewhere in Dustville.

  8. Chuck Says:

    Through three innings tonite for Scranton, Dellin Betances has allowed on hit, two runs, and has four strikeouts.

    And nine walks.

    84 pitches.

    Through three.

    41 strikes.

    I guess it’s safe to say Betances ain’t coming.

  9. brautigan Says:

    JR Phillips, yeah I remember him. Started out in the Angels organization if I remember right. Pretty nice guy and had a good, long career.

    And you’re right, I don’t think I have ever, and I mean EVER, seen a lineup of players for the AFL that included the Yankee players. They are never announced and I really hadn’t realized that until you said it, but you’re right, they never are announced.

  10. Raul Says:

    9 walks?
    I think the manager at AAA left after the 5th walk, went to the clubhouse showers with his uniform on, cracked open a bottle of Pappy van Winkle and told the Bat Boy to finish managing the rest of the game.

  11. Lefty33 Says:

    “I think the manager at AAA left after the 5th walk”

    The manager would be former Reds minor league standout Dave Miley.

    Also as a sidebar, Scranton due to renovations at PNC Field will possibly be relocating for the ‘12 season.

    If they relocate the field should be done in time for the ‘13 season and if they try and play games thru the renovation then the field won’t be done until ‘15.

    Top canidates for next year are Staten Island, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Ottawa.

  12. Chuck Says:

    “Top canidates for next year are Staten Island, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Ottawa.”

    The first four of which already have teams.

    Ottawa Yankees?

  13. Lefty33 Says:

    “The first four of which already have teams.”

    True but the local paper here has also said that the IronPigs stadium is also under consideration because if the team relocates they also want to play somewhere that actually draws.

    No matter where they play, Ottawa does have a semi-pro team, they will be sharing a stadium if they relocate.

    The proposal for Lehigh Valley was that even though the schedule for ‘12 is already done they would just be changing a lot of start times.

    The example given was that Scranton would be playing a lot of day games because there would be multiple days where the field would be having a Scranton game at 1pm and an IronPigs game at 7pm.

  14. Chuck Says:

    Mike Trout and Bryce Harper will be AFL teammates, playing for Scottsdale.

  15. John Says:

    What’s Trout’s story going to be like in 2011?

    Seems like he’s had no trouble with AA, any chance he makes the Angels out of spring training, or is he gonna get a Mayish call-up provided he’s handling AAA?

  16. Chuck Says:

    Wells, Hunter and Abreu are all coming back for 2012.

    There’s really no place for Trout to play, unless they trade Bourjos.

    Scoscia is a really big proponent of letting young kids play (Brandon Wood, Bourjos, Kendrick, Reggie Willits, Mathis/Napoli) so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Trout has a good spring he’s the opening day centerfielder.

    Unlikely, but the odds are much higher with the Angels than, say, for example, the Yankees.

    After a couple of years, the Yanks finally gave Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy a chance to play.

    In someone else’s uni.

  17. John Says:

    “There’s really no place for Trout to play, unless they trade Bourjos.”

    That’s kinda what I was figuring… try and trade Bourjos when his value his probably highest (currently riding a 117 OPS+, kinda surprising).

    Or keep Bourjos around and bench Wells or Abreu.

    Wells might make too much to ride the pine, but Abreu’s 9M isn’t anything extraordinary.

  18. brautigan Says:

    Abreu can DH. To sit Trout and play Abreu in the field borders on criminally insane.

  19. Chuck Says:

    Preliminary rosters for all teams have been announced.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/league.jsp?league=afl

    Some pretty impressive names.

    Looks like Oakland has officially moved Grant Green to centerfield.

  20. brautigan Says:

    I will see Green on Sunday. I’ll ask him about it.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Absolutely..tell him I’ll look him up when he gets out here.

    Michael Choice is playing, too.

  22. Chuck Says:

    So, Bryce Harper DOES NOT make the South Atlantic League All-Star team, but is named “Top Major League Prospect?”

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110830&content_id=23946180&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

    Gimme a flippin’ break.

  23. Dugout Central » Blog Archive » AFL Players to Watch and Initial Season Live Blog Says:

    [...] 20th anniversary season of the prestigious Arizona Fall League kicks off on Tuesday with rosters full of top draft picks [...]

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